5 dumb car-leasing mistakes to avoid

Leasing for too long
Leasing for too long | antoniodiaz/

Leasing for too long

Most car-lease terms range from two to four years, though some can go longer, says Reed. However, drivers who lease cars for too long could end up paying extra money in maintenance.

Reed recommends that consumers not lease cars for longer than the warranty period, which averages three years, or 36,000 miles. "That's a turning point in the car's life, when it goes out of the bumper-to-bumper warranty," says Reed.

"If you keep the car longer, you'd have to consider getting an extended warranty at an additional cost, plus you may need to pay for new tires and brakes -- all for a car that you don't own," he says.

If a consumer plans to be in the same car for a long time, it's probably better to buy it, says Terry.

"If the driver owns the car, he'd have to pay for the car and pay for maintenance, but then he could continue to drive it for several years without having to worry about a required monthly lease payment," she says.

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