How to Compare Short Term Car Leases

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November 9, 2016

A short term car lease is a very good option for those who are looking to buy a vehicle, but do not want the long term commitment of a 60-month loan. The beauty of a short term car lease is that you can find leases for a 6-month to 18-month term.

Short term car leases are generally a good investment for those who need to have a car for a temporary job, special family need, visiting relatives, going to school, or have special financial circumstances. This type of lease can be entered into with no down payment, and very low monthly payments if you choose the right lease to take over.

When you enter into a short term car lease you are not starting a new lease, but rather assuming an existing one. This means that you are responsible for the remainder of the lease as far as length, payments, and contractual obligations. Because of this, you should take some time to compare the different leases available. Here are some steps to follow when comparing several different short term leases.

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Step One - Length of Remaining Lease

The first thing to compare should be how much time is remaining on the existing lease. Since you are only assuming the lease you will be required to pay for the remainder of the contract. That means if there are 12 months left, you are required to pay the monthly payments for those 12 months. Compare each lease to the length of time they have left.

Step Two - According to Payments

If a lease has 9 months and a $520 monthly payment, is that better than one that has 13 months and a $400 payment? The smaller payment, while for a few more months, will be a help to those who cannot afford a large monthly payment. Of course, this will also depend on the type of vehicle being leased and the estimated value of the car at the time of the original lease.

Step Three - Special Contractual Responsibilities

Every lease has certain conditions set forth in the contract that can come into play in a short term lease. There are several circumstances that can lead to fees and penalties at the end of the contract. When you assume a short term lease on an existing lease, the original lessee is not held responsible anymore. You are. With this in mind, compare each lease according to these special conditions. Things like mileage allotment, penalties for excessive wear and tear, and any difference in market value are all things to look at.

Step Four - Buyout Options

When you get to the end of the lease contract, you will usually have the option to buy the vehicle. This is where your initial decision will come into play. After a few years, most cars will depreciate up to 50% of their value. When you only pay on a vehicle for a few months you can potentially buy that vehicle at a great price. Compare where each vehicle is in its value before making a decision on one.


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