Best Lease Deals

Leasing a new car has some great advantages. Topping the list is the fact that leasing is usually less expensive than buying in the short term, as you're only paying for the time that you have the car. After a few years, you simply return the vehicle to the dealer and walk away.

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Last Updated: Sep 07, 2017

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Since leasing will put you in a new car every few years, you're more likely to always have the latest safety and connectivity technology. In some areas, you can also save a tremendous amount of sales tax, since you are not paying the MSRP of the car. Before you take the leap to lease, however, you should take a look at our article on leasing versus buying.

Leasing can be an even better deal if you take advantage of manufacturers’ lease incentives. When vehicles need to be moved off new car lots, automakers offer special deals with reduced monthly payments or amounts due at signing.

This September, there is a lot of pressure on automakers to keep up their sales pace. Not only is it the end of the traditional model year – meaning dealers need to clear 2017s out of the inventories – but sales are weakening after several years of high demand. But their issues are your opportunities; you can get a great deal on a wide variety of models this September.

The best deals that our expert journalists and researchers have found are on vehicles with redesigned models arriving for 2018, with cars that are in the compact and midsize segment where demand is waning, and in parts of the market where there is relentless competition.

One of the segments that is both highly competitive and suffering from lower sales is the compact car market. This September, you will find leases in some parts of the country on the 2017 Nissan Sentra, 2017 Hyundai Elantra, and 2017 Toyota Corolla with payments around $150 per month and less than $2,000 due at signing.

The Lexus CT won’t be returning for 2018. Leasing the 2017 CT this month is probably the least expensive way possible to get behind the wheel of a new Lexus. In many parts of the country, Lexus is offering monthly payments of only $249.

With inclement weather just a few months away, this September brings some special lease deals on winter-ready SUVs ranging from the subcompact 2017 Honda HR-V to the 3-row 2017 Dodge Durango.

The best lease incentives are only offered to consumers with excellent credit scores. Be sure to look at your credit a few months before car shopping; that way, you'll have time to correct any errors and pay off some debt, which can raise your score a few points.

Why Lease?

Car buyers have to pay the whole price of the new vehicle, plus the cost of financing the entire amount. When you lease, however, you only have to pay for the depreciation that is expected to occur during the time that you have the vehicle, plus some interest charges and fees. Since you're only paying for a portion of the car, monthly payments are usually dramatically lower than if you had to take a loan out to finance the entire purchase price.

Most leases are over before the vehicle’s warranty is up, so lease customers are rarely hit with major repair costs beyond regular maintenance. Leases typically last between two and three years, so you’ll always be in a car with current safety and infotainment technology.

Laws vary by where you live, but many lease customers will save a significant amount of money on sales tax since they are only required to pay tax on their payments and the amount due at signing. Customers who purchase cars must pay tax on the whole negotiated price of the vehicle.

Keep in mind, lease customers never actually own the vehicle. A leasing company holds the automobile’s title, and you essentially rent the car from them for a few years. When the lease term is up, you take the car back to the dealership and walk away.

Leasing can be a daunting process for first-time customers, but U.S. News & World Report offers some resources to help you conquer your fears. Explore our stories on the lease versus buy decision, how the leasing process works, and how to avoid the most common leasing mistakes.

How Do You Know If Your Lease Is a Deal?

Don’t assume that every lease promoted by a dealer or manufacturer is a good deal. By comparing the total cost of one lease to another, you can determine which quotes are good for your wallet and which are not.

It is important that you know roughly how many miles you drive each year; that will help you find a lease that covers that distance, without forcing you to pay expensive excess mileage fees. The number of allowable miles is always spelled out in the contract.

Comparing leases is pretty simple. You will want to do the math yourself – never rely on a dealer to do the math for you. Unscrupulous salespeople will throw a lot of numbers around, both to confuse you and to guide you to the lease that is most profitable for them. Try to avoid falling into the lowest-monthly-payment trap. Leasing based solely on a small payment can be financially devastating in the long run.

To determine the total cost of a lease, multiply the monthly payment (including fees) by one less than the number of months in the lease term. Add that total to the amount you have to pay at signing, and you will have the full cost. (The first payment is typically included in the amount you will pay to the dealer at signing.)

Let’s look at an example from this September’s offers. In the Northeast, you can get a 2017 Hyundai Elantra with a $149 per month lease for 36 months and $1,699 due at signing. You can also lease a 2017 Toyota Corolla with payments of $139 per month for 36 months with $1,899 due at signing. Which is the better deal? The Elantra will cost you $6,914 over the course of the lease ($149 multiplied by 35, plus $1,699). If you opt for the Corolla, it will cost $6,764 over its three-year contract. 

Leasing isn’t the only way to get a great price on a car, truck, SUV, or minivan. Search our new car deals page to see which manufacturers are offering affordable financing deals and cash back incentives. Buying a certified pre-owned car can put you behind the wheel of a gently used vehicle with warranty coverage for far less than the price of a new model.

If you didn’t see your dream car on the list of vehicles above, look at our AcuraBMWCadillacMercedes-Benz, PorscheAudi, ToyotaNissanFordHondaChevroletHyundaiKia, MazdaJeepDodgeRamBuickGMC, SubaruLexus, and Volkswagen deals pages to see brand-specific lease specials.

While we strive to keep the deals listed here up to date, these lease offers can change and may not be available in all areas. The best source of information on current lease deals is your local dealer. Use the form next to the car you’re interested in below to contact a dealership near you.

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