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How Does Leasing a Car Work?

U.S. News & World Report Logo By John M. Vincent of U.S. News & World Report | Slide 1 of 14: About 30 percent of new cars are leased, rather than purchased. Leasing has several advantages – at least in the short term – over buying. In most cases, you can get a lower monthly car payment, the latest safety features, and state-of-the-art cabin technology when you lease a vehicle.In order to get the best deal, however, you need to learn about leasing before you leap into the market. You don't want to focus on the monthly payment; you want to look at the total cost of the contract – from the day you take delivery to the end of the lease when you drop the car back off at the dealership.Car leasing was once limited mainly to luxury vehicles, but today you can get a lease on most cars, trucks, crossovers, SUVs, and minivans. There are even programs available for used car and certified pre-owned vehicle leases.On the following pages, we’ll talk about how leases work, how to get the best deal, and how to avoid making costly leasing mistakes.

12 Tips for Leasing a Car

About 30 percent of new cars are leased, rather than purchased. Leasing has several advantages – at least in the short term – over buying. In most cases, you can get a lower monthly car payment, the latest safety features, and state-of-the-art cabin technology when you lease a vehicle.

In order to get the best deal, however, you need to learn about leasing before you leap into the market. You don't want to focus on the monthly payment; you want to look at the total cost of the contract – from the day you take delivery to the end of the lease when you drop the car back off at the dealership.

Car leasing was once limited mainly to luxury vehicles, but today you can get a lease on most cars, trucks, crossovers, SUVs, and minivans. There are even programs available for used car and certified pre-owned vehicle leases.

On the following pages, we’ll talk about how leases work, how to get the best deal, and how to avoid making costly leasing mistakes.

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