Long and Short Term Car Lease Comparisons

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November 9, 2016

If you prefer to change cars frequently, a short term car lease might be the best way your options open.

When making a decision about a short term car lease, the length of contract can affect many factors. A minimum lease arrangement for a new car is usually 24 months, but some lease arrangements are available for less than 24 months and are considered "short term." These leases are usually ones where a consumer assumes the contract from another person looking to terminate their arrangement with a finance company.

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No Money Down
Short term leasing is more economical when seeking to "rent" a vehicle for up to 24 months. Usually this short-term lease requires no down payment because it has already been paid by the original lessee. Furthermore, most insurance requirements have already been met. The new lessee simply takes over payments for a specified period of time. However, the new lessee is responsible for all damage to the car during the length of the new contract.

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Depreciation Advantage
The greatest amount of vehicle depreciation takes place in the first year. So, when looking for a short-term lease make sure you find one past the first year of operation. This will save a great deal on your monthly payments since, in effect, you are leasing a "used" car. Long-term leases have monthly payments determined by the entire depreciated amount which is determined by deducting the projected value at contract end from the original sticker price.

Make sure to take advantage of obtaining a short-term lease before the manufacturer's warranty expires. This can save a great deal of money since the warranty covers repairs that might prove costly. Also, the older the vehicle the greater the need to focus on a considerable amount of maintenance to keep the resale value as high as possible.

Agreement Changes
When assuming a lease, certain changes need to be made and are required by the leasing company. Read all documents associated with the agreement carefully to ensure you know all the limits and restrictions associated with the short-term lease. These may differ from the original long-term lease so make sure you understand all the terms. Never sign any contract if there are confusing clauses you do not understand or do not agree with. Just like a long-term lease, terms are negotiable, especially when finance companies seek to satisfy the person looking to get out from under the original agreement and into another one the company provides.

Where to Look
The most convenient place to find any type of auto lease is on the Internet, especially when looking for companies that specialize in short-term leasing. Many sites offer services that will match you with a finance company seeking consumers to assume lease arrangements for not-so-new cars. Sometimes there is a registration or membership fee paid at a website to facilitate the matching of the consumer and finance company.

Short-term leasing can provide great benefits for people who may lack the necessary down payment required for a long-term arrangement.

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Related Questions and Answers

Do Certain Car Types Have a Quicker Depreciation Rate than Others?

Yes, some cars do have a quicker car depreciation rate than other vehicles. The vehicle type rarely has a huge effect on depreciation rates. A car holds its value based on its reputation and how long people perceive it will last. If a car, or the manufacturer of the car has a reputation for high quality vehicles that last a very long time, these cars tend to hold their value better than vehicles that receive a less than stellar review. Hyundai is a good example. When they were first introduced to this market, they suffered from a number of quality issues. Despite the fact that these issues have been corrected and they now build a quality product, they still depreciate faster than their competitors. Cars that are produced in large numbers or niche vehicles that do not appeal to a large segment of the population will also lose their value quickly.

How Short Can the Short Term Leasing of Cars be?

Short term leasing of cars is possible. The majority of new car leases are written for three to five year terms. When it comes to short term leasing, it is possible to lease a car for as little as six months to a year. These leases are not all that common. If you are looking for a short term lease it is also possible to take over a lease that is approaching its end. Companies like Swapalease act as a broker for people looking to get out of their lease, and people looking to take over a lease. You can often find leases with six months to a year left on the term. You may also want to consider a long term car rental.


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