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Car Leasing Basics: 5 Costly Mistakes You Have to Avoid Making

Leasing a car is becoming a popular alternative to buying a vehicle. With this option, you can drive a model that you really like, even the latest one. Your monthly payments would be lower as well.

Additionally, when you choose the right provider, with a long-term car lease, you can change vehicles whenever you want to without any worries about offloading your current one.

There are other benefits that you can gain when you choose to lease a car. However, you can only experience them when you go about the whole vehicle rental process correctly.

You can ensure you will get the most from your car lease and steer clear of a lot of hassles and unexpected expenses when you take care to avoid these mistakes:

1. Not doing enough comparison shopping

Leasing the first car you see at the first dealership you visit is the worst mistake you can make. Even if you need a vehicle badly, you will end up regretting the decision of renting one without shopping around first.

Keep in mind that car dealers offer different packages and models. They also vary in the way they maintain their vehicles. As such, if you want to be sure you will get the best deal and a topnotch roadworthy car, spend a few hours looking into the various car leasing agencies in your area and what they offer. Look at the websites of these companies to see what vehicles they have, the prices, and what their packages cover. While online, read some reviews about the dealers, especially if you are leasing a car for the first time.

Additionally, visit your shortlisted dealerships and check the vehicles you are interested in leasing. If you are allowed to test drive them, do so. By doing some comparison shopping, you will find a vehicle that meets your needs and that you will be comfortable driving. Moreover, your chances of saving money will be higher and paying for an overpriced monthly fee will be lower.

2. Being embarrassed to negotiate

Aside from shopping around for a deal that works with your budget, you can get more out of your long-term lease by negotiating your monthly payments and monthly mileage.

Ask the dealer what freebies and perks you can get in addition to the discounts and higher mileage. Negotiate with the dealer on other aspects of the lease too. Additionally, don’t immediately assume that something is non-negotiable simply because it was never mentioned.

Don’t be embarrassed to keep asking questions and trying to get better deals. Even if you don’t get everything you want, you will still get something from your persistence, which is always better than the standard deals the company provides to all its customers.

3. Skipping gap insurance

Never heard about gap insurance in this region, it's basically 100% comprehensive insurance or Full insurance which is also known as CDW, It’s better if we can highlight this part rather than gap insurance.

Gap insurance is additional optional coverage that covers the difference or “gap” between the amounts you owe on the vehicle and its actual cash value or ACV in case there is an accident.

If your leased vehicle gets totaled in an accident on or off the road, you could be accountable for the difference between what the insurance provider says about the worth of the vehicle and what the lessor values the car at. Most of the time, the amount lessees have to pay for this gap can reach thousands. This is an expense you won’t have to worry about if you have gap insurance since the company will pay for this difference. When you get into an accident, you won’t have to dip into your savings to have the leased car replaced or repaired.

4. Signing the lease agreement blindly

Once you have chosen your car lessor and the vehicle to lease, before signing on the dotted lines, read the whole agreement carefully.

Go over all the terms and conditions thoroughly. Read the fine print as well. Take note of the upfront payment and residual value and how they relate to the monthly fees. Additionally, make sure you understand provisions regarding early termination fees.

Ask the staff if you don’t understand something in the contract. If you were able to negotiate some add-ons or freebies, make sure it is on the agreement before signing it so that you will be sure to receive them.

5. Ignoring maintenance during the lease term

Although you are leasing a car, and hence, don’t technically own it, you might think that you don’t need to maintain it. This is a big mistake that can cost you once the contract ends.

If you read the contract carefully, there is a clause on excess mileage and wear and tear. When your lease ends, your rental car will be inspected. In case it has too many scratches and dents and other damages, you may have to pay a hefty amount to have all of them repaired at once.

To avoid paying hefty charges at the end of your lease, take extra care of the car, keep it clean, and bring it to a service center for necessary repairs, touchups, and other maintenance requirements.

Steering clear of these mistakes can help you find the best car to lease. More importantly, you will have fewer problems to deal with while using the vehicle and when you return it at the end of the contract.