If shopping for a car has taught us anything, it's one thing:
It's no wonder why so many people have turned to leasing in the past decade. In New England, specifically Greater Boston, an estimated 35% of car buyers leased their cars in 2015. The reason why so many have switched grown so attracted to leasing? I think it's pretty obvious.
Let's mention a few things...
The toughest part about car shopping is finding:
the car that you want,
in the color you want,
under the mileage that you want,
within the budget you set.
Hours upon hours of scrolling, clicking, backspacing, scrolling, clicking.
You get my point.
Finally you find the car. You make an online appointment to see it, even offering to leave a deposit on the thing.
You get to the dealership, and guess what...
"we JUST sold that one!".
I know the feeling. Believe me I do.
The stars and the moon have to align for a car that you actually even like to pop up, and when it does, and after dealing with this scenario a couple times, what's to stop you from assuming it's probably sold already?
Leasing is not the solution to this problem! There's a reason why you were looking at used or certified cars to begin with!
If you are someone that:
- doesn't like feeling obligated to a contract,
- doesn't drive less than 12,000-15,000 miles per year,
- doesn't keep their car flawless,
- doesn't need the newest or fanciest luxury car,
- or just generally wants to play it safe,
LEASING IS NOT FOR YOU.
Obviously a low lease payment implies the car will be well kept, and driven within a certain mileage range.
The fees associated with leasing if you do not tend to maintain the aforementioned:
- Excess wear and use charges,
- Excess mileage charges (usually 20-25 cents/mile),
- Excise tax on the full value of the vehicle when bought new (not the negotiated selling price),
- Typically a 3 year commitment with costly buyouts as well as transfer fees.
The solution? ...... Certified.
It may not be the most desirable solution, but in terms of practicality and value, Certified is a huge problem solver.
A lot of people make the mistake of leasing a car for a very low payment thinking that it would be a good idea to buy it off lease after.
The reason behind your low payment? An artificially inflated market value that stays to haunt you if at lease end you decide you absolutely need to buy this car.
When you get the option to buy at the end, you will see similar cars selling for the same, if not slighty lower price as yours, except for one tiny little key feature:
A manufacturer backing up their car for an additional 2 years and 25,000-50,000 miles, in my opinion, is the selling point in and of itself.
So for example, if you've got your eyes on that Lexus RX350, or the Mercedes-Benz C300, and the dealership in Boston has a year old Certified Pre-Owned one going for $10,000 less than a brand new one, with only about 20,000 miles, it pretty much guaranteed to save you thousands of dollars over the course of 5 years as opposed to buying a heavily discounted C300 outright.
Or even worse, LEASING it.
New anything doesn't necessarily mean better. Doesn't matter if it's a Toyota or a Honda. The only thing guaranteed is that smell that comes with the new one, (I love that damn smell), and the fact that no one has driven it yet.
Let me ask you this: What is the difference of a new car vs. the certified one about 5000 miles in? Nothing. They have both been used!
Buying a brand new Mercedes-Benz or any other luxury car at this point is irresponsible anyway.
Theres a reason why 50-60% of the "rich" folk like to lease these cars. Who the heck wants to be stuck in that car once its done its warranty?
As far as the cars like the Camry and Accord under $30,000?
Have you ever noticed, the ones that come fully loaded are always the ones that you try to make fit into your budget when you are buying new?
and when they don't make sense?
Yup, (shaking my head), you ended up leasing it.
It's a problem. It's an escape route from the madness of car shopping. It's a lack of patience. It's a lack of time.
It's a lack of negotiating skills.
You know you shouldn't have leased it.
Don't let how easy it is fool you, if you are not meant for leasing, do not lease it.
In the long run, even a lot of newer cars work out to be cheaper if you buy instead of lease, IF you expect your mileage and excess wear to well exceed the allowable L I M I T S.
Long story short,
If a new car is getting way more expensive to buy than you intended, and the limitations of a lease are realistically not meeting your demands, don't even think twice.
Click "Certified" on the search filters, find a color you like, and buy the thing before someone else snags it up.
A payment quote of $50 less a month on a lease does not translate into money saved later on.