Yet, many automotive consumers don't know how car leasing really works, or how to determine if it's right for them. Many people now leasing are overpaying because they didn't know how to get a good deal — or how to recognize a bad deal. Others who could benefit from leasing are shying away because they don't understand it or have misconceptions.
So if you're thinking about leasing a new car and want to understand how leasing works, or don't know if you should lease or buy — or simply need help with your current lease — this web site was created for you. Remember, knowledge is power — especially in car leasing.
LeaseGuide.com is an online guide to smart car leasing. It has provided high-quality car leasing information, expert advice, and online lease calculators to millions of automotive consumers since 1995. It is brought to you by automotive leasing expert, consumer advisor, and Lease Guide author, Al Hearn.
LeaseGuide.com is dedicated to helping auto consumers understand leasing, take advantage of its benefits, get the best deals, and avoid potential mistakes and problems. We are not a lease company or a car dealer. We do not sell or lease cars. More About Us >>
What You Get at LeaseGuide.com:
|Car Leasing Guide||A complete online guide to car leasing; everything you need to know, simply explained, with plenty of examples and tips|
|Lease Payment Calculator||Calculate car lease payments and total costs, including taxes with this user-friendly online lease calculator|
|Lease vs. Buy Calculator||Compare leasing versus buying — payments and all costs with this unique, easy to use calculator|
|Lease Deal Calculator||Determine whether a car lease deal is good or bad from dealer offers and ads. Compare different leases to find the best.|
|The Lease Kit||Car leasing tool kit: lease deal calculators, lease-end guide, vehicle ratings, sample contract, checklists, payment tables, worksheets, and more|
|Lease Resources||Additional leasing resources, information, and web sites for car leasing consumers|
|Frequent Questions||Common car leasing questions, with all the right answers and explanations|
|Exclusive articles for automotive consumers - leasing, loans, credit, insurance, used cars, cars for teens, and more|
|Short articles with additional tips about prepaid leases, car scams, lease transfers, off-lease cars, and more|
|Glossary||Comprehensive index of automotive terms and definitions, particularly related to leasing|
Best Lease Prices? Get a Free Quote
When you read the Lease Guide, you'll discover that a car's price is the most important factor in getting low monthly payments, regardless of whether you lease or buy. But haggling over prices with dealers can be stressful and most people hate it.
LeaseGuide.com recommends the following Online Pricing Services who have already worked out low prices with dealers in your area. Just specify the vehicle you want and they'll get you a fast, free car quote, no strings attached —— TrueCar is our top recommendation —— But don't stop there. Also get prices from Edmunds, and InvoiceDealers . Compare all the deals, and pick the best one. We also recommend CarsDirect, an Online Buying Service that not only has low prices but also takes care of all the paperwork, whether you want to purchase or lease. These are all good services. Try them all -- it's free and you are not obligated to accept any of the deals.
Best Car Lease Deals 2013
As car leasing continues to grow in popularity, car manufacturers are fueling the growth with special promotional lease deals that are genuine good deals as determined by LeaseGuide.com. These deals have low monthly payments, with over 50 deals at or under $199, and are being offered on a wide variety of vehicle makes, models, and styles. We tell you where to find the Best Lease Deals for 2013.
Lease Deal Calculator - Good Deal or Bad Deal ?
Use our free Lease Deal Calculator to help you determine how good — or bad — a car lease deal is. Are Honda's new lease deals better than Toyota's? Is that advertised Nissan lease worth considering? Can I do better than my dealer's BMW lease offer? Did I get a good deal on the lease I just signed? Compare two or more leases.
Plug in a few simple numbers and get your answer immediately. The Lease Deal Calculator is similar to the Lease Evaluator in our Lease Kit — but different.
Top 10 Lease CarsPrice is the most important factor in leasing, so check the links below to request free dealer price quotes if you are interested in one of these models — Honda Accord, Toyota Corolla, Chevrolet Camaro, Toyota Camry, BMW 5-Series, Mercedes C-Class, Honda Odyssey, Mercedes E-Class, Chevrolet Corvette, Land Rover LR2. One of the reasons these vehicles are lease favorites is that they all have high lease-end residual values, which means lower monthly payments.
Lease or Buy? That is the Question
Almost everyone who has thought of car leasing wants to know if they would be better to lease or to buy. The fact is that one way will nearly always be significantly better than the other in any particular situation. Therefore, it is important that you understand both methods and how to determine which is best for your own situation. Our article, Lease vs Buy, Which is Better?, is your starting point. Also see Lease vs Buy Calculator and Lease vs Buy - The Real Math.
