By | March 31, 2018

Leasing a new vehicle offers several benefits for consumers who want to forgo the hassle of buying a new car. You get more for your money leasing a new car, as depreciation is considerably more after the first year of ownership than after any other year you drive a new vehicle. Car lease agreements typically do not include much of a down payment, if you have to put anything down at all. Think about the joy of getting behind the wheel of a new car every three years, which represents the average lifespan of a new car lease. You do not have to worry about repairs or maintenance, and you receive generous state and federal tax breaks.

To enjoy the benefits of leasing a vehicle, when is the best time to lease a car?

Timing and Depreciation

By far the best time of year to lease a vehicle is right after the auto manufacturer has released the new make and model. The residual value of the new car is at its highest point because depreciation has not yet kicked in. You find out the residual value of new cars by reading the Residual Percentage Guide, which the publishers update every two months. If you lease a car for 36 months at the end of the first year of the new vehicle’s run, you have a car that has almost reached its first birthday. This means you can expect to pay the cost of almost the entire first year of depreciation, which is by far the highest annual depreciation cost during a vehicle’s lifespan. Although not set in stone, auto manufacturers release most new makes and models between July and December.

When a Vehicle’s Popularity Declines

Some new makes and models come off assembly line scorching hot in popularity. However, the luster wears off after a few months, as the next great thing arrives to dealership showrooms. Although the depreciation rule makes it sensible to lease a new vehicle right after it shows up at a dealer’s lot, you should wait a couple of months to lease the more popular new cars. Auto manufacturers and dealerships reevaluate new car values every couple of months.

Put Yourself in Other Consumer Shoes

The primary goal of leasing a new vehicle is to receive the most favorable contract terms. Auto dealerships and leasing centers cut more favorable deals on days when demand for new auto leases is low. Because of cold weather and frozen precipitation, winter represents the ideal time to negotiate the most favorable new car lease. However, winter is not the only time of year that delivers foul weather. Rainy days that keep consumers curled up on couches are also prime times to lease a car. There is nothing a financially stressed auto sales rep wants to do more than to earn commissions on days where showrooms remain vacant all day long.

At the End of Anything

When you lease a new car, you have to visit auto dealerships at times when sales reps are a little more desperate to sell or lease new vehicles. You gain the advantage when you arrive at a dealership late in the day, preferably during the last two hours the dealership is open. Auto dealer sales reps earn monthly commissions, which means you might hit the leasing jackpot during the last week of any month. Sales quotas are set every month, but the end of each quarter is when you should lease a car to take advantage of the best deals. The week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is also a good “At the end of anything” time to lease a car.

Consumers should remember a few tips for learning when it is the best time of year to lease a car. We recommend avoid shopping for the best car lease in spring. Warmer weather attracts shoppers, as do the millions of tax rebate checks that make up some or all of vehicle lease down payments. The only time when timing does not play a role in leasing a new vehicle is when the auto manufacturer offers incentives to lease new cars. Lease incentives can include no money down and/or a cash back bonus. You should take advantage of dealership lease incentives whenever you see one publicized.

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