Leasing a vehicle has become a popular alternative to purchasing for people who may not have a large down payment or do not wish to own a vehicle. The monthly lease payment can be comparable to a loan payment.
Consumers should be aware that leasing may involve large costs for excess mileage, early termination, or excess wear and tear. When you lease a vehicle, make sure all the terms of the lease are in writing, that you understand the terms of the lease and that you agree with the terms.
Know Your Right and Responsibilities
When you lease a vehicle, you have the right to
- use it for an agreed-upon number of months and miles
- turn it in at lease end, pay any end-of-lease fees and charges, and "walk away"
- buy the vehicle if you have a purchase option
- take advantage of any warranties, recalls, or other services that apply to the vehicle.
You May Be Responsible For
- excess mileage charges when you return the vehicle. Your lease agreement will tell you how many miles you can drive before you must pay for extra miles and how much the per-mile charge will be
- excess wear charges when you return the vehicle. The standards for excess wear, such as for body damage or worn tires, are in your lease agreement
- substantial payments if you end the lease early. The earlier you end the lease, the greater these charges are likely to be.
Consumers Guide to Vehicle Leasing