A sign and drive lease deal sounds like the deal of the century to anxious car buyers. The television commercials say that all you need to do is sign the lease and you are on your way. But, when it comes to car commercials, it is more about the fine print at the bottom of the screen.
The sign and drive deals are one way that manufacturers get more vehicles on the road and show revenue for those vehicles. If you are the right kind of buyer, then you can enjoy the benefits of this kind of transaction. But before you get all excited about utilizing a sign and drive arrangement for your next car, you will want to weigh the pros and cons regarding these kinds of lease agreements.
You Get A Great Car With No Down Payment
The lure of a sign and drive arrangement is that you get the chance to drive away with a great car without having to use a down payment. This part is absolutely true, but this is not a comprehensive statement. We will investigate the money side of a sign and drive a little later.
It only takes a few minutes to fill out an application and have it processed at the dealership. Once everything passes through, you complete the transaction and drive away in your new car. It is a great deal for the people who qualify.
Eliminates The Up-Front Lease Costs
When you use a standard lease, it can cost you thousands of dollars just to close the deal. You could almost buy a good used car with the money you have to put down on a lease. When you use a sign and drive lease, you do not need to worry about the majority of those closing costs. You can drive off the lot with that money in your pocket and do whatever you want with it.
The sign and drive lease offers consumers the chance to enjoy the car they want at a price that they can afford. You do not need to drain your savings account to finalize a sign and drive lease, which is another one of the elements that attracts a lot of people to these kinds of lease agreements.
You Don’t Necessarily Get The Car You Want
There are a couple of good things about sign and drive leases, and then there is the other side of the coin. When you use a sign and drive lease, you get the car that is available for the program. You may want a car with tinted windows and a better stereo system, but what you will get is a factory standard model. Most sign and drive deals do not allow customers to upgrade their vehicles at all.
It Isn’t Exactly A “No Money Down” Arrangement
When you close out the purchase of a vehicle, whether you are leasing or buying, there are always extra charges you have to pay. There are charges for registration, taxes, and the car’s title as well that are due at signing. The television commercials may insinuate that you can drive away without spending money, but that isn’t what the fine print says on the screen as the commercial ends.
In all fairness, these charges usually add up to a few hundred dollars. You still save the thousands of dollars you would normally have to put down on a lease agreement. But you need to be careful when assuming that a sign and drive lease requires no money down.
The Payments Are Higher Than A Standard Lease
No matter how you slice it, the monthly payment for leasing a vehicle is always going to be lower than the monthly payment for buying the vehicle. But a sign and drive monthly payment will always be higher than a standard lease. It could be as much as 20 percent higher than a standard lease, depending on the agreement you sign.
The car manufacturers have to make up their money somehow, so they raise the sign and drive lease payments to make up for the lack of a down payment. You may want to talk to your dealer about a standard lease and see if that may not be a better deal for you.
You Cannot Choose Your Lease Terms
One of the truly convenient things about car leasing is that there is a variety of terms you can choose from. Some manufacturers offer more generous terms than others, but consumers will always have the chance to choose the terms they feel most comfortable with for their vehicle payments.
With a sign and drive lease, you do not have any choice on the terms for your agreement. The dealership will tell you the terms and they usually are either 27 or 32 months. All of the other standard lease conditions apply, such as mileage limitations, but you do not get to choose from a variety of terms like you would a standard lease.
You Can Make Changes, But It Will Cost You
Everything we have discussed so far applies to the factory standard sign and drive lease. You can make changes to a sign and drive lease, such as requesting extra miles, but it will cost you. The dealership will have a list of features you can change, but the list will be limited. Each time you ask for a change in your sign and drive lease, the monthly cost goes up. At some point, you may be better off just going with the standard lease instead of the sign and drive option.
Your Credit Needs To Be Spotless
If an auto manufacturer is going to allow you to drive off the dealer lot with a new car without putting any money down, then you will need great credit to do it. If you ever DVR a sign and drive commercial, you can freeze the scene where the conditions of the lease are displayed. Somewhere on the page will be a disclaimer which states that you must qualify for the sign and drive lease to get it. That means that you need great credit.
Auto manufacturers are always coming up with new ways to get people interested in buying cars. The sign and drive lease is a great idea for people who are limited on cash, but need a new vehicle. The process is simple, but there are plenty of things to look out for. If you want to lease a new vehicle, then you should definitely look into a sign and drive arrangement. But you should also leave your options open in case the sign and drive is not what you want.