December 2008 - CarLeasingSecrets

Archive for December, 2008

Flexi Car Lease

A flexi car lease basically is a lease agreement that provides the lessee the benefits of a fully maintained operating lease without the commitment of a long-term contract. Since in business, requirements and change can differ for each entity, a flexible short-term car lease allows business to operate on a more cost-effective vehicle.

In a flexi car lease, a lessee simply lease the vehicle month to month. A lessee is presented a wide variety of vehicles to choose from and all vehicles are packaged together with a maintenance car insurance.

If you need the vehicle at a very short period of time, flexi car lease can be a great option. At least you are saved from the 1-5 year car lease commitment. There are also several benefits of flexi car leasing which are itemized below.

  • The terms range from 1 to 12 months
  • A tax deduction is available if used for business
  • Flexi lease repayments are fixed for the term
  • There is no residual risk. All you have to do is turn in the vehicle at any given time.
  • Unlimited kilometer options
  • Servicing and routine maintenance
  • Automatic vehicle replacement when due for renewal

Running a High Mileage at Car Leasing

In car leasing, a high mileage is definitely an issue especially during the end of the lease term. Often in car leasing, the lessee is only allowed a maximum of 12,000 annual mileage which is why its always important that the lessee ask himself beforehand if he needs to be running a high mileage. Car mileage will always cost you regardless of whether via leasing, buying or renting. Wear and tear aside, the rising cost of fuel and the continuing onslaught of environmental levies should encourage any driver to keep his mileage down.

However a high mileage user should not totally put off leasing completely because of the mileage restrictions. There are ways on how to maneuver a high mileage car leasing and this article will offer some tips.

  1. Pulling some strings at the lease deal – If a car lessee intends to purchase the car at the end of the term, he can cunningly take out a low mileage car lease contract without worrying about the excess mileage charges accrued over the lease period. This way, the lessee can maximize his car usage while still paying monthly rentals over the period of the lease agreement.
  2. Drive a Diesel – Diesels have vastly improved; now they are cleaner, quieter, and quicker. More importantly, diesel engines can give any driver a 30-40% more mileage than petrol cars. Diesels is really a great money-saver particularly for many short-run trips since the superior torque of diesels entails less gear changing. The price of diesels are about 30% cheaper than unleaded petrol which is certain to lessen the gas expenses. Just look beyond the lack in horsepower, higher initial cost and loud engine start during cold winter mornings; a diesel-engined car certainly suits a high mileage driver.
  3. Lower Residual means lower purchase price – The main reason why in car leasing high mileage is such an issue is that it can inflict a bigger depreciation which in turn lowers the resale value of the car. There is an offset effect of low resale value  and that is a low purchase price. A favorable purchase price for the car can have such a positive effect on the deal that even high mileage drivers will benefit.
  4. Turning it in Early – If at the mid of the car lease period, the lessee feels that he will certainly exceed his allowable mileage and doesn’t want to face the extra charges, he can always end the car lease term earlier or he can find someone to assume the lease for him (someone who is looking for a short-term car lease options). There are a lot of car dealers who specializes in car leasing assumptions.

Car Leasing Myths

About 20% of new-car transactions are leases, as interest rates rose, car manufacturer’s shifted incentives from rebates and low-interest financing to leases. However, often car leasing gets criticized and it’s understandable since “car leasing” has enough jargon that can practically confuse anyone who don’t have a slightest history in finance. Plus dealers in the past have slipped bad deals with confused car buyers who simply wants low monthly payments.

To fully dissect what car leasing is, this article will discuss the common myths associated with car leasing that most people have fret over the past.

  1. Buying is cheaper than leasing. Buying a new car has it’s advantages while opting to lease the car has its own set of vantage points. To buy a car or to lease a car depends primarily on the driver’s needs. There are at some point wherein buying can be a better option such as when the driver needs to drive more than the allotted 12,000 miles a year (in leasing – the gas mileage is limited).However if you loaned a car and then planned to trade it in before all of the loan is paid off, the value of the trade-in will unlikely cover the remaining balance of the loan.

    To help you decide, its good to lease when you’ll use the car for 2 to 3 years and annually consume less than 12,000 miles. However if you plan to keep the car longer than 3 years and know that you’d be consuming more gas mileage then buying can be the best thing.

  2. It’s nearly impossible to negotiate a lease. As a matter of fact, leases are negotiable. But first you need a tour of the jargon so that you’d better understand the basics of negotiating a lease:

    Capitalized cost is basically the price of vehicle. You should haggle over this just as hard as you would if you were buying it.

    Money factor is also called lease factor or even a lease fee, this is the interest rate you are being charged. It is expressed as a multiplier that can be used to calculate your monthly payments. For example, 7.2% interest, when expressed as a money factor, is 0.0030. To convert a money factor to an interest rate, multiply it by 2,400. To convert an interest rate to a money factor, divide by 2,400. (Always use 2,400 regardless of the length of the loan.)

    The lower the number, the better. Car dealers are sometimes reluctant to share the money factor, so be persistent.

    Residual value. Finally, the residual value is the value of the vehicle at the end of the term. The higher the residual, the lower your monthly payments however it can manacle you.

     A more realistic residual value will make it easier to sell the lease, trade your vehicle mid lease or buy the vehicle at the end of the lease.

    Ask the dealer to show you several deals from various banks, focusing on the money factor and the residual value of the car lease.

