This Guide also contains a list of questions to use when negotiating with the dealer to ensure that you don't neglect to ask about any charges or lease terms that might enter into your analysis. There are two types of lease arrangements: closed-end "walk-away" and open-end finance. Here's how they work:. When a closed-end lease is up, you bring the car back to the dealership and "walk away. Since the dealer, and not you, is bearing the risk that the value of the car at the end of the lease will go down, your monthly payment is generally higher than with an open-end lease.
With an open-end lease, you bear the risk that the car will have a certain value, called the estimated residual value, at the end of the lease.
In this case, the monthly payment is lower. When you return the car at the end of the lease, the dealer will have the car appraised. If the car's appraised value is equal to the estimated residual value in the agreement, you won't need to pay anything at the end of the lease term.
Under some contracts, you can even receive a refund if the appraised value is greater than the residual. If the appraised value is less than the residual value, however, you may have to pay all or part of the difference.
Tip: If you disagree with the value arrived at by the appraiser, you may choose to have an independent appraisal made at your own expense, and then try to negotiate an agreement with the dealer as to the residual value. Try calling other dealerships to find an independent appraiser or a vehicle appraisal service. The amount of money that a dealer can collect at the end of the lease period is regulated under the federal Consumer Leasing Act CLA.
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The CLA states dealers cannot collect more than three times the average monthly payment, except as follows: The vehicle has unreasonable wear and tear or the mileage is greater than that specified in the lease You agreed to pay an amount greater than specified in the original contract The lessor wins a lawsuit in which they asked for a greater amount The dealer also has the option of selling the car at the end of the lease term.
If the car is sold for less than the residual value stated in your leasing contract, you could be obligated to pay as much as three monthly payments to make up the difference. Tip: Although dealers will generally not risk the goodwill of their customers and sell leased cars for less than the residual value just to move the car quickly, during the negotiations phase you may want to include the right to approve the final sales price of the leased vehicle as part of your lease agreement. The first step in deciding whether to lease or buy is to find out what your initial upfront expenses are.
This figure is part of the total dollar amount that you will use to compare with the cost of buying with leasing a vehicle. Initial costs are the down payment you must come up with when you lease a car and include the security deposit, first and last lease payments, capitalized cost reductions, sales taxes, title fees, license fees, and insurance. With a lease, the initial costs usually total less than the down payment typically needed to buy a car.
Further, all initial costs are subject to negotiation during the bargaining period with the dealer. As mentioned previously, the federal CLA requires the lessor to disclose all up-front, ongoing, and final costs in a standard, easy-to-read format. Security deposit. The lessor is allowed to keep the security deposit if you owe money at the end of your lease or if you missed a monthly payment. The security deposit can also be used by the dealer to cover any damage to the car or mileage that is in excess of the limit specified in the lease.
If you do not owe any money on the lease at the end of the term, your security deposit is returned to you. First and last lease payments.
The first and last months' payments are usually required to be put down at the beginning of the lease agreement. Under some agreements, the last payment might be waived if you have a good credit rating--so be sure to ask about this. Capitalized cost reduction. This is similar to a down payment.
The dealer may ask you to put a certain amount of money down before leasing. The amount of the capitalized cost reduction varies with the business custom prevalent in that specific geographic area and the credit rating of the customer. The larger the down payment, the smaller the monthly payment under the lease typically is. However, most people who want to lease instead of buy don't want to put down a large down payment, and the lack of a down payment is one of the major advantages of leasing.
Sales tax, title fees, and license fees. The CLA requires the dealer to disclose sales tax, title and license fees in writing. It also requires the dealer to tell you what type of insurance coverage is required.
In addition, some states apply a "use" tax, which is similar to a sales tax, but is added to each monthly payment. Next, you must determine what the ongoing costs of leasing are. Typically, these include monthly payments, and repairs and maintenance. Similar to a loan, the monthly lease payment is dependent on the term of the lease, the initial "purchase price" of the vehicle and the implicit interest rate.
Unlike a loan, another important factor is the "lease-end" or "residual" value. This is the expected value at the end of the lease term. In a lease situation you are, in effect, paying for the difference between the initial purchase price and the residual value. You should negotiate the best possible lowest purchase price.
This will lower your cost of leasing the vehicle. If this is a closed-end lease and you do not intend to purchase the car at the end of the lease term, you should also try to negotiate a higher residual value.
You would never pay this sticker price to purchase a car for cash, and you should not do so in a lease situation. First, negotiate the lowest possible price on the vehicle, and then negotiate the lease terms. Tip: In some cases professional guidance might be helpful in comparing the continuing costs of buying. Planning Aid: For additional information on buying and leasing a car, including insider tips and new car information, please see The National Vehicle Leasing Association and Edmunds.
The CLA requires dealers to disclose the total number of payments, the amount of each payment, the total amount of all payments, and the due date or schedule of payments. There is usually a penalty for late payment, which the lessor must disclose to you as well. Tip: The expenses of operating your vehicle should also be taken into account. As part of your negotiations, try to make the repair and maintenance one of the terms of your lease.
Note: Even if you have to pay for repair and scheduled maintenance, you usually have to observe the manufacturer's scheduled maintenance in order not to jeopardize warranty coverage. The lease may contain a "budget maintenance" provision, authorizing the dealer to collect a set amount from you each month for maintenance. If maintenance expenses are incurred, the dealer deducts them from your maintenance account.
At the end of the lease, you'll either have to make up the difference or, you'll get a refund if you've deposited more than was used. If you would like extended warranty coverage, some dealers offer it at extra cost. Tip: Lease agreements often require that a minimum level of insurance be maintained on the vehicle. You should consider whether your continuing insurance costs are higher on a lease than on an outright purchase. Also, watch out for lease provisions where the lessor will purchase the insurance and bill you for the amount.
This can be more costly than if you arrange the insurance yourself. Excess mileage charges. Mileage limitations usually occur with a closed-end lease. If you have gone over the allowable mileage at the end of your lease, you will have to pay a fee. With an open-end lease, although there is no penalty, if you exceed the mileage limit the appraised value at the end of the lease term will usually be lower. Learn why you should lease a brand new Toyota with Toyota of Smithfield.
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