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Sofer profesionist, transfer personae de la aeroport Budapesta – Baia Mare
To lease, you have two possible choices: either lease through a dealer’s
finance source or through an independent lease company.
A conventional dealer has a captive finance source, which can be the car
manufacturer’s financial company, such as BMW Financial Services, Honda
Motor Credit or General Motors Acceptance Corporation (GMAC), or a major
national bank such as Chase Manhattan.
Independent lease companies are no financial obligation to any single
one manufacturer financing source, but work with dealers anywhere in the
So which one is better?
Conventional dealers provide better lease-deals on limited-time promotions.
Factory-subsidized cars that have subvented money factors and residuals are
very attractive lease deals and can be very hard to beat anywhere else.
Independent lease companies can offer you unbiased and professional advice
on vehicle selection regardless of make and model. This is because they are
not tied to a single manufacturer or financing source, unlike conventional
dealers who have to sell specific models. They can also be more flexible
regarding negotiating lease terms like residual value and mileage.
Ultimately, if you prefer a more personal and customer-oriented
relationship with your leasing agent, then you will do well with an
independent leasing company.
Leasing has been lauded as your cheapest ticket to keep up with the
industry’s hottest vehicles and trends. The jury, however, is still out
on leasing: with the industry long on hype and short on detail, it is
difficult to distinguish between a genuinely good deal and a downright
So how do you spot a good deal?
First, you need to find out if there are any down payments on the lease. A
down payment refers to the lump sum amount that you pay upfront, either in
cash, non-cash credit or trading allowance, to reduce your monthly payment.
You should think twice before putting money down on a lease: not only are
you getting a rough deal, as you’re essentially forfeiting the general rule
of leasing: not putting any cash upfront, but the money is not recoupable
at the end of your lease. There is another big disadvantage: in the event
of your car getting damaged or stolen, you insurance and the gap cost will
not cover the loss.
Most leasing companies allow you a limit of 45,000 free miles over the
length of a 3-year lease. This may seem like a good deal at first sight,
but when you consider it only comes to 15,000 miles over a 12 month period
it’s not difficult to foresee why it might be difficult to stay within this
limit. Even people working from home have little trouble putting 15,000
miles on their cars.
If you exceed the mileage limit, the penalty for each excess mile can be as
high as 20 cents. This can add up quickly over the length of your lease: an
additional 4,000 miles a year over the length of a 3-years lease contract,
will end up costing you an extra $2,400 in excess mileage charges!
Be realistic about your mileage needs, especially if you have to regularly
commute over long-distances, before you sign the contract. Consider padding
the miles that you expect to use since it is less expensive to contract for
the extra before you sign than it is to pay the extra charges at end of
Sales tax is usually capitalized and added to the monthly payments.
However, some dealers choose not to include it in their calculations to
drive the advertised lease payments even lower. What they do instead is
state in the small print that the monthly payment excludes “sales tax”.
Make sure you carefully read the fine print for any extra, hidden costs not
included in the advertised monthly payment. Unscrupulous fees that
typically slip through the cracks include sales tax, registration and title
Whether you lease a car to get into the latest models or have better purchasing
flexibility, getting a good deal is always bound to give you a lift. Use
these guidelines to help you spot one:
Check incentives: be on the look-out for factory –subsidized lease deals.
Car manufacturers realise that consumers who lease vehicles from them are
more likely to be repeat customers than those who simply purchase vehicles.
Through their leasing companies, they adjust the residual value and offer
low financing charge. Other auto-manufacturers are also starting to give
incentives on leasing, called leasing subventions. They offer these
subsidies to put slow-selling models on the street, saving you even more
Set up a competitive: bidding environment to get the lowest price. If you
already have an idea in mind of the make, model and trim level of your
desired car, attempt to calculate your own lease payment before you go
shopping to avoid paying through the roof. Check online comparison tools or
use a lease calculator to check your lease payment based on purchase price.
This gives you greater negotiation leverage as you solicit quotes from
various leasing companies.
Make sure you know all the fees involved at the beginning of your lease:
you may have to pay fees for licenses, registration and title. Other fees
include acquisition fees, freight fees and local or state taxes. At
lease-end, you may have to pay a disposition fee and charges for extra
mileage and any excess wear. Be aware that some of these fees – like
acquisition and disposition fees – are negotiable.
