There are quite a few things that need consideration when thinking about leasing a car. Obviously, you are going to give some thought to the total price. You will probably think about how many miles you need on the lease. You might even think about making the lease longer or shorter than normal to accommodate your needs. One thing that is often overlooked is if included maintenance is part of the lease terms. Included maintenance is something that is very important to have regardless of whether you decide to lease a Chevy or a BMW. As you probably know, maintenance on a vehicle can be very expensive. With a lease, included maintenance will mean that if anything goes wrong with the car while it is under your supervision the dealership will fix it. Usually this is the case, but find out what’s covered and what’s not. This maintenance and warranty does not include damage that you caused (such as abnormal tire wear, dents and dings etc.) but it does include things that go wrong on the car that shouldn’t. Normally dealers are pretty fair with this and won’t try to screw you unless they suspect something is up.
Ask the salesperson about the option of getting a fully maintained lease. This will give you peace of mind knowing that you are not responsible for the repairs if you drive off the lot and the car breaks down. It is worth noting that if you get included maintenance as part of your lease you will probably end up paying a bit more each month. Luxury car manufactures such as BMW and Mercedes offer comprehensive maintenance on their leases including brakes and oil changes, but not every manufacturer does this. In most cases, since cars that are leased are brand-new, the manufactures will be happy to give you included maintenance if they believe in their product’s reliability. They might charge you extra, but this money that you will be paying them will most likely be pure profit at the end of the day.
Be sure to read the exact terms of the included maintenance so that you know exactly what is included. You do not want to enter into a maintenance agreement that you do not think fits your needs. For example, if the GPS navigation display breaks or your manual transmission starts grinding, what happens? Normally if the lease includes the typical new car warranty, all of these issues should be covered. However, occasionally it won’t. For example, the new 2011 Ford Mustang is currently having widespread transmission problems and the warranty coverage isn’t as clear-cut as most owners would like and the cars spend more time in the shop than on the road. Read more about it HERE.
At the end of the day, if you believe leasing is a right option for you (if you’ve ruled out a used car for whatever reason, and perhaps you want to lease for the tax benefits), knowing how much the lease will cost and what happens if something breaks on the item you’re leasing are the basics that you should have in mind. Happy motoring. Detailed leasing info on every new car and truck at Motor Trend’s New Car Leasing center