Leasing a car definitely has its advantages – but it is not without disadvantages and risks either. In fact if you aren’t careful you may end up on the hook and having to pay much more than expected.
To ensure that you don’t end up in that situation, there are five important mistakes that you need to avoid when you lease a car:
- Taking on a long term lease
Part of the reason why leasing is appealing is that it is cheaper in general. However that benefit varies depending on the term of the lease – and won’t hold true if the lease term is too long.
The longer your lease is, the less that you will end up saving over time. In fact if you’re thinking about a really long term lease that is over 5 years, it may end up being more cost-effective buying a car.
- Making unauthorized repairs or modifications
Because you don’t own your car, you need to be careful of any changes that you make to it: Including repairs and modifications. The leasing company may charge you if you make unauthorized repairs or modifications to the car.
Most leasing companies will require that you keep the car maintained, but will have certain conditions on the repairs that can be done and will require that you disclose them. On top of that any other modifications will normally be prohibited.
- Underestimating the mileage
Leasing contracts will have a maximum mileage limitation that is normally somewhere between 10,000 to 15,000 miles per year. If you underestimate the mileage that you require from your car you could easily exceed that – and would have to pay a hefty fee.
Try to avoid being taken in by the low monthly cost of some car leases and pay close attention to the mileage that they provide. It is best if you overestimate the mileage that you require, rather than underestimating it.
- Agreeing to a large down payment
Although you may have to come up with a down payment to secure your car lease, you should be careful that it isn’t too large. If it is you may end up losing out if something unforeseen happens – such as theft or a bad accident, in which case you probably won’t be reimbursed.
It should be noted that there are benefits to down payments too. In short you shouldn’t try to completely avoid down payments, but should just make sure they aren’t too large.
- Not shopping around
Nowadays there are many different companies and services that offer car leases – so you should make it a point to shop around. The more than you do, the better the deal that you will probably be able to find.
While you shop around you should be sure to look at all the important details of the deals that are available. For example when you check out Ford F-150 lease deals and specials you should look at the monthly payments, mileage limitations, and any other fees or restrictions that may be present.
If you are able to avoid all of these mistakes, you should be able to ensure that you don’t end up with an unexpectedly large bill when you eventually turn in the lease. As you can see most of the mistakes are easy enough to avoid – especially now that you know what you need to be looking out for.
Ideally you should prepare in advance before you start to look for a car lease. That way you will find it much easier to locate a good deal that lets you benefit from leasing without exposing yourself to additional risks.