Did you know that last year, women purchased an estimated 27 million vehicles? That is the equivalent of 75,000 cars a day at new and used car dealerships. Women are now the fastest growing segment of vehicle buyers and car dealerships are taking notice. To that end, there is much more flexibility when buying a car more than ever!
It seems that women are still more reluctant than men when it comes to the advantages of leasing a car. With the car industry back on its feet after the recession, leasing is at a high of 28% of all new car purchases.
This educational article from Women-Drivers.com offers insights into some “traditional” objections as well as provides a more updated, informed perspective on leasing and its benefits for anyone considering going to the dealership soon. (And, for those that believe ‘buying a car outright’ is the only way to go, consider that over one-third of car purchases today are leased for 72 months. Just because you buy a car does not mean you own your car. You only “own” your car, when the title is in your hand, i.e. the loan is paid off.)
Marlena McCoy, Sales Manager at Moon Honda, a Women-Drivers.com Certified Women-Friendly Dealer, shares her thoughts about leasing “Leasing is just another way to pay for a car, a less expensive way. With little or no money down, you can have an affordable payment, a warranty, free inspections, free car washes, and so much more! Why not pay less and get more.”
Below are the most common objections:
1) “The idea of ownership is important to me.”
Cars depreciate and then have service repairs and costs. Most women who lease don’t pay for brakes or tires because they don’t keep the car long enough to wear them out. If you finance a car for five years or more, it will most certainly need tires and brakes plus other repairs; budget $1,000 a year on maintenance.
2) “I have little or no ownership equity in the leased car.”
The trade-off for a lower or manageable monthly lease payment is that there is no trade-in value. It is fairly common that the market value of a vehicle at lease-end is higher than the purchase option price specified in the lease contract — which means there is some equity trade value there.
3) ”I don’t understand how leases work, and I’m afraid of getting ripped off.”
Dealerships – and their sales advisors – are conscientious and will take the time and effort to help you understand the leasing process and the intricacies of the contract.
These contracts can be complex and difficult to understand, so a dealership’s F&I manager should encourage customers to take their time and read the fine print. Leasing is not as complicated as it was years ago nor is it limited to just luxury brands.
4) “I don’t understand the leasing lingo. I don’t know what cap cost is or what comparison pricing means.”
Again, dealers will explain exactly what these terms mean – and in ways you will understand. Dealers who skim over these terms do a real disservice to a buyer and compromise any future dealings they may have with the dealership.
5) “I don’t want to be making car payments forever. I’d rather pay the car off early and have several years without a car payment.”
While you may not have a payment anymore, you will still be spending more in repairs to keep an older car on the road, with fewer safety features than newer cars, and more likely to break down. Your dealer can show how a lease provides a safe, more reliable car at all times, not just when the car is new, and a car protected by manufacturer warranty and with few repair bills.
6) “My car payments will be higher.”
Not true. Depending on a number of factors, monthly lease payments are considerably lower than a purchase loan for the same car and same term today.
7) “I’m worried about any early termination costs. What if I lose my job?”
To break a car lease means breaking a contract, can result in tremendous fees, as well as negatively impact one’s credit rating. Dealers can help customers find other buyers to assume the remainder of their lease, which would take them off the hook, while gaining a powerfully loyal customer. Such transfers are now made possible by companies like Swapalease.com or Leasetrader.com who help car lease owners find people interested in taking over the payments. The fees for both buyer and seller are reasonable, and save the seller from the early termination costs which could amount to thousands of dollars.
8) “I am concerned with excessive mileage charges.”
If a car buyer exceeds the mileage allowance in her lease contract, she will be charged for the extra miles at a specified per-mile rate, usually $0.20 per mile. Your dealer can help you reduce your exposure if you “buy” the extra miles you expect to drive at the time of lease signing. If you choose this option, you will be refunded for any unused miles.
9) “I am worried about excessive wear-and-tear charges, especially with the children and multiple drivers.”
If a buyer returns a leased vehicle at lease-end with dents or scratches, she will be charged. Dealers can explain what is “excessive” so that she knows to get the car repaired before she returns and avoid being charged. Also, it is best to clean the car or have it detailed for the best evaluation.
McCoy further explains,” You may have never leased before, you may not understand leasing, or you might just say that you would never lease a car. No one likes to go car shopping. No one likes to deal with the “typical car salesman”. I am not that “typical salesman”. I treat customers the way I would want to be treated — really. It’s important to be completely informed on all aspects of the car transaction – and that most definitely includes leasing!”