10 Steps to Leasing a New Car
Step 1: How car leasing works.
The following steps will tell you how to locate and negotiate a good monthly payment for the car you want to lease. If you don't yet know what car to lease, read "10 Steps to Finding the Right Car for You" and then come back after you have made your choice.
Car leasing is really just like a car rental, but for a longer time period and with some extra fees. Many people prefer leasing to buying because it allows them to drive a new car for less than if they purchased it. However, unlike buying, you never own the car and you have to return it at the end of the lease. Your monthly lease payment is based on the car's depreciation: how much the car's value decreases. So cars that hold their value are actually better for leasing.
In "10 Steps to Finding the Right Car for You" we described the pros and cons of leasing versus buying. It might be helpful to review that now. Also, keep in mind that some people find leasing to be confusing since many of the terms are different. We'll do our best to quickly and clearly explain how to make leasing work for you in the following steps. And, if you're in a hurry, read our "Quick Guide to Leasing a New Car."