First time leasing a car? Here’s what you need to know

First time leasing a car? Here’s what you need to know

Leasing a car is often an attractive prospect for people looking for convenience and flexibility. You can also save more, especially if you don’t have a regular income flow. With the growing leasing trends, banks are now offering financing options to people to help them achieve car leasing goals. Whether you’re looking to drive your first car or have been driving for years and are considering leasing a vehicle, there are a few critical details you need to know before making any decisions. For instance, you need to know what to do when returning a leased car that was in an accident, how to calculate and customize your mileage to suit your driving needs and how to maintain a leased car. To help you prepare yourself, here are a few tips to guide you.

Create a budget

Preparation is key when it comes to leasing a car. Budgeting helps you to know how much you can afford each month and choose the type of car you want without straining to pay monthly payments. Remember that missing any monthly payment will negatively affect your credit score, leading to penalties or repossession. Don’t just consider the rental price when budgeting for a car lease. You also want to factor in the insurance costs, fuel, and initial payment price.

Choose a reliable approved provider

Leasing a car is an essential commitment that gives you the responsibility of a brand new vehicle for a few months or several years. That means you need to work with your car leasing company to ensure that the car is in good condition and all your driving needs are met. The first step to finding the right leasing company is checking if they’re approved. You can check some of the providers in your area and review their websites to know what to expect.

Add Guaranteed Asset Protection or GAP coverage to your auto insurance

While GAP insurance is optional, it’s a critical coverage that reimburses you the difference between what the vehicle is currently worth and the amount you owe on it if the car is stolen or totaled. Most auto insurance companies offer GAP insurance as an optional coverage, so you can easily add it to your auto insurance policy. Remember you do need auto insurance when you lease a car to meet the minimum auto insurance requirements.

Carefully assess your annual mileage

Car leasing companies often place an annual mileage limit on your car and charge an extra amount when you exceed the allocated mileage. However, many people do not know that they can adjust this limit to fit their driving needs. Most companies offer limits between 10,000 to 15,000 miles. Depending on the vehicle brand and model, it’s possible to request a higher mileage on your lease. Be honest when calculating the miles you can drive each year, determining whether the amount given works for you or not. If it doesn’t meet your mileage needs, ask for a higher limit to avoid extra charges.

Inspect the car before and after collection

Once you’re done with the leasing process, don’t be in a hurry to drive off. Take time to inspect and check the condition of the car to ensure everything is in good shape. Take pictures and videos where necessary to keep as evidence.

You also want to conduct a thorough inspection to make sure the car is in good condition when returning it.  If you get into an accident, let your car leasing company know immediately and call your lawyer to help you with the insurance process.

Don’t make any repairs after an accident, but you can replace worn-out parts not related to the accident. Arranging for repairs without notifying the leasing company can lead to double charges as most car leasing companies prefer to do the repairs themselves.

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