Leasing a vehicle can be the best choice of your life or the worst, and the difference between best and worst all falls into the fine print. Yes, those terms and conditions literally no one reads can mean the difference between walking about satisfied and walking away scathing. Here are some mistakes that consumers should avoid to remain satisfied.

Paying too much upfront

The way that most dealerships can legally advertise insanely low monthly payments, is that they don’t really mention that you have to dish out equally insane amounts upfront. That’s because instead of rolling in that amount into your monthly payment, they just ask you to pay it all at once instead. Paying more upfront to knock down your monthly payment is common practice with buying, but with leasing it’s different. If your car gets totaled, you won’t get compensated for the amount you put down upfront. Experts suggest not putting more than $2000 in advance, as in many cases it makes sense not to have to put anything down at all.

Forgetting gap insurance

Huge mistake. If your car gets totaled and the market value of the car is less than what you paid, your insurance company won’t make up the full amount owed and you’ll be responsible for the difference. Most leasing contracts have gap insurance included in the contract, but make sure that it’s there or else you’ll need to buy it separately. Dealers usually sell gap insurance but you’ll probably get a better deal if you purchase the insurance from your insurance company or a different third party.

You forgot about fees

If you forgot to ask your salesman about leasing fees, you’ll probably be unpleasantly surprised when signing time comes around. Lease fees make up a big portion of upfront fees so make sure to ask for transparency with these fees before getting your hopes up for a deal that seems too good to be true – because it is. Also, a lot of the time these fees are negotiable so don’t forget to fight for your right to save!

You took the first deal you found

Regardless of how much you negotiate, you won’t truly know how much you’re saving (or getting ripped off) unless you compare it to other deals and offers. Also, be sure that you are comparing entire lease deals, not just the monthly payment. While a 200$ monthly payment is a better deal than a $250 monthly payment on the surface, when digging a little deeper you may find that the $250 lease offer includes

$0 down upfront and all fees enrolled, while the $200 lease offer doesn’t include anything. You’ll end up paying significantly less with the $250 lease in this case.

Long story short…

Don’t rush! Take your time — it might save you tons of money, stress, and (believe it or not) time in the long run.

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