As you might expect, there are both similarities and differences pertaining to process, cost and risk that exist between the two types of leases. Take the time to understand these before deciding whether leasing a used car is a good idea.
The Benefits of Leasing Remain the Same for Used Cars
Whether you lease a new or used car, you still get the advantage of a lower monthly payment compared to financing a car, as well as a conveniently easy return at the end of the lease. In fact, because they’ve already depreciated notably, used and CPO cars usually come with lower monthly lease payments compared to their new-car counterparts.
Depending on age and mileage, a leased used or CPO car may also still have active bumper-to-bumper and powertrain warranties. But these two factors may also pose additional risk.
Used and CPO Cars Are More Prone to Problems Throughout the Lease Term
As a car ages, it’s no secret that it becomes more susceptible to problems and requires regular maintenance to keep it running smoothly. In a best-case scenario, the remaining terms on the car’s warranties to cover any necessary repairs are still only a fraction of what they started as and may not last the entirety of the lease. In a worst-case scenario, one or both warranties have expired, requiring you to pay for costly repairs out of your own pocket. Regular maintenance costs, which can also add up very quickly, are also on your own dime (regardless of warranties).
In these situations, it’s important to remember that you’re putting money into a car that you don’t own. And, ignoring repairs and maintenance will only delay the inevitable as you’ll have to cover these costs when you return the car at the end of the lease.
Assess Used- and CPO-Car Leases on a Case-by-Case Basis
Individual models vary when it comes to warranty life, potential for problems and maintenance intervals. For any option you consider, figure out what upkeep tasks you might need to perform, as well as whether their associated costs fit your budget. Remember to thoroughly vet each car you’re interested in leasing and be completely confident in whatever vehicle you ultimately choose to avoid having to pay a fortune for a car you must eventually return.