Lease a Ford Fusion or Toyota Camry and save $2,000 per year over buying
The study takes into account financing, operating, insuring and maintaining a vehicle during a year in which 15,000 miles are logged.
According to Scot Hall, CEO of auto lease clearing house Swapalease, one can lease a 2013 Toyota Camry for $326 a month, making annual lease payments a total of $3,912. When estimated insurance costs of $1,029 and annual fuel costs projected at $2,167 are added in, the total costs for the same year are only $7,108.
Given the prices paid for the 2013 Ford Fusion are pretty much the same, it would follow similar numbers would attend the purchase of this popular sedan as well.
Notably, insurance is a highly subjective factor to the purchaser, but with $2,000 in leeway, it would seem most anyone would save money on a lease these days. Then there’s the advantage of the reliability of a newer car, lesser repair costs and the fact that some leases cover regular maintenance.
According to the AAA study, one of the causes of the cost of owning and operating a car going up roughly two percent since last year is an increasing outlay for maintenance, up 11.26 percent.
A person with a lease, however, is only concerned with the first three years of a vehicle's life, when the maintenance costs are at the least in the auto’s lifespan. An owner has to contend with rising maintenance costs as the car ages past that point.
Insurance costs have risen as well but only by 2.76 percent. Other factors such as fuel prices and tires are up slightly or unchanged, but depreciation has increased by only .78 percent – that’s what the lessee pays for – the value lost by the automobile over the three year span of the lease.
In most lease agreements it is possible to get out or transfer the remainder of the lease program to another person, providing the reason for the existence of Swapalease.
Generally speaking, to get out of a lease by selling a car to an individual or trading it in at a dealership, the lessee will encounter negative equity – similar to a house under water.
“Swapalease can help that owner get out of the lease for very little expense at all,” Hall stated. “On the other side there are a lot of benefits as well. People prefer the short term commitment rather than a long term commitment.”
Could the least expensive means of keeping a late model vehicle come from taking over the last year of someone else’s 3-year lease on an annual basis? It’s an interesting conjecture that might turn into another post at a later date.
Swapalease gets most of its business from company cars and employee transfers. They go to great lengths to assure everything they do fulfills the procedural requirements of the lease and related legalities.
“We don’t want to put anyone in jeopardy,” Hall affirmed.
Most though not all leases are transferable, so if anyone is considering using this service to move up to a new model every year and a half or two years, it’s a good idea to make sure you have a way out before signing the lease.
Virtually any car can be leased, including plug-ins, electrics and CNG vehicles. In fact, we talked to a local dealer who told us you could lease a new Mitsubishi MiEV for two years with a total payment and fueling cost of $2500. All you add is insurance to a car costing $30K with no option of used parts, because they haven’t been around that long. On the other hand, EV’s have fewer parts to worry about.
“We have a Chevy Volt for the Swapalease company car,” Hall said, “that turns a lot of heads because we have it wrapped in a Swapalease advertisement. It gets great fuel economy and it’s a car I really like,” he concluded.
For the record, the Swapalease site has tutorials for both those who want to get out of a lease, those looking for a shorter-term lease and plenty of information, including FAQs and testimonials, for lessees on either side of the equation.
AAA has been providing cost of owning a car reports for 64 years and now is one of the foremost authorities on the actual costs of driving any particular model over five years.