Mistakes to Avoid When Leasing a Car

Over the years, leasing has become the more practical option in owning and driving a vehicle. In fact, in the United States in 2015, as much as 27% of Americans lease a car—and the number is continuously increasing. When it comes to used cars, ‘buy here, pay here’ car lots are no longer as popular today; more and more people are realizing the value of car leasing. It’s cheaper and more convenient.

However, despite the practicality of car lease, many people still do not enjoy most of the benefits that this set-up offers because of mistakes that they commit before, during, and after the lease. If you’re looking at leasing a car and want to get the best value out of your leased vehicle, you need to know and avoid the said mistakes. Check these out:

Common mistake before the lease: Paying a large amount of down payment

This is not only, well, costly—it’s also impractical. The reason is that when something happens to the vehicle (when it gets involved in an accident or it is stolen), the car insurance will most probably cover the car value and pay the leasing company. However, you won’t get anything even if you paid a lot of money. You will be left with no car, and you won’t have your money back.

The best thing to do is find a lease company that doesn’t require a large down payment. There are even companies who offer used cars with no down payment, or those that require very low fee. There are others who will only ask for as low as a dollar, and they will allow you to take the car home. These are preferable over those who ask you to shell out a huge amount of cash upfront.

Common mistake during the lease: Failing to follow proper car maintenance

Some car owners feel they don’t need to perform routinary car maintenance since the vehicle is not their own and they’ll have to return it after a few years. What they do not realize is that every little broken component, as well as scruff and dings that are not considered part of wear and tear, will incur fees.

When you turn in the car at the end of the lease period, it will be thoroughly inspected for damage. If there is anything that is damaged more than it should be due to age, you will be required to pay for it. The best thing to do is treat the car as your own and keep it in good shape to avoid any inconvenience and expense during turn in.

Common mistake after the lease: Extending the lease period

There’s nothing wrong with being attached to a car you have driven for thousands of miles over several years, but thinking about extending your lease period longer than initially agreed on is not a practical decision. As the car gets older, it will require more and more repairs and replacements, and you’ll have to shoulder the said expense. Choose to save on costs by simply surrendering the car and leasing a new one.

Once you’re ready to get a new car from a ‘lease here, pay here’ car dealership, remember to avoid the mentioned mistakes in order to get the most value from your ride.