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What I Need to Know About Leasing a Car

Are you in the market for a new car and looking for the best deal?  You’ve probably already narrowed it down to the model, color, and dealership.  Now it’s time to make another big decision:  lease or own.  No matter what car you decide on, we are here for all of your car service and repair needs at Bumpers Etc. Auto Body & Collision, located in Akron, PA.

The thought of getting a brand-new car with all of the latest technology bells and whistles every couple of years sounds very appealing to most people.  Getting such vehicles at an affordable monthly rate may seem too good to be true.  If you carefully do your research and learn the ins and outs of how a lease works versus purchasing a new vehicle, you may be able to find a deal you just cannot resist!

In order to help you decide if leasing or purchasing a vehicle is best for you, let’s quickly discuss the difference between the two.  When buying a new car, you are responsible for paying the full price of the vehicle.  This can be done by paying cash, getting a car loan or using the proceeds of a trade-in from your old vehicle (or a combination of all three options).  On the other hand, when you lease a vehicle, you are held accountable for paying the difference between the car’s price and the expected value at the end of the lease (also referred to as the “residual value”), in addition to interest and fees.

Now that you know the difference between purchasing and leasing a new vehicle, let’s talk about the pros and cons of each option.  Based on the cost breakdown above, it is clear to see that leasing a vehicle results in lower monthly car payments.  This can be seen as a clear positive aspect of leasing.  However, when leasing a vehicle from a dealership, it is important to remember that they own the title to the vehicle and you have no ownership rights.  Mileage regulations and maintenance expectations of the dealership for the leased vehicle should be considered (as they often can be looked at as a negative when it comes to leasing a vehicle).

Many dealerships do not let you go over the pre-determined mileage or break a lease early (typically, most leases are for two or three years) without hefty penalties (meaning more money out of your pocket, in addition to your monthly car payment).  This is a major difference and downfall between leasing and purchasing:  you can decide to sell your car at any time or put on as many miles as you like when you purchase a vehicle.  Dealerships also have very strict rules on what the condition of the vehicle is when it is returned after the lease is up.  If any aspect of the car has visible damage or is deemed as having “excessive wear and tear,” it is up to you to foot that bill.

This is where we come in!  Here at Bumpers Etc. Auto Body & Collision in Lancaster County, PA, we can take care of all of your auto cosmetic needs before you return your leased vehicle to the dealership, we can help you in making the most cost effective decision giving you options on how to proceed forward  vs. allowing the dealership to take control therefore possibly having unnecessary repair costs that were not needed.  Be sure to read more about our Lease Repair Inspection Services on our website.

Finally, if you are heavily considering leasing a car, there are a number of items you should have on your checklist before making such a big decision:

  • Make an informed budget (and allocate for unexpected penalty fees for going over mileage, breaking a lease early, car maintenance, etc.).
  • Know your current vehicle’s trade-in value (this can go towards your residual value, resulting in lower monthly car payments).
  • Consider how many miles you typically drive in a month and multiply that by 24 or 36 months to see if the car’s mileage stipulation it is realistic or not.
  • Educate yourself on leasing vehicles and work to negotiate and compare leases with the dealership.
  • Be aware of all fees and taxes associated with the lease.
  • Get gap insurance (also referred to as “guaranteed asset protection”) to ensure that your financial responsibility to the leasing company is satisfied if you were to total or your leased car was stolen. Click here to talk to a car insurance company we highly recommend, also located in Lancaster PA.

Whether you decide to drive off the lot in a brand-new car and own it for years to come, or you would rather leave with the latest and greatest car every few years, Bumpers Etc. in Akron, PA is here for you and all of your car service needs.  From auto collision services, bumper repair, car detailing and painting repair, we are a family-owned and operated auto body shop that you can count on.  Visit us in Lancaster County, PA for all of your auto repair needs!