Leasing Pros and Cons
Leasing has both advantages and disadvantages, which means it works well for some people but not for others. It's not sufficient to simply look at the lower monthly payments that leasing offers. Leasing's benefits make it the perfect answer for those who are less affected by any possible drawbacks. But for those for whom the disadantages outweigh the advantages, leasing would be a mistake. For more details see our article, Car Lease Pros and Cons.
Car Lease Calculator - Calculate Lease Payments
Use our full-function Car Lease Calculator to quickly calculate your monthly car lease payment and total leasing costs. Plug in your numbers and see the result. ——— Just be aware that simply knowing your lease payment doesn't tell you if it is a good deal or not. Only the Lease Evaluator in our Lease Kit can do that. ——— Also see our Lease Calculator for Apple iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.
Lease or Buy - How Much Should I Pay for My Car?
A relatively new company, TrueCar, shows you exactly what you should pay for any new car from dealers in your area — based on what other people are paying -- for the same car. They show you the dealer invoice price, sticker price, and the average price being paid by other buyers /leasers — and give you a guaranteed price from a dealer in your area.
It's a free service that is unique and could easily change the way we buy and lease new cars. For more details, see our article, What Should I Pay for My Car.
Car Lease Residual Values - Important
Residual value is one of the most important factors in car leasing, yet it is the factor that is least understood by leasing consumers. Why is residual value important? How are residuals determined? Who sets residual values? Are they negotiable? Find out by reading our article, Car Lease Residual Values.
Car Leases for Less Than $200 a Month
Auto makers frequently offer special limited-time lease deals on selected car makes and models for less than $200/month payment. These are genuinely good deals and are well worth considering for people looking for an affordable way to drive a new car. See Best Car Lease Deals - Less Than $200 a Month for more details.
What's a Good Lease Deal? How Do You Know?
Even though payments may seem very low on lease deals you're considering – much lower than buying with a loan – how do you know if it's actually a good deal? Are your payments higher than what other people are paying? The Lease Evaluator in our Car Lease Kit can tell you instantly. It enables you to specify a vehicle make/model and then see the best-case, and worst-case, monthly lease payment for that vehicle. See this article for some real examples.
Best Lease Deals - How? Where?
Do you know that the best car lease deals do not require any negotiation or haggling with a dealer? Do you know how to get the best car lease deals? Do you know where the best lease deals can be found? The following article will give you the answers you need: How to Get the Best Car Lease Deals.
Get a Copy of Our Popular Lease Guide eBook
Our amazing 15-part Lease Guide is free but many readers have asked us if they could get a single-document eBook version that they can download, read online, and print, without ads. The answer, now, is YES! Simply go to Lease Guide eBook for details.
Who Leases Anyway?
On average, about 1 in 4 of all new cars are leased and not purchased. Small and compact cars have a lower lease rate because loan payments are pretty low anyway. American-brand cars don't lease as often because, well, leases are not as available as on foreign brands. Mid-size, full-size, and SUVs are leased at about the average rate by people who are looking for affordable ways to drive a new vehicle, or who like having a new car every 2-4 years. Luxury cars have the highest lease rate, about 60-70% by money-smart people who prefer to use their cash in more productive ways, or by people who simply want to drive more car than they might be able to afford otherwise. For more, see What Kind of People Lease Cars?
Get Out of Your Lease Early. How?
Have someone else take over your lease is a good way to do it. It's the easiest and the lowest cost method (no penalty fees). There are a few specialized companies who will list your car, find a "buyer", and take care of the details for you — for a small fee. We especially like Swapalease, the long-time respected leader in online car lease transfers. As easy as this method might seem, it doesn't work for everyone. The Lease Termination Guide in our Lease Kit explains all your other options.
Does Your Car Lease End Soon? Be Careful - Make the Right Decision
One of our readers told us that she really disliked her leased sedan and so, at the end of her lease, she simply returned it to the lease company and walked away. What's the problem? She found out later that she could have bought the vehicle from the lease company for her contract lease-end purchase price, which was less than market value, and could have sold it for a $6000 profit. —— The point is this: it's very important to examine ALL your lease-end options before you make a rush decision. See our Lease-End Considerations page for more details.
Car Lease Ads - What's the Story? Good Deals or Not?You've seen those attractive car lease advertisements in the newspaper and on TV. They advertise low monthly payments and imply that these are "special" deals. Are they special? Are the payments really good deals or not? What does the fine print mean? What are they not telling you? Is there a catch? See our revealing article, Understanding Car Lease Ads, and learn how to evaluate such deals.
