Too often when it comes to auto-leasing, people get so dazzled by the
myriad terms and the jargon thrown their way that they end-up paying
through the nose, relying on a dealer’s “help” than their own informed
Here is a look at some of the tricks dealers use to pad their profits and
leave the customers shelling hundreds of dollars more than the deal should
Trick 1: Leasing always a better deal than buying
Dealers use the lure of lower-monthly payments to entice customers to sign
for long-term loans, with terms stretching for five years or more, making
the payments even lower. There are two catches with such lengthy contracts:
higher mileage, exceeding the prescribed limit, and hefty repair costs.
leases charging on average 10 to 20 cents a mile for any extra mile over
the agreed amount in the contract, and warranties only covering three
years, you leave yourself wide open for hefty charges for excessive
mileage and wear and tear.
Trick 2: Cheap 2-3% APR rate on your lease
The dealer is not quoting the interest rate you would be paying on your
lease; he’s rather giving you the lease money factor. Whilst similar to an
interest rate and important in determining your monthly payment, a more
accurate rate is calculated by multiplying the money factor by 24. For
example a “cheap” 3% money factor is 24 X 0.003 = 7.2%. This gives you a
better sense of what your annual interest rate on your lease contract is.
Trick 3: Stress-free early lease termination
Dealers know consumer driving needs change and they would like to have the
option of getting out of a lease commitment sometime down the road, before
their lease ends. Truth of the matter is, when you sign for a lease, you
are effectively saddled with monthly payments for the remainder of the
lease term and there is little-choice of getting out early. Lease contracts
carry hefty financial penalties for either defaulting on monthly payments
or terminating the lease earlier than the scheduled term.
To avoid being on the receiving end of such tried-and-true tricks, educate
yourself about leasing. Get down to the nitty-gritty and understand what
the leasing terms used by dealers mean. Crunch the numbers along with him
and understand how they arrived at the monthly payment figure. Don’t sign
anything until you’ve understood all the terms and your numbers much those
of the dealer. Do not let the dealer pressure you into signing; you are the
one to determine whether the agreement is right for you.