Know your mileage needs: almost all leases limit the number of miles per
year by imposing typically 10 to 20 cents per excess mile over 15,000 miles
a year. If you are the kind of high-commuter who puts 40,000 miles a year
on his car, then you might end up running thousands of dollars in hefty
penalties at the end of your lease. Be smart and negotiate a higher-mileage
limit or pad you excess miles at the beginning of your lease to avoid
robber tax rates for excess miles.
Almost all leases limit the number of miles per year by imposing fees
typically 10 to 20 cents per mile over 15,000 miles per year. If you are
the kind of high-commuter who puts a lot miles on his car, then these costs
can add up quickly. Negotiate
Include GAP coverage: make sure your lease includes GAP coverage. This
covers you in the event of the vehicle getting wrecked, stolen or totalled.
Without GAP insurance, you leave yourself wide open to thousands of dollars
in leased obligations. Check if the GAP coverage is included so you don’t
pay it twice.
When your lease is up, you can simply turn in the keys and lease another
car or buy a new one. But how about getting out before the lease ends?
Maybe you can’t afford the sky-high payments on that silky Jaguar JX V6
model anymore or you’ve just had a baby and you need a larger and more
Unfortunately getting out of a lease is not as easy as getting in! A
leasing contract is difficult and expensive to terminate early. Simply
turning in the keys and walking away from a lease can result in stiff
penalties. You credit could be ruined and you could even get sued for
breach of contract.
It’s not all doom and gloom though. Actually, there is a number of
options available to you.
You can sell the car yourself and pay off the bank. This can be cost
effective if the market value of the car is close to the buy-out number.
Do not hesitate to exercise this option even at a loss if it happens to be
lower than the termination fee.
Your best option, though, is to transfer your lease for someone who would
“assume it” and take it off your hands. There is a whole set of potential
buyers looking for short-term leases without all the hassle and extra
costs. Check with family and friends or use the services of lease-
assumption websites, like swapalease.com, to list your car. Make sure you
check the credit worthiness of the new lessee and provide the car in good
Understanding how to calculate your monthly lease payment makes it easier
for you to make an informed decision. Yet, most of us shy away from the
“complicated” math on our lease contract, leaving it up to the dealer to
do the payment formula.
Actually, it’s not that difficult! Once you understand all the figures
involved in calculating your monthly payments, everything else falls into
place. These key figures are:
MSRP (short for Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price): This is the list
price of the vehicle or the window sticker price.
Money Factor: This determines the interest rate on your lease. Insist on
your dealer to disclose this rate before entering into a lease.
Lease Term: The number of months the dealer rents the vehicle.
Residual Value: The value of the vehicle at the end of the lease. Again,
you can get this figure from the dealer.
Now, let us calculate a sample lease payment based on a vehicle with an
MSRP (sticker price) value of $25,000 and a money factor of 0.0034 (this is
usually quoted as 3.4%). The scheduled-lease is over 3 years and the
estimated residual percentage is 55%.
The first step is to calculate the residual value of the car. You multiply
the MSRP by the residual percentage:
$20,000 X .55 = $11,000.
The car will be worth $13,750 at the end of the lease, so you’ll be using:
$20,000 – $11,000 = $9,000
This amount of $9,000 will be used over a 36 month lease period giving us a
monthly payment of:
$9,000 / 36 = $250.
This is the first part of the monthly payment, called the monthly
The second part of the monthly payment, called the money factor payment,
factors the interest charge. It is calculated by adding the MSRP figure to
the residual value and multiplying this by the money factor:
($20,000 + $11,000) * 0.0034 = $105.4
Finally, we get the approximate monthly payment by adding the two figures
$250 + $105.4 = $355.4
To recapitulate, the sample formula looks like this:
1- Monthly Depreciation Charge:
MSRP X Depreciation Percentage = Residual Value
MSRP – Residual Value = Depreciation over lease term
Depreciation over lease term / lease term (number of months in the lease) =
monthly depreciation charge
2- Monthly factor money charge
(MSRP + Residual value) X Money factor = money factor payment
3- Sample Monthly Payment:
depreciation charge + money factor payment = monthly payment
Keep in mind that this is a simplified calculation that does not take into
account taxes, fees, rebates or any other incentives. The calculation gives
you a ballpark figure or a rough idea of what your lease payments for the
vehicle in question should be.