Best Car Deals in Tough Economy
Car manufacturers are currently offering generous rebates, discounts, low APR loans, and special lease deals to help boost sales in the current slow economy. Be sure to get free price quotes from TrueCar or Edmunds, which will include any available incentives on the make and model. See Best Car Deals for details on special promotional incentives and rebate information. ——— However, as both leases and loans become more expensive, leasing will continue to be the lowest-cost financing alternative, even when compared to 0% loans. ——— If you are having credit problems read our article, Bad Credit Car Loans and Leases. —— If you are having problems making your current car loan or lease payments, read our article, Can't Afford Your Car? ——— Also consider a Car Lease Takeover from someone who already got a great lease deal, and now wants out. Get low payments, no down payment, and even cash incentives from desperate sellers. It is currently the best way to drive a late model car at lowest possible cost.
Don't Be a "Payment Buyer" When You Lease or Buy
Dealers love "payment buyers." These are customers who only look at monthly payment amounts when they buy or lease. Unfortunately, this isn't a good way to shop, especially when you lease. You can be offered what appears to be a great deal and find out that you significantly overpaid. Read our Payment Buyer article to see some real examples and learn more.
Lease Takeover - No Money Down - Cash BackIt's possible to lease a practically new car, with no money down, for a short term (1-4 years), by simply taking over the payments from someone who wants out of their lease early. Real bargains are available since "sellers" are often desperate and offer cash incentives. We recently examined a list of lease-takeover vehicles at Swapalease and found many late model vehicles for under $200 a month! Luxury cars for less than $400! For more, read our article, Short Term Leasing.
Car Leasing and Auto Insurance
Did you know that leasing may require a higher level of insurance coverage than you are carrying now? It's true, and it catches many people off guard. But it's easily possible to reduce your rates for more coverage so that it doesn't become an added cost. This makes understanding insurance even more important than ever when leasing. See our articles, Car Insurance and Leasing and Cheap Car Insurance, for more details. ——— Even if you aren't leasing, knowing how to Find the Best Auto Insurance Company is important to getting the best rates. ——— If you are a older driver, over 50 years old, you should read Auto Insurance for Senior Drivers for some great advice and money-saving tips.
Your Credit Score Makes a BIG Difference
When you lease or buy a car, the dealer and his finance company check your credit score from one or more of the three national credit reporting companies — Equifax , Experian, and TransUnion . Your score determines what interest rate (lease money factor) you'll pay, or if you'll be approved at all. Each reporting company can have a different score for you — you need to know them all. Also get your free score online with an enrollment at CreditReport.com. Scores above 700 get you the best rates. Below about 640, you're in trouble.Your score also affects your car insurance rates (see Car Insurance and Your Credit Score), your ability to get a mortgage, or even your ability to get a job. Credit history reports are now free to most consumers in the U.S., but credit scores are not. For more details, see Credit Score - How It Affects Car Buying and Leasing.
About to Lease? Already Leased? How Good is Your Deal?
So you're about to sign or have already signed your lease contract. Did you get a good deal? What interest rate did you actually pay (you won't find it in your contract)? How much was your bank fee ( not shown in most contracts)? What does that mumbo-jumbo in your contract really mean? The Car Lease Kit contains a fully-explained lease contract form and contract checklist, and a special Lease Inspector calculator that will completely analyze all figures in your lease deal and tell you where you did well, or not so well — and whether there were mistakes in the dealer's calculations.
Is Now a Good Time to Lease?
2009-2010 was one of the worst times for car leasing ever. American car makers lost their shirts on over-extended lease deals (among other reasons) and simply shut off leasing. They are slowly coming back. However, foreign car makers took up the slack, continued to offered leases, and are now offering some of the best lease deals we've seen. For example, Honda is currently offering (at time of writing) a number of special lease deals that have extremely low money factors (almost 0%), high residual values, and heavily discount prices — and $0 down — all of which make for low monthly payments. Toyota also has outstanding deals, as well as Acura, Audi, BMW, Hyundai, Infiniti, Land Rover, Mazda, Mercedes, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Volkswagen, and Volvo. For more details, see Best Car Deals.
Used Car Leasing. Smart Move or Not?
Leasing a used car can often make good sense, especially if it's a vehicle that is relatively new and holds its resale value well. Great deals can be had on a used car lease but make sure you understand how it works. It's not quite the same as a new-car lease. See our article, Used Car Leasing, for more details. Also visit our Used Car Advisor web site to learn how not to get ripped off.
Zero $0 Down Car Leases - Really?
