When you’re looking over the latest leasing deals you’re probably really impressed by the various discounts and low starting rates on offer. However, there are some pitfalls that you need to be aware of before you sign anything, as not all leasing offers are the same. While leasing is a brilliant option if you want to avoid the expense of buying a car outright, then worrying about depreciation and warranties, you should be aware of a few different issues that you may face.
Here are the five most common mistakes that people can make when leasing
Monthly payments that seem too good to be true
These low payments are true – that’s what you’ll pay each month, but only if you part with a hefty down payment; a down-payment that you won’t get back. Paying six, nine or twelve months’ worth of payments in one go will reduce the ongoing payments, but you’ll need to have that cash ready and waiting. Aim to pay no more than three or six months’ deposit unless you really want the car and you have the money upfront.
Watch out for strange lease lengths
Most car lease terms are for two or three years – 24-36 months, although you’ll find some companies that offer four or even five-year contracts, which is a great way to get the best deals, as the length of the lease reduces the monthly rates. What you need to look out for, though, is terms of 40 months or other strange numbers (not multiples of 12). This odd term could mean that the car’s warranty is only good for 36 months and that it runs out in the final four months, leaving you vulnerable.
Make sure you know which car the quote is for
While you’re shopping around for quotes, your head can feel like a bowl of alphabet soup – TDI this, V8 that…it’s easy to get confused. When you get your quotes, make sure they’re written and that you have the right model. Verbal quotes mean zilch if you’re already confused.
Look out for deals for particular brokers
Some brokers can supply special deals not available across the market, so it is worth shopping around before you commit your signature on the leasing agreement.
There’s no such thing as an unlimited mileage deal
The resale value of the car (what the lease company can sell it for when your term is up) is calculated by its age and its mileage. Those miles count, and while the allowance might be high, it won’t go to infinity; it’ll be in there somewhere so look out for it and make sure that it really is more than you’ll manage.
Don’t lease from anyone who isn’t a member of the BVRLA
The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association has a strict code of conduct and members are monitored and checked to make sure they’re complying with it. As the lease market is hotly competitive, you’ll have some unscrupulous companies throwing offers at you just to get you to sign up to a deal that might not be suitable for you. If you’re unhappy with your deal and the company is a BVRLA member, you’ve got someone to go to for help.