One of the key advantages of leasing over buying is you’ll pay less each month to drive a car than if you were buying it outright. While there are advantages to buying as well, given this is about finding good lease deals, we’ll leave that discussion to another article.
Strictly speaking though, rather than the best time to find good lease deals, it’s more like the best times. This is because a number of different factors leading to good deals come into play at different times.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of them.
New Model Introductions
This can work in your favor in one of two ways. An all-new model has yet to establish a track record upon which its residual value can be based. To be on the safe side, estimated residuals tend to skew higher initially. This means it will cost less to lease that car.
That said; the other side of this coin is dealers will be less forgiving during the negotiation process if the car is expected to be a hot seller. However, it’s absolutely good time to score an advantageous lease deal if the car is a mainstream model with only average anticipated demand.
Going hand in hand with the introduction of a new model is the need to clear the old version out. Manufacturers offer dealers incentives to help this process along. They then pass those savings on to shoppers who are willing to buy the “old” car. This can make your lease payment considerably lower, particularly if you negotiate vigorously.
Month and Year End Bargains
As with most sales situations, managers live and die by the numbers. Here again manufacturer cash can be your ace in the hole. Dealers get bonuses for hitting their monthly and annual sales quotas.
If your dealership is struggling to make its numbers for the month, they are more inclined to lower prices to get cars out the door. This is a great time to find good lease deals.
The same is true for the end of a calendar year. Dealerships have monthly, quarterly and annual goals. Keep an eye on their inventory online for a while, look to see what’s been sitting and make an offer around the end of a month, or the end of the year — if it’s something with which you can live. You could be pleasantly surprised.
Lease promotions tend to abound in conjunction with the big holidays. If you can time your shopping to coincide with Christmas, Labor Day, the Fourth of July, Memorial Day or New Year’s Day, you’ll find some bargains.
Be apprised though, these are typically for in stock models only. Here again, the internet is your friend. You can shop a dealer’s inventory from the comfort of your home and go where the car you want can be found.
When a Deal Isn’t a Deal
Keep in mind, a good deal is only a good deal when it’s something you need. Moreover, it has to be something you can comfortably afford as well. Leasing tends to make people stretch a bit because they’re getting more car for less money — and that’s fine, as long as the monthly payment fits comfortably into your budget.
Always take the time to line up your monthly expenses against your income to be certain the deal you’re signing will be readily affordable — before you begin shopping. So, in addition to everything outlined above, the absolute best time to find good lease deals is when you can afford one of them.