How to Lease a Car

Couple looking over paperwork in a dealership


Have you reviewed your options to either finance or lease a car and have decided that leasing is the best fit for you? If you are new to leasing you may have questions about how to lease a car and what a lease entails. The finance team at Sam Leman Automotive Group is here to we’ll walk you through the entire process from:

  • Starting a Lease: Finding the right car, determining what you can afford, negotiating, and finalizing the lease
  • The Duration of the Lease: Maintenance and mileage limits
  • End of Lease: Choosing to buy the car, continue the lease, or return it

The Beginning of How to Lease a Car

Once you have chosen the car, truck, or SUV that will best serve your Central Illinois-area driving needs, here’s what you need to do next to get ready to lease:

  1. Budget: Budgeting for a car lease is essentially the same as for financing. While you don’t have to come up with a large down payment, you still have to plan for what you can afford monthly. Use our convenient online payment calculator to determine what kind of monthly payments you can afford.
  2. Figure Out Your Average Yearly Mileage: A car lease includes mileage restrictions, and any overages come with penalties. That’s why it’s important to get a ballpark average of how much driving you intend to do.
  3. Get the Best Deal: Take a look at our new vehicle specials in order to save some money.
  4. Negotiate: Once you’ve picked a car, you will be negotiating for the price of the car first, which will then determine your lease payments. Even if you are leasing, you can still trade in a car to reduce your costs.
  5. Sign and Drive: Make sure that all the financial disclosures, such as penalties for excessive damage or going over your mileage restrictions, are clear to you. There will also be closing costs and taxes to cover.

What to Do During Your Lease

Some of the conditions that come with a car lease include::

  1. Mileage Restrictions: If you exceed the mileage cap during your lease, you will have to pay a penalty.
  2. Maintenance: You will be responsible for the car’s upkeep and any damage that isn’t repaired by you will still come out of your wallet when you return the car.
  3. Alterations: Since you’re technically borrowing the car, you are not allowed to make any major alterations to the vehicle.
  4. Breaking Your Lease: In most cases, you can break your lease if you need to get out early, but if you do, you will likely have to pay a penalty fee that will be outlined in the initial terms and conditions. We recommend doing your best to not break the lease.

What to Do at the End of Your Lease

When you reach the end of your lease, you have a few options:

  • Return Your Lease
  • Exchange Your Leased Vehicle for a New Leased Car
  • Extend the Lease
  • Buy Your Leased Car

If you do decide to return or exchange the car, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Clean the Car: You should clean the vehicle and remove all personal items before you return it to the dealership. The car should be as close to its original condition as you can get it.
  2. Bring Any Paperwork: Make sure to have the original lease paperwork, as well as any service records.
  3. Pay Any Fees: You may have to take care of any excessive wear and tear or mileage overage fees at this time. At the very least, there will be a disposition fee you’ll have to pay. This fee covers the dealership’s cost for assessing the vehicle’s condition and determining its resale value.

Secure an Affordable Car Lease Today at Sam Leman Automotive Group

Now you’ve got a better understanding of how to lease a car! Leasing your next vehicle from Sam Leman Automotive Group is an easy, hassle-free, and budget-friendly way to upgrade your Central Illinois commute. If you still have any questions about how to lease a car from our dealership, including whether it is possible to lease a used car, take a look at our car buying tips. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or would like more information.

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