Shopping For Your Vehicle
Shopping for a vehicle is the most interesting part of the leasing process. For many car fanatics, choosing a different vehicle every few years is the biggest benefit of leasing instead of making a huge investment in the purchase of a car. When you start shopping for the best vehicle to lease, it is necessary to keep in mind a number of variables and preferences.
Leasing companies offer contracts on just about any kind of vehicle. Hence, you need to have a clear idea of the features your vehicle should have so that you can make a good choice. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What price can you afford?
- What features are most important?
- How many people will drive the car?
- Do you want a top of the line vehicle or an average family car?
- How much annual maintenance can you afford?
- Will you be able to keep the vehicle safely in your garage?
- Will it be used for heavy-duty jobs like towing etc.?
This checklist will help you shortlist two to three vehicles that best fit your needs. As a general rule, car payments should not exceed 20% of your total income, so before you zero in on one particular vehicle, you should calculate how much you will be paying for it. To maintain a standard and extract an estimate of the price, keep in mind that for every $1000 of MSRP, you will be paying $125 per month. For detailed calculations, refer to the formulas given above.
With a fair idea in mind, you can visit dealerships in your city to see and have a feel of the car. While online searches do give great results, the experience of touching the car and taking it out for a test drive are reasons enough to visit a dealer before making any decision. If you like one car in particular, learn more about it by asking the dealer important questions and reading online blogs. Also, take a look at the vast collection of vehicles on Car Lease Canada’s website.
Another important component of preliminary research is finding the market price of the car. Visit manufacturer outlets and websites, take a look at eBay Motors and other price directories like Edmunds and Kelley’s Blue Book. These forums will give you a realistic estimate of the market price offered from the factory, at auctions, dealers and from previous owners. Remember to check many different websites and dealers to compare prices instead of entering into an agreement at the first dealer you visit.
If you decide to go to a dealer instead of an online forum to pick a car and confirm your lease, watch out for those who would want to maximize their profits by making you pay extra. Some dealer’s tricks that have been recognized over the years include:
- Overlapping terms and making them sound the same. Remember, the price of the car, the value of a trade-in vehicle and the financing terms are all different; therefore, treat them separately.
- Holdbacks are quite common at dealerships because manufacturers give incentives to dealers to sell more cars. If this is the case, your dealer may be tricking you.
- Making the MSRP the same as the actual selling price when they both are different.
- Offering attractive vehicle add-ons, but those that you don’t need.
- Gap insurance is offered by dealers to cover up the costs of an accident that are not accounted for by the insurance company. However, in reality, this policy is only bought and resold to you at a higher price.
- Offering extended warranties is another way dealers make thousands of dollars. If you have a 4-year warranty and a 48-month lease, you do not need extended warranties. However, dealers often make you buy extended coverage saying it will come in handy in the case of an accident.
Finalizing a Deal
Once all the above concerns have been satisfied, all you now need to do is sign the agreement and start using your car! During every step of shopping for your vehicle, make sure you keep track of all documents. Make copies for your records, read through every agreement and always ensure that what you sign is what you have agreed upon.