Underestimating miles you've driven
According to Jacobson, many leasing companies are able to advertise low monthly payments because they have low mileage limits.
It's common for leasing contracts to have a driving maximum of 10,000 miles to 15,000 miles per year, he says. If consumers exceed those limits, they could be charged an additional 10 cents to 30 cents per mile at the end of the lease.
"You could wind up owing a lot of money for miles when it's time to turn in the car," Jacobson says. The driver could owe big bucks on a car he is no longer driving.
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To avoid this extra fee, consumers should know their driving habits before signing the contract, says Jacobson. If they know they'll probably drive more miles than the agreement allows, they could ask for a higher limit.
Still, there's a drawback: The required monthly lease payment would likely increase along with the mileage increase, he says.