Tips on leasing your first car

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After you have decided to lease your first car, the fun of picking one out begins. There are several things to consider when car shopping, and you want to have the power of knowledge going into the process.

In order to get the best leasing deals on cars, you will want to figure out: your budget, the type of vehicle you want, and which car companies offer the best deals. Having pre-approval from a bank is also a good idea so you can determine what your monthly payments will be. 

Getting the Best Deal 

Getting the most bang for your buck is always a smart idea. When leasing a car, there is no exception. Follow these four simple tips when leasing your first car. 

1. Determine Your Budget and Talk to the Bank 

When getting a loan or making payments, it’s always a good idea to figure out your budget first. Talking to a lender to see what you will be approved for and what you are comfortable paying each month is recommended. 

Instead of looking at the dealer’s monthly payments, look at the overall cost or cap cost they are charging. If possible, try to get this number down, which will lower your monthly payments.

2. Decide on What Car You Want to Drive

Making a list of the features you want in a car is a good place to start. Once you have a general idea of the type of car you want, go test drive them. Don’t feel obligated to let the dealer know you need a car now; you simply want to test drive one to see what is best suited for you. 

One of the benefits of leasing a car is it allows you to drive a brand-new car with all of the bells and whistles that you may not have been able to afford otherwise. 

3. Shop Around to Different Dealers

You want to be comfortable with the whole process of leasing a car, from start to finish. Finding a dealership that is open with their terms, honest, and friendly are good qualities to look for. You can also see if any dealerships offer leasing deals, such as no down payment, a lower interest rate, or better lease terms. 

Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification on terms or have a friend or family member look over the terms of the agreement. If the salesperson is not upfront and honest with some of the terms, it’s ok to walk away and find a different dealer.

Once you find a dealership that checks all of your boxes, you will feel more comfortable negotiating all of the terms and doing business with them. This will help ensure you are getting the best deal available.

4. Do You Like the Terms of the Lease?

Figuring out the major points of the lease and what you are committing yourself to is a good idea. You will need to look for the terms that talk about:

  • Maintenance – each lease agreement will have specific requirements for maintaining the car. This includes everything from normal wear and tear, tire rotations, and routine oil changes. In most leases, you will be charged a penalty fee if certain things aren’t met. 
  • Mileage – how many miles you drive yearly really matters when leasing a car. People who drive a lot yearly can’t lease a car. If you are worried about being over the limit, see if you can negotiate the allowance for miles each year to avoid being charged any overage.
  • Warranty – car warranties are important to understand whether you are leasing or purchasing. When leasing a car, they are especially important as the expectation is you are returning the vehicle at the end of its term. 
  • Length of the lease – leasing a car usually has a term of 2-4 years. You definitely want to be able to fulfil the entire length of the lease to avoid paying penalties. 

Don’t be afraid to negotiate to get to the terms you are comfortable with. If you know you will be driving more than 10,000 miles in a year, see if you can increase it to 12,000 miles. Alternatively, if you know you can commit to a longer lease time, that will help lower your monthly payments. 


When you make the decision to lease a car instead of purchasing one, you still want to get a good deal. Negotiations may look a little different, but you can still iron out something you want. 

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