Yes, in fact most car leases can be structured with zero down payment, except for possibly some special promotional lease deals being offered by car manufacturers where a down payment might be required to get the special deal. But there's a difference between "zero down payment" and "zero cash due at lease signing." Learn the difference in our article, Lease a Car With No Down Payment.
High-Mileage Car Leases - Mileage Overage Fees
Is it smart to lease a car when you need more miles than the standard 15K miles per year? Maybe, but you should understand how it works, what it costs, the advantages,and the possible disadvantages. See our article, Extended Miles Car Leases. Or, if you are exceeding your mileage allowance in your current lease, you may want to read our article Over Mileage Car Lease for tips and advice on how to reduce or eliminate overage charges.
Single Payment Car Leasing — Pre-Paid Lease
Pre-pay your car lease with a single up-front payment and avoid monthly payments. How does it work and is it a smart thing to do? Do you avoid interest charges and save money? Get the answers in our article, Pre-Paid Car Leases.
Best Cars for Teenagers
In our article, Best Cars for Teens, we discuss how to select the right cars for young drivers. Which are most economical, safer, and practical? Which should be avoided? Is leasing right for teen drivers who haven't yet established credit histories? How about long-term loans? And how about auto insurance for teenage first-time drivers? We provide answers. Also look at our First Car Guide web site as well as our new article, Best First Car on this web site.
Take Over a Car Lease - Low Payments - No Down Payment
It's possible to lease a practically new car, with no money down, for a short term (1-3 years), by simply taking over the payments from someone who wants out of their lease early. Real bargains are available since "sellers" are often desperate and offer cash incentives. We recently examined a list of lease-takeover vehicles at Swapalease and found some outstanding transfer deals — many late model vehicles for under $200 a month! Luxury cars for less than $400! For more, read our article, Short Term Leasing.
Lease a Luxury Car for Less
Luxury cars have higher lease-end residual values than many other cars, making them the most-leased category of all vehicles - 70% of all luxury cars are leased. It's possible to lease a luxury car for less money than a lower priced ordinary car due to its better residual. Find out how and why in our article, Luxury Car Leasing Explained.
Looking for a Cheap Car?
We frequently get emails asking about the least expensive way to get into a car. Leasing is obviously one of the ways, but we know that leasing is not the right answer for everyone. We explain a number of other ways to find cheap cars in our article, Cheap Cars - Where to Find Them —— You might also consider other articles of interest: Public Car Autctions, Buying Repossessed Cars, Police Impound Auctions, or Buying Cars at Insurance Auctions. Also take a look at our sister web site, Cheap Cars, where you'll find more specifics and details.
What Dealers Don't Tell You About Car Prices
Dealers prefer to keep customers in the dark about how car prices work. That way, there's more opportunity to extract maximum profit. It's a fact that dealers sell the same vehicle make/model to different customers at widely different prices, depending on how well the customers understand pricing. For more, see our informative article, Dealer Car Price Secrets.
Is Your New Car a Lemon?
If your brand new car has recurring problems that your dealer can't seem to fix, you may qualify, under state lemon laws, for a new car or buy-back from the car manufacturer. However, lemon laws vary by state and qualification rules may differ. In some states, leased cars don't quality. Read this article for more details: Car Lemon Laws.
Got a GPS Navigation System for Your Car? Why Not?Those who have never used a car GPS wonder why they would ever need one. Those who have, wonder how they ever did without. Many portable GPS devices now come with voice commands, Bluetooth, 3D maps, street name announcements, wide screens, point-of-interest locators, traffic display, and rerouting functions. Most portable GPS devices have more function than the expensive built-in navigation systems in new cars. Read this article about GPS Navigation Systems and decide if you can do without one or not. Bet you can't.
Free Cars. Get Paid to Drive. Really?
Yes — and no. Of course, nothing is really free, but there are advertising companies who will pay you to drive your own car, or provide you a free car to drive. Real people are participating in these real programs. What's the catch? Read our article, Free Cars - Fact or Fiction?, to learn more.
Growing Family? Need a Minivan? Which Minivan is Best?
One minivan stands out above all others, and it's been that way for a decade or more. Because it's so popular, its resale/trade value is one of the highest in the industry — which makes it the best minivan to lease, if you are thinking about leasing this type of vehicle. Which minivan are we talking about? Read our article, Best Minivan, to find out.
Buy Used Car
Leasing is not always the right answer for people who are looking for an affordable car. Often, a good used car is the best choice. However, buying a used car can be more difficult and problematic. Which cars make the best choices? What to pay? Where are the used car deals? How to avoid problems? For answers see our article, How to Buy a Used Car and vist our web site Used Car Advisor.