Best Cars to Lease

best cars to leaseThe best cars to lease are those that have the highest future resale value, called residual value in leasing.

It’s because monthly lease payments are based on the difference between vehicle price and residual value. The smaller the difference, the lower the payments and overall lease cost.

Typically, car makes and models that have a reputation for high quality and reliability have high residual values. So do vehicles that are and will continue to be big sellers — popular vehicles. Most luxury models have high residuals and are good lease vehicles.

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Best Lease Cars

Unlike buying a car with a loan, when you lease,  your payments depend on the predicted future residual value of the car. This is generally known as resale value.

Some vehicle makes, models, and styles have higher future resale values than other. For example, vehicles such as most of those from Honda, Toyota, Subaru, and Mazda have higher future residual values than, say, most models of Ford or Chrysler.  Said another way, Honda, Toyota, Subaru, and Mazda vehicles depreciate in value more slowly than many other brands.

Popular cars such as the Chevrolet Corvette, Chevrolet Camaro, Toyota Camry, Toyota Prius, Honda Accord, Jeep Wrangler, and some minivans (Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna) have high residuals. Many small SUVs such as the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 also have good lease residuals.

Most luxury brands such as Mercedes, Lexus, Audi, Porsche, BMW, Land Rover, Acura, Infiniti, and Jaguar have high residual values, although not on every model and style. For example, the Mercedes CLA has a poor residual value.

The more slowly a vehicle depreciates, the lower the lease payments. This is because the way car lease payments are calculated, it’s the difference between the car’s price and its residual value that determines the payment.

Therefore, the lower the price and the higher the residual value, the lower the monthly lease payment. There are also other factors that we’ll discuss later.

The absolute best leases are on those vehicles on which car companies and dealers have created “special lease offers.”

These are limited-time leases on selected vehicles that have attractive low monthly payments made possible by reduced price, boosted residuals, and low finance rates — and usually requires a down payment

These can be found on car company web sites under “Current Offers” in the main menu, and are nearly always exceptional deals. Such deals often require that customers have a good credit score to qualify. You can get your credit score easily online.

Find current listings of good lease deals at Best Car Deals, often with payments at under $200 a month.