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Car leasing costs go up

By Tara Baukus Mello · Bankrate.com
Monday, April 29, 2013
Posted: 5 pm ET

While car leases are more plentiful than in recent years, lease payments, for the most part, are much higher for the same makes and models, according to Swapalease.com's analysis of monthly payments in 2012 compared to 2006.

The biggest increases from 2006 to 2012 by car segment were 61 percent with the Buick Lacrosse (passenger car), 13.1 percent with the BMW 3 Series (luxury car) and 42.1 percent with the Chevrolet Tahoe (truck/SUV).

While most car lease payments saw increases from 2006 to 2012, a handful of vehicles saw declines. The biggest declines by car segment were with the Toyota Camry at -27.7 percent (passenger car), the Lexus IS250 at -9.2 percent (luxury car) and the Ford Explorer at -12.6 percent (truck/SUV).

Change in car lease payments

Passenger car 2006 monthly payment 2012 monthly payment Percent change
Buick Lacrosse $272 $438 61%
Honda Accord $298 $326 9.4%
Nissan Altima $288 $309 7.3%
Chevy Malibu $282 $287 1.8%
Ford Fusion $327 $297 -9.2%
Toyota Camry $451 $326 -27.7%

Source: Swapalease.com.

The data show that, while consumers have more leasing options, the monthly payments for car leases are higher than before the recession. As a result, the monthly payment associated with car leasing approach the monthly payments on a used-car loan. The better deals to be had are those where manufacturers have focused on lease deals to consumers as a way to boost their share in the marketplace.

Have you leased a car recently? Did you find prices higher than previously?

Tara Baukus Mello writes the cars blog as well as the weekly Driving for Dollars column, providing both practical financial advice for consumers as well as insight into the latest developments in the automotive world. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter @SheDrives.

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