REASONS TO LEASE
Would you like to get more car for less payment
Would you like to lower your payment by as much as $50 to $375 dollars a month or more compared standard finance programs
Would you like to shorten your term by a year or two without raising your monthly payments
Would you like to put little or no money down
Would you like to drive a better equipped car or move up to the next model line
Is the down payment a problem?
Do you prefer to invest your hard-earned cash elsewhere?
Do you like saving $50 per month or more?
Do you trade a car every 1-4 years?
Have you ever traded a car before it was paid off?
Do you like to keep up with the latest in technology?
If you answer "yes" to these questions, then
LEASING IS FOR YOU!
Leasing is simply taking the traditional way of buying a car and postponing your down payment until the end.
Understand what automobile leasing is and what it's not.
The concept of leasing is fairly simple, yet many automotive consumers don't completely understand it and are often skeptical, even afraid of it. It is frequently misunderstood as a kind of "rent-to-own" scheme hatched up by clever dealers to separate good people from their money.
In fact, leasing is a well-respected and common financial concept that has been used in the commercial world for decades as a method of financing buildings, equipment, and vehicles, although it is still relatively new to most automotive consumers.
Understand how car leasing works
As with any business transaction, the key to successful and intelligent auto leasing is understanding how the process works, taking the time to properly prepare yourself before making decisions, and learning to use leasing to your benefit rather than to your disadvantage.
EXPLANATION OF POSSIBLE FEES WHEN ACQUIRING A NEW VEHICLE
In car leasing, as in buying, there can be charges, fees, and taxes that often surprise newcomers. Fees can differ by dealer, leasing company, and by the state in which you lease. The same charge or fee can sometimes have different names in different lease contracts. Some of the fees charged in leasing are the same as the fees charged when buying.
Let's take a look at the most common types of car lease charges, fees, and taxes:
A lease is different than a loan in that payments are made at the beginning of the month in which they're due, while loan payments are paid at the end of the due month. This means you make your first lease payment in cash at the time you sign your lease contract. The first payment is NOT considered a down payment or a security deposit, it is actually your first monthly payment on your lease.
A fee that is usually about the same as, or a little more, than your monthly payment. It will be refunded to you at lease-end, less any disposition, mileage, or damage charges. If you have a good credit rating you may not have to make a security deposit. Many leases require no security deposit. Making a security deposit is not the same as a down payment, which you don't get back at the end of your lease. Some lease companies offer a lower lease finance rate in exchange for a large security deposit.
Acquisition Fee (Bank Fee)
An acquisition fee, sometimes called a "bank fee," is an administration fee charged by the leasing company, much like points on a mortgage. This fee is usually not explicitly specified in your contract, but is included in your Cap Cost when calculating monthly payments. You should ask about it if you don't see it mentioned. This fee is typically in the range of $250 to $900, depending on the lease company. High-end luxury vehicles have higher acquisition fees. Although this fee is set by the lease company, it is becoming more common for dealers to "bump" this fee to add a little extra profit for themselves. If you feel this fee has been "bumped" by the dealer, you can attempt to negotiate it down. Otherwise, acquisition fees are not negotiable.
A typical fee, set by the lease company, that is due at the end of the lease to compensate the leasing company for the expenses of selling or otherwise disposing of a vehicle. Some leasing companies might also require this fee even if you decide to purchase your vehicle at the end of the lease. In this case, try to negotiate it out of the deal. $250 to $450 is typical for this fee, if the fee is charged at all. Some lease companies do not charge a disposition fee.
Down payment, regarding a car lease, refers to the part of the initial money paid at lease inception that serves to reduce the amount owed on the lease. It is usually called, Capitalized Cost Reduction, or simply Cap Cost Reduction. A modest down payment can often significantly reduce monthly payment amount.
Tax on Down Payment
If you make a down payment (capitalized cost reduction) on your lease, you will be charged state and local sales tax on the down payment amount in most states and in Canada. It is payable at the time you sign your lease contract.
In some states, such as Texas and Illinois, you must pay the entire sales tax up front, either on the sum of all lease payments or on the full sale price of the vehicle, depending on the state. Often this amount is folded back into the capitalized cost and financed with the lease. See below for more details.
Documentation, Registration, License, Tag, and Title Fees
These are the same fees you would normally expect to pay in your state, whether you lease or buy your new car. Some of these fees are not official fees but are often given official-sounding names, and are actually extra dealer profit. It's often difficult to determine which are official and which are not.
Documentation fees are typically charged by dealers as a kind of administrative fee. The fee amount ranges from about $250 to $600, much of which is simply added profit for the dealer. Many dealers have the fee pre-printed on the sales form to make it seem official. Some dealers are willing to reduce or waive documentation fees, and others simply refuse to as a matter of policy.
Tag and registration fees are official fees required by state and local governments. Dealer simply collect the fees, without markup, and pass them along to the appropriate government agencies.
As recently as ten years ago, most automobile consumers had never heard of leasing, much less done it. Now, approximately 20%-25% of all new cars, trucks, SUVs, and vans are leased. Approximately 75% of luxury cars are leased.
After a temporary slowdown during the last few years because of aggressive zero-percent loan programs, leasing is once again growing in popularity. Just look at the volume of lease ads in your local newspaper and on TV to get a notion of how popular automobile leasing has become, especially during times of economic troubles when consumers are looking for more affordable ways to meet their transportation needs.
Leasing provides an alternative method of financing an automobile that offers several benefits that are attractive and beneficial to many automotive consumers. In particular, leasing offers significantly lower monthly payments than a loan.
Why is car leasing popular?
Two factors helped cause the shift to leasing. First, new cars prices have rapidly spiraled upwards over the last few years, often putting prices out of reach of average buyers. Second, increased cost of housing, food, and other necessities of life have left less money in the monthly budget for transportation. The net effect is that people have become increasingly eager to find ways to make personal vehicles more affordable.
Auto manufacturers and finance companies have come to the rescue in a big way with consumer car leasing programs. These programs are simply a modified version of business leasing that have been around for years. This helps explain much of the strange language and confusing concepts associated with consumer leasing today.
In a nutshell, leasing has become popular because it offers people a way to drive the vehicles they want, often better vehicles than they could buy, for less money and less hassle. Low monthly payments are the big attraction, although we'll soon find out why it's important to look at other factors before deciding to lease.
U.S. states (except New Hampshire, Alaska, and Oregon) and Canada impose a sales tax on motor vehicle purchases by consumers. In the case of leasing, the leasing company passes the sales tax along to you, the lessee. However, the way it's done can be quite different from state to state, even region to region.
The most common method is to tax the monthly lease payment at the local sales tax rate. This means you only pay tax on the part of the car you lease, not the entire value of the car. For example, if your local sales tax rate is 5%, simply multiply your monthly lease payment by 5% and add it to the payment amount to get your total payment figure.
If you plan to move soon, contact the taxing agency in the state to which you'll be moving to determine how it will affect you and your lease.
Generally, you pay sales taxes for the locality in which you live, not for the locality in which the car dealer has his showroom. If you move to a new location at any time during your lease, your taxes will probably change and, in some cases, require a cash payment. If you plan to move soon, contact the taxing agency in the state to which you'll be moving to determine how it will affect you and your lease.