Consumers who consider a new car lease instead of a purchase should always think about the initial cost of the vehicle and the residual value at the end of the lease. Those two numbers are among the most important factors affecting the monthly payment.
One drawback to a lease is the consumer is paying the full amount of the vehicle's depreciation, which occurs the moment he or she drives away from the dealer. Even so, the monthly payment is almost always significantly lower than a purchase payment, moreso on some models than others.
How low? This month, there are 13 vehicles that can be leased for less than $200 a month after a down payment, according to automotive site Wantalease.com. Included in that group are four small SUVs: The Nissan Rogue S FWD can be leased for $189.00; the Chevy Equinox 2WD LT goes for $199.00; and the Ford Escape FWD SE and the Honda CR-V LX 2WD also go for $199.00.
$109 a month for a Nissan Sentra
The site says the lowest monthly payment on a lease it has been able to find this month is the Nissan Sentra SV, with a $109 monthly payment.
Lease payments tend to be a lot higher on luxury vehicles but still a lot less than purchase payments. This month you can lease an Infiniti Q50 2.0T Premium for $299 and the Cadillac CTS 2.0T RWD offered for $399.
"Keep an eye on lease deals at this time of year as dealers look to begin their final 60-day push to finish 2016 on a strong note," said Scot Hall, Executive Vice President of Wantalease.com. "Leasing currently offers dealers a great way to offer quality cars and trucks at a monthly budget that's extremely desirable to the consumer."
But not all lease payments are going down. The Wantalease.com analysis shows the monthly payment on the VW Passat 1.8T Limited Edition rose 27% from October, now offered at $189.00 per month.
While the monthly payments on lease deals are appealing, leasing a car or truck doesn't work for every consumer. Most three-year leases carry a mileage limit, and going over the limit can result in significant costs at the end of the lease.