How to Lease a Car with the Option to Buy

Leasing a car is a short-term alternative to entering into a lengthy and expensive car loan. Leasing agreements include purchase options that allow the driver to buy the vehicle at the end of the lease period. Here are some guidelines on how to lease a car with the option to buy.


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    Determine your needs.
    • Decide if leasing a car is the right choice for you by examining your driving habits and what you want out of a car. Leasing a car might not be right for you if you want a car for the long term or if you drive an excessive number of miles for work or family obligations.
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    Calculate your mileage.
    • Determine if you should lease a car by calculating the average number of miles you drive in a year. Factor in your daily commute to work, how much you drive on weekends and whether you tend drive instead of fly on annual vacations. Leases have mileage restrictions so, if this number is high, you may want to purchase a car.
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    Estimate what you can spend.
    • Calculate the amount you can afford for a monthly lease payment. Lease payments tend to be lower than car loan payments, so leasing a vehicle could be more economical.
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    Contact a dealer.
    • Discuss your leasing options with a reputable automobile dealer that leases the kind of vehicle you want. Learn about fees for going over your mileage and whether the lease will include an early payoff option.
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    Assess the vehicle's market value.
    • Use an automobile evaluation resource to determine the market value of the vehicle you want to lease. Kelly Blue Book can help you calculate the market value. Consumer Reports can give you information about market trends. You will be charged a portion of this value, known as the residual value, plus a purchase option fee if you opt to buy your vehicle at the end of your lease.
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    Learn about buyout options.
    • Learn what your purchase options will be at the end of your lease. There could be fees assessed by some dealers but not by others, so be sure to explore the option of buying out your lease as structured by each dealership.
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    Wait for the leasing company to contact you.
    • The company holding your lease will usually be less likely to negotiate if they know you intend to purchase your leased vehicle. Wait for them to contact you toward the end of your lease. They will offer to extend the option for you to buy out the lease and will be more willing to negotiate the overall price.

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Categories: Cars & Other Vehicles