If a leasing company allows it, you can lease a car for a year, but this option isn't available in most cases. Auto leases are short, but they usually last either 24 or 36 months, or two or three years. While some leases are for longer terms, it's rare to see an offer for as short as 12 months.
Picking the Best Car Lease Length
If you’re thinking about leasing a vehicle, you need to determine if that time frame is right for you. You need to consider these three factors before you jump into a lease:
- Your monthly budget – Leases are generally cheaper than buying a car, but you need to make sure you can afford the monthly payment, insurance, and maintenance costs.
- How long you want the vehicle – Make sure you know how long you want to keep the car. If you decide you don't want it anymore, you can't easily break a lease. While there are ways to end one early, it isn't always possible and it takes time.
- How much driving you plan to do – Leased vehicles come with mileage restrictions. If you have a rough estimate of how much driving you plan to do, make sure you choose a mileage limit that gives you a nice cushion so you don’t go over it. If you do, you’re going to pay per extra mile (usually 25 cents).
Getting a Lease with Bad Credit
If you have bad credit, can you even lease a car? The answer isn’t so simple. Most of the time it’s no, but in rare cases a lessor may extend a leasing offer to someone with bad credit.
If you’re considering leasing, you need to double check your credit score and credit reports, and come up with a budget that covers the monthly payment plus expenses. Once you know where your credit stands and have an estimate on on a lease payment you can afford, you can shop around for the best lease deal.
What you may find when leasing with bad credit is that the lessor may ask for multiple security deposits and additional documents in order to approve you. These include proof of income, proof of residency, and a list of personal references. They want to make sure you’re willing and able to pay for the lease.
Need Help Finding a Dealership?
Leasing may sound great, but you usually can't do it for only a year. Plus, it's harder to qualify if you have less than perfect credit.
If your credit isn’t great right now, you may want to consider financing a vehicle and working toward improving it. This way, you can work toward leasing the car you want in the future.
Auto Credit Express wants to help you find financing. We can connect you with a local special finance dealership that has the lenders available to work with unique credit situations. Take the first step by filling out our free auto loan request form today!