New cars are still in short supply, and the cost of buying one continues to rise. In its July Consumer Price Index (CPI), the U.S. government reported that the price of new cars rose by 0.6% from June to July and is up 10.4% over the last 12 months.
When you factor in that auto loan interest rates are going up, it could make affording a new car a challenge. But it turns out there are some lease deals in August that seem like they have time-traveled from before the pandemic.
Automotive publisher Edmunds.com has found several lease transactions with monthly payments that are $199 or less. Some require hefty down payments, but some don’t. Most are only available in a few states, so it’s important to read the fine print.
The 2022 Buick Encore is one of four SUVs that has a lease payment under $200. With $5,878 due at signing, the monthly payment is $179 for 24 months. Buick has another SUV in the low-payment category. The 2022 Encore GX requires slightly less at signing – $5,677 – but carries a higher monthly payment of $199.
For car shoppers with less money to put down, the 2022 Chevrolet Trax requires $3,049 upfront but has a longer term – 39 months. The monthly payment is $199.
Another lower down payment option is the Hyundai Venue. With $3,199 due at signing, the monthly payment is only $169 for 36 months.
Not the best fuel economy
There may be a good reason why manufacturers are offering generous terms amid a new car shortage. These SUVs don’t provide the best fuel economy at a time of high gas prices. They also aren’t the most popular models right now, and dealers may have plenty of them on hand.
Two sedans are part of the under-$200 club this month. The 2022 Hyundai Elantra offers excellent fuel economy and is priced at just over $21,000. With $3,199 due at signing, the monthly payment is an affordable $189 for 36 months.
The other sedan on the list is the $2022 Kia Forte, with an MSRP of $20,685. The Forte can be leased for $199 a month for 24 months at $2,799 due at signing.
Leasing can be an affordable way to drive a new car for two or three years, but consumers should keep one thing in mind: The residual value of the car – the price the car can be purchased at the end of the lease – is based on the current value of used cars.
It’s very likely that used car prices will be significantly less at the end of the lease, so it probably won’t be advantageous to purchase the vehicle. That means it will be important to keep the mileage under the limits to avoid extra charges when the vehicle is turned in.