Can I Lease a Used Vehicle?

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Meghan Carbary has been writing professionally for nearly 20 years. A published journalist in three states, Meghan honed her skills as a feature writer and sports editor. She has now expanded her skill-set into the automotive industry as a content writer for Auto Credit Express, where she contributes to several automotive and auto finance blogs.


, - August 15, 2019

Used car leases are much less common than typical new vehicle leases, but they're possible. In fact, used car leasing is gaining popularity as the prices of new vehicles continue to rise. According to Experian's State of the Automotive Finance Market report for the first quarter of 2019, average new car lease payments rose across all credit tiers compared to the first quarter of 2018. So, how do you get a used vehicle lease? Let's find out...

Leasing a Used Car

Used car leases are a bit of a unicorn in the leasing world, they're not common, and many people don't know to ask for one. If a lender does offer this option, it's not likely to be advertised, and may take some legwork on your part to find.

Generally speaking, used vehicle leases come from dealerships that have certified pre-owned (CPO) cars on their lots, and from captive lenders such as Toyota Financial Services, Kia Motors Finance, or Honda Financial Services. You could save a lot of money by leasing a used version of a new vehicle you were thinking about leasing anyway.

The process of taking out a used car lease is similar to the process for a traditional new vehicle lease. To start, however, you should contact the captive lender and see if they offer the option to lease a CPO vehicle.

If they do, you need to weigh all the pros and cons carefully, and know if a used car lease is the way to go. In order to fully know this, you should have a lease quote for a new vehicle of the same make and model.

Pros and Cons of Leasing a Used Vehicle

You may be wondering why you'd want to lease a used car when you can just lease a new one. There are several reasons this may be the case:

  1. You may not qualify to lease a new vehicle – Leasing is more difficult if you're struggling with credit issues. If you're unable to qualify for a new car lease, you may be eligible to lease a more affordable CPO vehicle with a slightly higher interest rate.
  2. Lower payments than traditional leases – Because the price of a CPO car is less than when it was new, and they have typically seen their steepest drop in depreciation, you're going to see the savings in your monthly payment.
  3. Warranty and insurance savings – Since CPO vehicles are usually backed by a manufacturer warranty, you don't need to worry as much about repairs compared to financing a regular used car. Auto insurance costs may also be lower due to the fact the vehicle's cost is lower.
  4. Better value at buyout – Due to lower residual values associated with used cars, even when it comes to CPO vehicles, they can be good candidates for buyouts at the end of leases. Just make sure the buyout price is reasonable enough to make it worth your while.

Of course, with every pro comes a potential con. Remember that used vehicles have already seen some miles, and be aware of:

  1. Potential wear and tear – Since a CPO vehicle isn't a new car, you're likely to see some signs of wear and tear. Make sure that you're willing to live with any stains, scratches, or dings that you may find.
  2. Maintenance and repairs – Even though a CPO vehicle is under warranty, there are still costs involved with maintenance and service. Used cars are likely to need work sooner, and more frequently, than a brand new vehicle might.
  3. May not have all the bells and whistles – The auto industry is constantly changing, and the updated safety and technology features available on brand new models may not have been available for the CPO car you're considering. If you do lease one, make sure it has the safety features and technology you want.

CPO Cars Are a Great Option for Bad Credit Car Buyers

If you're unable to find a used vehicle leasing program in your area, or simply can't qualify for one, that's OK! Certified pre-owned cars are a great choice for someone who wants to build their credit with an auto loan.

If you agree, but don't know where to start the process of getting a bad credit car loan, turn to CarsDirect. We work with a nationwide network of special finance dealers that have the lenders available to help people finance – even if you're dealing with bad credit, no credit, or bankruptcy. Plus, if you need to research before finding the car for you, you can do that through our used cars section.

If you're ready to take the next step toward getting the vehicle you need, start right here! We'll get the process of matching you with a local dealership started if you fill out our easy auto loan request form.

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Meghan Carbary has been writing professionally for nearly 20 years. A published journalist in three states, Meghan honed her skills as a feature writer and sports editor. She has now expanded her skill-set into the automotive industry as a content writer for Auto Credit Express, where she contributes to several automotive and auto finance blogs.


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