  3. Only businesses get a tax break. Tax laws allow businesses to deduct the monthly payments as an expense however individuals who used their leased car for business can deduct percentages of their lease payments, repair and insurance costs from their income taxes as well.
  4. Turning in the leased car can dent a man’s wallet. In car leasing, once the driver exceeds the allotted gas mileage, he is charged a penalty fee for the excess around 18 to 21 cents per mile. However if you opt to buy a car, the car owner is also penalized for higher-than-average mileage when trading it in.

    To prevent from exceeding the allowed mileage, you can probably negotiate a higher limit in exchange for a higher monthly payment and still save money.

  5. If you want out early, you’re stuck.You can actually terminate your car lease at an earlier date if you wish by transferring your existing car lease  to someone who can take it off your hands. There are a lot of websites online that match people who wants to get out of their lease early with those individuals seeking for short term car leases.
  6. So you see leasing is not at all bad as others would purport it to be. If you, as a lessee, know what you want and negotiate smartly, car leasing can be a great deal.

Many consumers get anxious when the day to finally return the car to the dealer comes; knowing that the condition of the leased car is inspected for extra charges. Usually, the charges are assessed based on the excess wear and tear or the excess in the allowable mileage as stated in the contract.

As the car leasing market becomes more competitive, banks are in the look out on how to make money from the returned vehicles which is why it’s important that the lessee keeps the car at the condition above what’s considered an “average wear and tear” to avoid the dreaded penalties.

Here are a few tips that aims to lessen the financial anxiety when saying farewell to your leased car. 

  • Have the vehicle washed and detailed.
  • Make sure you regularly service the vehicle.
  • Keep all maintenance records.
  • Have the vehicle serviced just before you turn it in.
  • Fix things such as windshield chips, which are usually covered under the insurance and may cost you nothing to repair.
  • If there are any needed repairs that you can handle, do it yourself.
  • Stay within your mileage limit.
  • If the mileage fees are pretty steep, consider selling the car yourself instead of paying the penalties
  • Dents should be removed before returning the vehicle.

When you decide to lease the car, you said that you would drive only 12K miles a year to make sure to stay within the allowed mileage limit and avoid the excess mileage cost. Most lessee would normally get upset once they need to pay for the excess, but they should also take heed that they have gotten something of value for the extra money you had to pay. 

Buying Out your Leased Car

At the end of your lease, you might decide you want to buy your car and keep it. Below are several reasons that might influence the lessee’s decision to buy out the leased car.

  • The buy-out price as agreed in the contract makes buying the car a great deal.
  • You know the car’s mechanical history and you know how reliable the car is.
  • You don’t want to embark on starting a new lease or shopping for a new car.
  • You’ve exceeded the allowable mileage and want to avoid the penalty fees.
  • There is excess depreciation (wear and tear) on the car and want to avoid extra fees.

The simplest way to buy your car is to check its residual value in the lease contract. If the present market value of the car is the same as the residual value, then this might be a good deal for you. 

Tips on Buying Out

Well the first step when you want to buy out your leased car is to contact the car leasing company and inform them that you want the buy-out amount of your lease vehicle. The buy-out is more or less different with the residual value since your security deposit is deducted.  If you want to buy-out your leased car even before the end of the term, the buy out amount will be for that date and not the end of the term.

Negotiating to lower down your buy-out amount is possible however you have to be dealing with the person who has authority to make a deal. Deliberate in your mind when on the negotiations you’d like to make, below are tips on how to arrived at your desired figure.

Assume that if the lease car is returned, the leasing company will have two options to dispose of the car:

  1. Let a dealer put the car up for sale as a used car, or
  2. Ship the car to an auction and accept the wholesale price.

If the car is shipped to an auction, the leasing company has to pay an auto transport company to move the vehicle, and accept whatever is bid for it.The amount will likely be below the residual value of the car which actually puts you in a good position to negotiate.

Call the car leasing company and make your offer. They will either give you their counter-offer or ignore you completely, nonetheless just leave your contact number and give them time to call back.

When you are finally negotiating with the car leasing company, don’t recount that you went over the allowable mileage or there is an excess wear and tear on the car. If they know this they might demand a higher price for it.

Allow several weeks to negotiate a buyout figure for your leased car however if the negotiations look it can take longer,  arrange for an extension of the lease.

At the end of the Day

Opting to buy your at the end of the lease is a win-win situation for you and the car leasing company. Just make sure that both you and the leasing company have reached a fair deal for the buyout and orient yourself with the other related fees before signing the deal.

Ending Your Car Lease Earlier

As you probably know, trying to end a car lease is not as easy as trying to start one. Quitting on your car lease means a breach of the original agreement provided for low payments over a fixed number of years. Those low payments are only possible if the lease is completed as agreed.There are several ways to get out of your car lease if you want to. Your first option would be “early termination” and to return your car and pay the lease company what you still owe; which; mind you, can be substantial. However it wouldn’t be as simple as returning the car and paying the penalty, this unfortunately is not how it works. The actual cost can be thousand of dollars , depending on how much of the lease remains.

Your other option is to transfer your car lease to someone who’s interested to take it off your hands (otherwise known as car lease assumption). There are several advantages for this method. It is low cost (no penalties, no payoffs, but transfer fees), it is relatively easy, and it won’t affect your credit score.

There are even a lot of buyers who are seeking for short car lease terms without the need of going to the dealer and associated extra cost which is why car lease assumptions can be so appealing to them.  Before doing this, make sure that you get the permission of the car leasing company. The new lessee must get approved and sing the car lease papers before the car lease assumption can fully consummate.

Where to get help? In the internet. You can find several car lease transfer companies that  has a list of potential buyers who are interested in taking over your lease. They will also help in the assumption process and the paperwork and will charge a reasonable fee for their services — a fee that is more affordable than the early termination costs.

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