If you don't have that big down payment or don't want to pay those huge monthly payments, then leasing provides you with an alternative method of financing that you may consider.
Leasing has improved tremendously over the years -- look at its benefits:

  • Lower monthly payments than traditional financing.
  • A new vehicle every three or four years.
  • Large down payments may not be necessary.
  • Eliminates owing more than the car is worth.
  • Provides options at lease end like just "walking away".

Here are some restrictions to think about.

  • Modifications are not allowed on a leased vehicle (ex. no custom stereos or new paint jobs)
  • Mileage is covered up to 15,000 miles per year--after that, there's a small fee. (Average Hawaii driver travels less than 12,000 miles per year)
  • Excess wear charges when you return the vehicle. The standards for excess wear, such as body damage or worn tires, are in your lease agreement.
  • You never get to own your vehicle; but, if you finance, the bank owns it until your loan is paid up which is normally five years later. Many people then buy another new vehicle anyway.
  • Substantial payments if you end the lease early.

Some notes on Leasing:

  • At the beginning of the lease, you may have to pay your first monthly payment; a refundable security deposit or your last monthly payment; other fees or license, registration, and title; a capitalized cost reduction (like a down payment); an acquisition fee; freight or destination charge; and state or local taxes.
  • During the lease, you will have to pay your monthly payments; any additional taxes not included in the payment such as sales, use, and personal property taxes; insurance premiums; ongoing maintenance costs; and any fees for late payment. You'll also have to pay for safety and emission inspections and any traffic tickets (not unlike owning or financing your vehicle). However, if you end your lease early, you may have to pay substantial early termination charges.
  • Leasing provides an alternative to driving a new vehicle... with all the benefits that leasing has to offer, more than ever, it's definitely worth considering.