Auto Leasing Glossary

Auto Lease

In order to get a good leasing deal, you need to understand leasing jargon. Read through this leasing glossary to get an overview of the basics: Acquisition fee: A fee charged by a leasing company to begin a lease. Not all leasing companies charge an acquisition fee but if charge it starts at about $300 and is seldom negotiable. Leasing a used vehicle can be an attractive deal in many ways, no least getting you into that luxury model or SUV, for lower monthly payments than a brand new one. Be prepared, however, to do some more homework to dissect a good deal.

Capitalised cost: The total selling price of the leased vehicle This also accounts for taxes, title, license fees, acquisition fee and any optional insurance and warranty items you elect to fold into the lease and pay overtime rather than upfront.

Auto Lease
Auto Lease

Depreciation fee:
Forms part of the monthly lease payment charge and accounts for the loss in the value of the car at the end of the lease. The vehicle’s list price minus the expected residual value at lease end is divided by the number of months in the lease to give the depreciation fee. Suppose you decide to lease a vehicle with a retail price of $23,500. The leasing company estimates that after a three-year lease, the vehicle will be worth 35% of its original retail value, or $8,225. The difference, $15,275, divided by the number of months in the lease, 36 months, gives us the depreciation fee ($424)

GAP insurance Pays off the lease balanced if the vehicle is wrecked, stolen or totalled.

Mileage charges a penalty that you incur if you exceed your mileage allowance on a leased vehicle. Typical mileage charges are 10 to 20 cents per excess mile.

Next, you need to check the initial mileage and the overall vehicle condition. The maximum mileage on a used car should be no more than 12,000 miles a year. A 3-years old car with 50,000 miles on the clock is very unlikely to make a good used-vehicle lease. Check for signs of excessive use, like worn seat fabric, worn pedal pads and dirty engine, which might indicate that the odometer has been rolled back. If the car is not certified, you need to get it thoroughly inspected. Ask your dealer for a manufacturer-sponsored certification program or have your car certified by a qualified mechanic or inspection service.

Wear-and-tear charges Extra charges you have to pay at the end of your lease for any wear and use the leasing company considers above normal

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