How to Lease a Car

Mileage restrictions and higher insurance costs are downsides of leasing a car, but access to newer models and smaller monthly payments are perks.
Written by Amber Reed
Reviewed by Carrie Adkins
If the time isn’t right to buy a car, or you can’t afford a new model, then leasing might be a good option for you.
Leasing a car allows you to drive a newer vehicle without the same large financial commitment as
. Leasing a car isn’t for everyone, so it's important to consider your individual needs before deciding to lease.
Leasing is essentially renting, and you have a variety of options for how long your lease lasts and what is included. It’s important to note that leasing a car doesn’t result in owning a car, and over time, the cost of leasing could be more than just purchasing a car outright.
Once you’ve decided that leasing is right for you, the process is relatively straightforward. Read on to learn how to lease a dar from
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Decide on the type of vehicle you want

The exciting thing about leasing is that more cars are available to you that might have been out of your budget if you were buying. By leasing a car, you can experience some of the newer models that you probably wouldn’t buy, all while making smaller
Be realistic about the car you choose to make sure that it fits your needs and will continue to work for you for the duration of your lease agreement. A two-door coupe might be fun at first, but it's not practical when others are going to be riding with you.

Determine your budget for monthly payments and extras

Some things to consider:
  • Does your lease require a down payment?
  • How much are you willing to spend per month?
  • Does the lease agreement include repairs?
  • What is the mileage limit?
The majority of lease agreements have a yearly mileage allowance, and companies will charge you for exceeding the limit. Most limits are set under 15,000 miles annually, so make sure that works for you.

Shop around for the best deal

Car companies offer special deals and promotions from time to time, so there are plenty of opportunities to get a discount on a new lease. Call car companies directly and request a lease quote that includes the down payment, extra fees, monthly charges, and sales tax. Get the full quote from each company so that you can compare your choices effectively.
It is possible to negotiate, so don’t be afraid to ask for a better deal. The representative might be able to help you cut some costs or offer alternatives in the car category you are interested in.

Get insurance coverage

Car insurance for leasing a car is often more expensive than insuring a car that you own. Lease agreements over require more coverage and extras, so be sure to factor that into your budget and work with your insurance company to find the deal that is best for you
If you don't already have insurance and you're ready to drive away with your new leased vehicle, try
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Sign all of the documents and get on the road

Once you have a complete understanding of your lease agreement, all that is left is to sign and drive away. You should have a complete breakdown of the charges and fees so that the paperwork you sign matches the deal you agreed upon.
Leasing isn’t without restrictions. When you lease a car, there are often mileage restrictions, and you have to keep the car clean and damage-free. Be sure to research all of the requirements before you commit.


Where do you lease a car?

You can typically lease a car from a local dealership. There are also some online sellers that you can lease from.

Can you lease any car?

You can't lease any car that you want. It will have to be a car that the dealership is willing to let you lease. Typically, dealerships put their most popular vehicles up for lease.
There are some situations where a dealership might be willing to let you lease other vehicles, so it's worth asking about.
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