Smart lease shopping
By Mark Solheim
If you're in the market for a new car and are considering leasing, check out www.LeaseCompare.com. Leasing makes sense for most people who trade in before they've paid off their car loan. And after a few years during which leasing companies retrenched after getting burned on too-generous leases, finance companies are again making attractive lease deals.
LeaseCompare.com makes the transaction transparent. You start by choosing a car -- either a new model or a late-model used vehicle. Then you have two options: Shop for a lease using a market-based price for the car, which LeaseCompare.com provides, or shop for a lease based on a price you've already negotiated with a dealer.
Suppose you're shopping for a 2006 Acura TL, which has a base sticker price of $33,940. You choose LeaseCompare.com's market price, which is $32,340. Next you pick a term -- 36 months is a good choice because during that time repairs are covered under warranty and you aren't likely to be faced with maintenance expenses, such as replacing tires. The lowest payment, assuming you don't put any money down, is $517, from the lender with the lowest money factor.