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8 Biggest Disadvantages to Leasing a Car
Let's take a look at some of the major pitfalls.
1. Expensive in the Long RunWhen you lease, you're basically paying for the use of the vehicle for the first 2 or 3 years of its life - when the car depreciates the most. When your lease is over, you either have to lease another car or purchase one - either way you're going to have monthly payments for a long time, whereas if you purchased a car to begin with, you would essentially drive it payment-free after you've paid off the loans.
2. Limited MileageMost leases have driving limits of between 10,000 and 15,000 miles per year. Anything over this amount will be penalized at a very high rate.
3. High Insurance CostMany people are surprised to learn that insuring a leased car can be way more expensive than they thought. Most leasing companies require you to get a higher level of insurance coverage on the vehicle - usually up to $300,000 in liability coverage. This can make your insurance payments a lot higher than if you had purchased a car instead.
4. ConfusingDealers love leasing because most people don't understand how it works. There are many ways dealers can pad their profits when you lease a car. Unless you're extremely careful and thorough, you could end up paying a lot more than you should.
5. Hard to CancelLeasing is like signing a rental agreement. You can't just walk away from it - there are stiff penalties if you do. If you purchased a vehicle instead, you could always sell it if you don't want it anymore. With a lease, it's practically impossible to terminate, although there are some options available.
6. Requires Good CreditIf you have bad credit, don't even think about leasing. Overall financing costs during a lease are always higher than a loan because you never pay off any principal. Besides, most leasing companies require you to have a decent level of credit and a stable financial situation.
7. Lots of FeesThere are many fees associated with leasing that you won't find anywhere else. In order to lease, you'll need to pay an acquisition fee of at least $400, and a disposition fee of at least $200 at the end of the lease. In addition, there are an assortment of excessive "wear and tear" fees that you could be liable for when you turn in the vehicle. Leasing companies are notorious for charging high fees for small dings and scratches - so you need to be extra careful taking care of the vehicle as you drive.
8. No CustomizationsIf you like customizing your vehicle, forget about it. At the end of a lease, you need to return the vehicle in the same condition and configuration as you received it. This means no engine modifications, paint, or accessories such as spoilers.
3 Steps Every Car Buyer Needs to Take to Save Maximum MoneyThe key to getting the best deal is to gather price or lease bids from as many local dealers as possible. Then shop that best price around until no one can beat it. Here are the steps:
Step 1 Get Prices From My Trusted NetworkSelect the vehicle you're interested in to see if there are local dealers in my network who will provide you with their best upfront price. You will get direct access to an internet sales manager who you can further negotiate with online (no need to visit dealership).
Select Vehicle to Get Local Pricing
Step 2 Get Prices From TrueCar / CarsDirectTrueCar, and CarsDirect are my top 2 online price quote recommendations. These services show you pre-negotiated prices from dealers closest to you - and the deals are usually pretty decent. But remember, you can still negotiate further.
Step 3 Complete my ChecklistFollow this up with my checklist to make sure you squeeze out every last bit of savings.
- Gregg Fidan
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