How To Lease a Used Car

Teen with mom looking in rearview mirror
Yes, you can Lease a Used Car
There are more opportunities to buy or lease vehicles today than ever before. Car buying, selling, and servicing through companies such as Driveway, for instance, allow you to handle the entire car buying or leasing process on your smartphone or laptop right from your living room, in your slippers. In recent years, the lack of new cars in showrooms has caused used cars to be in high demand. For that reason, purchasing or leasing a new car can be very expensive and many are looking at the possibility of leasing a used car. After all, a lease is just a way to rent a vehicle over a period of a few years. It can actually be one of the most affordable ways to get into a like-new car.
Compared to financing a car, leasing a used car offers lower monthly payments. At the end of the lease, you can either return the car to the dealership or buy it outright. Leasing allows drivers the flexibility to not be locked into long-term financing and large monthly payments. Used car leasing is an alternative that can give you a near-new vehicle at a lower price and with the peace of mind of a factory warranty.

How Leasing Used Works

At many Lithia Auto dealerships, we offer leases on Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) vehicles. These are like-new cars, trucks and SUVs that have been put through a multi-point evaluation system to make sure the vehicle is in tip-top shape. These are vehicles that are generally just a few years old and have no more than 60,000 miles on the odometer. Having been purchased new or leased brand new, these cars come back to the dealership after they have been traded or their lease contracts have expired.
After being thoroughly inspected and having any problems with the vehicle resolved, these CPOs come with a factory warranty which often includes roadside assistance. There are many benefits of leasing a used car. From initial investment costs to your monthly payment rate, leasing a used car can be very affordable. Because of this, you can also afford a better vehicle than you might have purchased. You can drive a more upscale car with a higher level of trim and high tech features and accessories than your budget might have allowed for.
Another plus of leasing a used car is that you have a limited commitment to the vehicle. At the end of your lease term, you can return it. Your Lithia Auto dealer can set you up with terms and conditions that fit your needs and pocketbook. You have options at the end of the lease including the ability to either extend your lease at a better rate or to purchase the vehicle. Plus, unlike a new leased vehicle, used car leases do not usually include a limit on annual mileage. So if you travel a lot, leasing a used vehicle might be much more affordable than leasing a new car.
As with all vehicle leases, you will still be required to pay a deposit and acquisition fee up front. While leased CPO vehicles come with a factory warranty, you will have to maintain the vehicle with regular service, oil changes, and buy new tires when the old ones wear out. You will also be expected to keep the vehicle in good shape so that it is returned in excellent condition at the end of the lease contract.

Details, Details…

Make sure you read and understand your used car lease contract. Most lease contracts include a disposition or turn-in fee plus any penalties for exceeding the contract's mileage limits as well as wear-and-tear to the vehicle. It is very important to research the value of the car you are thinking of leasing. This is often referred to as the residual value.
  • Know the lease price for a brand new and used model of the car you are thinking of leasing. 
  • Get an estimate of how much the car will be worth at the end of the lease. 
  • Know how much the dealership will want for the vehicle should you decide to purchase it. 
  • Remember that your lease car is depreciating over time.
Check the lease contract to see if you are required to purchase Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP) insurance. GAP covers the difference between the amount of your lease and the amount your car insurance company pays in the event your lease car is totaled or stolen. Ask if GAP insurance is a requirement of the lease contract and find out if the cost is rolled into your monthly payment.
Let Lithia Help!
In summary, leasing a used car costs less than to lease or buy a new one, offering you lower monthly payments. By leasing a vehicle that is a few years old, you may be able to afford to drive a nicer, more upscale car with a higher level of trim and features. Leasing a used CPO vehicle comes with a manufacturer's warranty, something other used vehicles don't offer. Also, because the value of the car is less than a new one, the vehicle will cost less to insure than a new car.
Your Lithia Auto dealer will help you get the best rates available for your used car lease and we'll take care of all the paperwork and details from beginning to end. Because at Lithia Auto, we want to keep you as a customer for life.