Attractive Leases Mean Lower Mileage Caps In Exchange For Low Payments

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon
attractive leases mean lower mileage caps in exchange for low payments

Leases are red-hot these days, but those signing up for temporary ownership of their rides will be facing lower mileage caps in exchange for low payments.

According to Experian Automotive, 31 percent of all U.S. new-car sales during Q1 2015 were leases, CarsDirect writes, with monthly payments entering the sub-$150 range for small cars after paying $1,999 at signing, $199/mo. for midsize models upon cutting a check for the same amount at the dealership.

However, those deals are coming with a price: in order to keep residual values healthy, annual mileage caps are being trimmed.

The publication looked over the mileage caps of 300 leases, finding the average cap figure came to 10,900 miles per year; Edmunds adds caps have fallen below 11,000 miles/year for the first time ever in Q1 2015. One lease advertised by General Motors dropped the cap from 12,000 miles/year in 2014, to 10,000 miles this year, with the now-extra 2,000 miles amounting to $1,500 for a three-year agreement plus an overage fee of 25 cents/mile.

CarsDirect says concerns over caps aren’t a new thing, akin to data caps on smartphone plans, but adds consumers should keep the new lower caps in mind, lest they end up spending more money than originally thought.

[Photo credit: Sunset Chevrolet/ Facebook]

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12 of 36 comments
  • Indi500fan Indi500fan on Jun 11, 2015

    Teaser lease deals seem to be the majority of local dealer tv and print adverts these days. I'm waiting for (but still haven't seen) one for $0 per month with the $3000 down payment in the unreadable fine print.

  • Stumpaster Stumpaster on Jun 11, 2015

    10K would work for me. And my mom. And my wife. We at best average 12K on one car. But remember, anxious off-lease buyers, it takes about $150 and 5 minutes to set the electronic odometer to any desired number.

    • See 4 previous
    • DenverMike DenverMike on Jun 12, 2015

      Wouldn't insurance fraud be 100x easier? Just "forget" where you parked it. Mexico.

  • Alexndr333 Alexndr333 on Jun 12, 2015

    "Leases are cheaper when there's a lower mileage cap!" And in other news, "The sun rises in the east!" Thanks, TTAC.

    • DenverMike DenverMike on Jun 12, 2015

      Exactly! Except my ex gf would claim she'd rack up 36,000 miles on her Civic lease, 24 month in on a 36/36, turn it in early at that point and the dealer would forgive all, since she was signing on for another new Civic 36/36 lease. **She's a pathological liar.

  • CincyDavid CincyDavid on Jun 15, 2015

    I can't seem to even keep my teenagers under the 12k per annum more leases when these are over...gonna go back to buying old European cars and driving them until they simply rust to bits. I have bought two old Volvos this year, spent minimal money to buy them, spending money as needed to keep them in good working order, and we can drive all we want.

    • See 1 previous
    • CincyDavid CincyDavid on Jun 15, 2015

      @28-Cars-Later 97 V90 wagon, 2000 C70 convertible as a summer beater/toy. Cheaper to insure because I don't carry full coverage on them, easy to work on, parts are available at U Pull & Pay for cheap. There's also something to be said for not obsessing about every little nick and scratch like I have to with the leased cars. And several neighbors are fascinated with the headlamp washers and wipers...