While leasing a car can be a great way to drive a brand new car for several years, it may not necessarily be the best option for everyone. What follows are 5 reasons why you should avoid leasing a vehicle.
1. You should NOT lease a car if you have bad credit. If your credit score does not equate to a “good” or “excellent” rating, your credit score is not as high as it should be. Unless you cannot wait several months in order to improve your credit score, it would be in your best interest to avoid leasing a car. If you do lease a car with bad credit, you will end up with a monthly payment that is higher than what can be considered a fairly good deal. Many of the special advertised lease deals offered by dealers or auto makers are often only available to those customers who have a tier 1 credit rating. A tier 1 credit score is one that typically exceeds 720.
2. You should NOT lease a car if your career or lifestyle involves frequent trips or traveling. Some people tend to take frequent trips outside of their city or state of residence for reasons that often have to do with their career or business. If this applies to you, you should probably avoid leasing a car because you probably won’t be driving the car enough in order for the monthly payment to be worthwhile.
3. You should NOT lease a car if you plan on modifying it. Many people, younger drivers in particular, like to accessorize or modify their vehicles by tinting windows, adding spoilers, replacing exhaust pipes etc. While modifications to your car may provide the car with improved performance or a more attractive appearance, keep in mind that any car that you lease is not actually yours. If you plan on returning a leased vehicle to the dealership at the maturity date of your lease (the end of your lease term), you must return it in its original form.
4. You should NOT lease a car if you drive too much. With long commutes to work or school becoming more and more common, people are driving more than ever just to get to work or school. When you lease a car, you are allotted a yearly mileage limit. This limit is typically 12,000 miles per year or 15,000 miles per year. Of course, you can exceed this limit but you will be charged a certain dollar amount for every excess mile. The amount you are charged varies from one car to another. For example, the excess mileage charge on my 2010 Honda Accord is 15 cents per excess mile. This may seem like a negligible amount, but a few thousand excess miles per year will add up to hundreds or even thousands of dollars by the end of my lease.
5. You should NOT lease a car if you plan on driving it for more than 3 years. With the length of most car lease terms hovering around 3 years, you won’t be attached to the car for a very long time. Of course, you could choose to buy the car after the term of your lease has ended, but this is a less popular choice for lessees.