Car Leasing for Beginners

Written by Al Hearn

Continued from page 1

- Do you typically keep your vehicles in good condition and change vehicles every few years? If so, you may be right for leasing. Lease providers require you to keep their vehicle maintained and repaired, with no more than normal wear and tear. If you don't, you'll be charged atrepparttar end of your lease.

- How is your credit rating? If you have a history of paying your bills on time and don't have excessive debt, you are a good lease candidate. Otherwise, you may be required to make a large down payment and pay higher finance charges or, worse, be refusedrepparttar 142620 opportunity to lease.

Shopping for a Lease

The most important element of a good lease deal isrepparttar 142621 price ofrepparttar 142622 vehicle. Regardless of whether you buy or lease, you should always getrepparttar 142623 best possible price first. When leasing, this price becomesrepparttar 142624 capital cost, or "cap cost." Prior loan balances and fees may be added. Rebates, discounts, down payments, and trade-in credit are subtracted. The lowerrepparttar 142625 capital cost,repparttar 142626 lower your monthly payment. This isrepparttar 142627 only element of a lease deal that a dealer directly controls.

The remaining elements of a lease money factor, residual value, and related fees are controlled byrepparttar 142628 lease provider and are not negotiable.

Since a lease is simply another form of financing, interest charges apply. These interest charges are known as "money factor." Money factor is expressed as a very small number such as .00375, which is equivalent to 9% annual interest rate. Again, a small money factor results in lower monthly lease payments.

Residual value is an estimate of a vehicle's wholesale value atrepparttar 142629 end of a lease term. The longerrepparttar 142630 lease,repparttar 142631 smallerrepparttar 142632 residual value. Your lease payment is primarily determined byrepparttar 142633 difference between cap cost and residual value, which isrepparttar 142634 amount thatrepparttar 142635 value ofrepparttar 142636 vehicle depreciates duringrepparttar 142637 lease. The higherrepparttar 142638 residual value,repparttar 142639 lowerrepparttar 142640 lease cost.

Sales tax may also be included in your monthly payment, depending onrepparttar 142641 state you live in.

You can easily calculate car lease payments, once you knowrepparttar 142642 key factors, using this Lease Calculator by

Leasing Fees

There may be certain fees associated with your lease. The fees that lease providers charge vary both in kind and amount. One ofrepparttar 142643 most common is an "acquisition fee", which is an administrative charge forrepparttar 142644 work in initiating a lease. Another common fee is a disposition fee, usually charged atrepparttar 142645 end of your lease when you return your vehicle.

You may also be charged atrepparttar 142646 end of your lease for excessive mileage, damages, and unusual wear-and-tear.

Atrepparttar 142647 beginning of your lease, you will be asked to payrepparttar 142648 first month's payment, a security deposit, a down payment, if any, and applicable miscellaneous fees associated with licensing a vehicle in your state. You will also be asked to show proof of insurance.

Driving Your Leased Vehicle

Your vehicle must be driven and cared for according torepparttar 142649 terms specified in your lease contract. Generally, this means keepingrepparttar 142650 vehicle in good condition, using it for lawful purposes, maintaining insurance, and allowing it to be driven only by licensed drivers.

Al Hearn is founder, owner, and operator of, a source of information and advice for automotive consumers who are interested in car leasing. has provided help to thousands of visitors since 1995.

Towing Your New Trailer

Written by W. H. Ingle

Continued from page 1

If you have to pass another vehicle by changing lanes, please anticipaterepparttar much longer time needed for most vehicles when towing. