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How to lease a used car Advertiser Disclosure Advertiser Disclosure We are an independent, advertising-supported comparison service. Our aim is to assist you make smarter financial decisions by offering you interactive financial calculators and tools as well as publishing objective and original content. We also allow you to conduct research and compare information for free and help you make informed financial decisions. Bankrate has partnerships with issuers such as, but not limited to American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi and Discover. How We Make Money The deals that are advertised on this site come from companies who pay us. This compensation could affect how and when products appear on the site, such as such things as the order in which they be listed within the categories of listing, except where prohibited by law. This applies to our mortgage and home equity products, as well as other home loan products. This compensation, however, does affect the content we publish or the reviews appear on this website. We do not contain the vast array of companies or financial offers that may be open to you.
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4 min read. Published December 11, 2022
Written by Kellye Guinan Written by Personal and Business Finance Contributor
Kellye Guinan is a freelance editor and writer with more than 5 years experience working in the field of personal financial matters. She is also a full-time librarian at the local library in which she assists the community get information on financial literacy, in addition to other topics.
The edit was done by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor
Rhys has been writing and editing for Bankrate from late 2021. They are passionate about helping readers gain confidence to control their finances by providing concise, well-researched and well-constructed information that breaks down complex subjects into digestible pieces.
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The value of used cars declines at a slower rate than brand new ones, which makes them a great option if you want a low-cost lease. They’re difficult to find but the lack of used car inventory has further shrunk the market. Additionally, you might not recoup the amount you pay for the down payment — that you will not get back when your lease ends. However, you may save every month quite a bit. If you’re in the market for newer vehicles that haven’t seen many years of use and wear, a used car lease could be right for you. Three methods to get a lease on a secondhand car Leasing a used vehicle is . You’ll need to investigate the car and negotiate with the dealer. But since they are rarer than other vehicles, there’s more work involved in locating an affordable price. 1. Explore lease options. Not every dealer offers leases for used vehicles. You’re more likely to get leases on certified used (CPO) vehicles, which are generally only available at a franchise dealer. It is also recommended to call or send an email ahead of time to make sure that the dealer sets up used leases for cars. Do your research on recent models that you might want to lease. Also, comparison shop. Even if you’re not buying the vehicle, look up the prices they’re listed on sites such as Edmunds or Kelley Blue Book. This can be a good starting point during negotiation. 2. Contact the dealer for negotiations Once you’ve located a dealer who offers used car leases and you have looked at prices, it’s time to . Like a new car lease, the cost of the used lease on a vehicle is based on a money factor — like the interest rate of an loan. You’ll be able to bargain this, along with limitations on mileage in addition to the residual amount. The negotiation process is similar to purchasing an automobile. You need to make sure you’re getting a fair deal on the overall cost, including tax, fees, and money you are putting down. 3. Be aware of the contract. Your contract should include charges and mileage limits, as well as the maintenance that is and isn’t covered and a . Be on the lookout for any additional fees that you do not would like to include. Extended warranties are beneficial in certain circumstances, however, the majority of CPO automobiles come with a manufacturer warranty. It will also include the anticipated depreciation amount and residual value at the conclusion period of lease. Confirm these match your negotiated numbers before signing. Drawbacks of leasing a used car Beyond limited inventory The drawbacks of leasing a car used are identical to . A car leased will cost less than buying, however it won’t cost you as much as . Just like with buying new or used, a lease that is used will have a higher rate percentage than a brand new lease. You are also responsible for any wear and tear beyond what is considered “normal.” The amount will be determined by the contract you signed but expect to pay extra for any dings or scratches when your lease ends. Maintenance costs are another major one. Oil changes, mechanic visits and any other expenses not covered by warranty will be your responsibility. Leases for used cars are not common, so it will take extra work to find an auto dealer who offers these services. Additionally, due to a shortage of semiconductors there is less inventory overall and this could be a further obstacle to obtaining a great deal. Limits on mileage are among the biggest drawbacks for those who have a long commute or love driving. The lease contract you sign will restrict you to between 12,000 and 15,000 miles per year — and will charge you extra in the event that you exceed. What are the differences between car loans are different from leases Car loans have an upfront cost which is then followed by installment payments over a fixed time. Leases are characterized by a lower upfront expense, but the person leasing is responsible only for depreciation on the car during the lease term. Both loans and leases loans have many advantages and disadvantages. The key differences are regarding monthly payment, maintenance, use or mileage and ownership. Payments for monthly: Monthly payments for leases on cars are generally lower because you only pay for the use of the vehicle. With an auto loan, you pay to own the vehicle. Maintenance: Maintenance is usually covered by leases for vehicles but purchasing a vehicle makes you responsible for all costs and requirements for maintenance. Use and mileage: Leases include mileage and other charges related to the lease. A car purchase does not have a mileage limit but excessive mileage can affect the vehicle’s ability to be sold or . Other options to lease a second-hand car You have two main alternatives: either buy the car outright or consider lease swaps. A used car is the most financially sound option is usually to . You will own the car at the expiration of your contract, which gives you the option to either sell the vehicle or drive it to the expiration date. It opens you up to depreciation as well as the possibility of being in the position of being upside-down on your loan. For some, leasing is their best method to afford a car. Of course, if you love the vehicle you’ve leased then you’ll likely have the option to buy it at the expiration of the lease. So, leasing used could be a great way to get in the cost of a few low monthly payments before you commit to purchasing a car. Lease swaps Sites for trading leases like LeaseTrader will help you locate great deals from those looking to end their lease contract in the early hours. The cars you come across might not be “used” by dealer standards but they’ve had some activity from a different owner. Steps next, research new cars and the dealers that are in your region. It’s not impossible to find a used car lease, but in the current market, it can be difficult. Once you find an used vehicle to lease, make sure that it’s a budget-friendly option that suits your driving style. Find out more
Written by Personal and business finance Contributor
Kellye Guinan is a freelance editor and writer who has more than five years ‘ experience within personal financial matters. She’s also a full-time worker at her local library, helping people in her community get information on financial literacy, as well as other topics.
Edited by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor
Rhys has been writing and editing for Bankrate from late 2021. They are dedicated to helping their readers to control their finances with precise, well-researched and well-documented data that breaks otherwise complicated topics into bite-sized pieces.
Auto loans editor
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