Mercedes-Benz Leasing Advantages/Disadvantages

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Senior Pricing Analyst

Alex Bernstein is the Senior Pricing Analyst for CarsDirect.com. Each month he studies immense volumes of pricing and incentives data in search of trends that are useful to car shoppers. In the process, he often breaks industry news stories -- his analyses and insights have been featured on websites such as Automotive News, The Detroit News, Autoblog, The Truth About Cars and The Car Connection.

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, Senior Pricing Analyst - January 25, 2018

Leasing has been one of the most popular ways to take home a brand new Mercedes. Whether it's an entry-level CLA, a city-friendly GLC or a flagship S-Class, there's an option to lease.

However, there are some advantages and disadvantages to leasing a Mercedes. Here's a look at some we think are worth knowing about before heading to your local dealer.

Advantages of Leasing a Mercedes

  • Options for Multiple Security Deposits

Depending on the state in which you live, you may be able to lower the money factor (interest rate on your lease) by putting down a security deposit. This can save you a good amount of money on a lease.

Mercedes says you can potentially utilize up to 10 security deposits, something a lot of brands don't allow. The best part is that unlike a down payment, you get the money back at the end of your lease.

  • GAP Insurance Included

Mercedes leases include the cost of Guaranteed Asset Protection, commonly referred to as GAP insurance.

In the event of a total loss, this covers the difference between the remaining balance of your lease and the actual cash value at the time of the incident.

  • Sign & Drive Options

Although Mercedes usually advertises traditional leases, dealers also have the option to offer Sign & Drive deals. Unlike a $0 due at signing offer, the payment on a Sign & Drive lease includes your acquisition fee and first payment.

For example, the CLA250 is currently listed at $329 for 36 months with $3,623 due at signing. However, there's a Sign & Drive option available at $422 for 36 months with nothing due at signing (excluding taxes & fees).

Although your monthly payment is visibly higher, some consider this route advisable because you'll never see that $3,623 again in the event of a total loss accident.

  • Loyalty Incentives

Mercedes offers an unadvertised incentive for current lessees coming up on the end of their lease called the Loyalty Accelerator Program. The scope of eligible models varies month to month, so check with your dealer.

Currently, the offer involves what's essentially a waiver on up to 5 of your remaining lease payments on an existing contract when financing or leasing a new vehicle. It's a nice way to get into a new car sooner.

  • Flexible Credit Options

The Rising Star Program is offered by Mercedes-Benz Financial Services to help those with limited credit histories. It's primarily for three types of customers: first-time buyers, college grads and students.

General requirements include proof of income, proof of residency and 2 years of established credit (individual or joint).

Depending on the type of buyer you are, there may be a maximum amount that can be financed ($20,000 for first time buyers, $50,000 for grads and students).

Disadvantages of Leasing a Mercedes

  • Rarely the Cheapest

We generally find that advertised Mercedes leases don't rank particularly well in terms of value.

For example, the CLA250 currently has an effective cost of $430/month based on an MSRP of $35,495. However, an Infiniti Q50 3.0t LUXE has an MSRP of $39,945 but an effective cost of $411.

That makes the Q50 $19/month cheaper to lease despite being $4,450 more expensive.

  • Deals Rarely Change

Unlike competitors like Lexus, offers from Mercedes don't see a ton of ups and downs over the course of the year. That can be a good thing from a planning standpoint, but we consider the lack of seasonal specials a disadvantage.

Model year changes are generally a good time to buy, but Mercedes is an exception. In fact, we've seen cases in which offers on the latest version are only about $10/month more expensive. View Current Specials »

, Senior Pricing Analyst

Alex Bernstein is the Senior Pricing Analyst for CarsDirect.com. Each month he studies immense volumes of pricing and incentives data in search of trends that are useful to car shoppers. In the process, he often breaks industry news stories -- his analyses and insights have been featured on websites such as Automotive News, The Detroit News, Autoblog, The Truth About Cars and The Car Connection.

Follow On: Google+ | Website