Understand how auto leasing works before signing an agreement
Louis Ehrlich of Boynton Beach, Fla., had never leased a car before. He had always purchased his vehicles outright.
But because he's 94, he thought leasing might be a good option. So earlier this year he ventured to a Broward County, Fla., car dealer where he traded in his 1993 Lexus as part of the deal.
After the negotiations and signing a two-year lease he describes being “as long as a newspaper page” with a lot of fine print, Ehrlich said he wasn't given as much for his trade-in as he was told.
“The salesman was so nice. He acted like he was my best friend,” Ehrlich said.
When all was said and done, he said he's sorry he leased because the process was confusing.
The Palm Beach Post recently has received a number of calls from people in their 90s and from their relatives about their car-leasing experiences.
A Texas man called saying he was upset to learn his 95-year-old mother, who lives in Palm Beach County, signed a four-year lease. He's not sure she should be driving and felt that she had been taken advantage of.
A Florida resident in his 90s asked how he could get out of the lease he signed after being “worn down” during a five-hour ordeal at the car dealer.
Al Payne, regional director of Seniors vs. Crime, a project of the Florida Attorney General's Office, said he has received numerous phone calls from seniors who leased vehicles and then regretted it. Payne said that often the callers have signed a contract without reading it.
“Read your contract before you put your signature on it,” Payne said.
Most people assume leasing a car is similar to renting, but leasing is simply another method of financing a vehicle, said Gregg Fidan of RealCarTips.com.
“Most dealers will give you a fair deal if you are informed. If they sense you have not done your research and can take advantage of you, they will. There are so many numbers and things like residual values and capitalized costs,” Fidan said.
Fidan recommends going through the nonprofit Checkbook.org and using its LeaseWise service. The fee is $350, and the company obtains bids from dealerships in your area and negotiates the best lease on your behalf. Checkbook.org can be reached at 800-475-7283.
Susan Salisbury is a writer for The Palm Beach (Fla.) Post.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- EPA talks on pollution limits trigger demonstrations Downtown
- It’s lights out for Bayer sign on Mt. Washington
- Investor helps Anchor Hocking’s parent win reprieve from lenders
- Fair Trade profitable for coffee venture
- Hiring in shale industry shifts to engineering, construction workers
- Hotels, restaurants lead job additions in Pittsburgh region
- State to seek comments on drilling below Loyalsock State Forest
- Hyundai recalls 883K Sonatas to fix gear shifters
- Chevron gains approval for $1B refinery project
- Sprint CEO weighs price cuts
- Groups stand against ‘sub-minimum’ wage for workers with disabilities