$250 to dispose of your vehicle, $1000 for extra miles you put on the clock
and $200 to replace the light bulb and the worn tyres—lease agents
constantly nickel-and-dime consumers when their lease runs out.
Here’s a rundown of what can trigger those fees, and some steps to take in
Disposition fee: leasing companies charge you if you choose not to buy the
vehicle at the end of your lease. This fee is set as compensation for the
expenses of selling, or otherwise disposing of the vehicle. It typically
includes administrative charges; the dealer’s cost to prepare the car for
resale and any other penalties. Make sure this fee is stated clearly in the
contract and is agreeable by you before signing on the dotted line. At
lease-end, you are left in no position to negotiate as the dealer can apply
your refundable security deposit towards this fee.
Excess mileage charges: Almost all leasing companies will charge a premium
for each mile over the agreed upon mileage stated in your contract. This
penalty can be as high as 25 cents per mile and can add up quickly. To
avoid the risk of running thousands of dollars in excess mileage penalties
at the end of your lease, always check the “per mile” charges in your
contract and be realistic about your mileage before you sign any contract.
If you think the limit is unrealistic given your commutation needs, then
negotiate with the dealer to get a higher mileage or contract for
Excess tear-and-wear charges: Another potential cost at the end of the
lease is any incidental damage done to the car during the lease. This is
deemed any excessive damage done to the normal tear and wear of the vehicle.
Notice the use of the terms “deemed”, “excessive” and “normal”. There is no
standard formula to define what’s “excessive” and “normal” and it’s up to
the leasing company to assess – or deem – the damage and determine what
they are going to charge. This leaves you at the mercy of unscrupulous
leasing agents who set stringent tear-and-wear standards. Make sure you
read the description of these standards, understand them and agree to them.
If your leased vehicle is damaged prior to the end of the lease, you may
find it cheaper to repair the damage yourself than pay the excessive charges
of the leasing agent. In the event of a dispute over the charges at the end
of your lease, get an independent third party to do a professional appraisal
detailing the amount required to repair any damaged parts or the amount by
which tear-and-wear reduces the value of the vehicle.
Hybrid vehicles’ popularity has sharply grown from a couple of thousands
in early 2000 to close to 300, 000 by the end of 2005. The trend is
rapidly catching with the auto-leasing industry with generous tax credits
and incentives on offer if you go green.
Beginning in 2006, businesses and taxpayers who lease, or purchase, an
environmentally-friendly and fuel-efficient vehicle will be eligible to
claim federal income tax credits worth thousands of dollars. Individual
states also offer generous incentives, including hybrid state tax credits,
new High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes access and discounted thruway tolls
for alternative-fuelled vehicles.
And that’s not all you can save from going green! You can now save on your
parking fees at a number of universities and some auto-insurance companies
are offering insurance discounts for hybrid-vehicle owners nationwide.
If you want to take advantage of these incentives and contribute to energy
conservation then visit HybridCenter.org and complete a personal profile
about your driving needs and habits. You will get in-depth advice on hybrid
models that would make economic sense to you and local, state and federal
incentives available where you live.
Mention auto-leasing and most people will automatically assume a low-
monthly payment. There is actually more than what meets the eye, and a
number of fees are involved at various stages of the lease process.
At the beginning of the lease, you have to pay a refundable security
deposit, typically equivalent to one monthly payment, to safeguard against
non-payment and any incidental damage done to the car at the end of the
lease. You are also required to pay an administrative charge, called
acquisition fee. Other fees include licenses, registration, title and any
state or local taxes.
During your lease, and you expected to honour your monthly payment
obligations. Any failure to do so will result in late-payment charges.
You have to pay any traffic tickets, emission and safety inspections and
ongoing maintenance costs. Ending your lease early will result in
substantial early termination charges.
At the end of the lease, expect to pay any excess mileage costs, charged
at 10 to 20 p a mile. Any incidental damage done to the car, and deemed to
be above normal, will result in excess tear-and-wear charges. Finally, if
you choose not to purchase the vehicle, then you have to pay a disposition
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.