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Subject:  Re: Leasing a car? Date:  4/24/2013  7:14 AM
Author:  billjam Number:  18364 of 20599

Who would lease a car through a bank? The best leasing deals come directly through the manufacturers. They are certainly not as good as they used to be, especially when loan rates are so low. But given a high residual, low downpayment, and a customer who always trades at a specific vehicle age, leasing can be cheaper than borrowing and buying.

Those deals are harder to find these days. Also there are pitfalls in the way leases are sold. Don't fall for a 4 year lease based on 12000 miles a year if you drive 18000 miles a year. The excess mileage cost will kill you. Don't plan to buyout the vehicle at the end of the lease. If the lease terms are good the residual value assumed will be too high to make that attractive. Also, in some states the sales tax law can work against you. (I won't try to explain the complications but ask the dealer or your tax guy how it works in your state.) If you beat up a car unmericifully don't lease either. Normal wear and tear is okay but you'll pay dearly for excessive damage.

All that said, leasing can still be attractive for some people, but it's not the good deal it was in the 90's. And while you're taking advice from a bank loan officer, consider that it's in his interest to get you to borrow from him instead of leasing from the auto manufacturer.
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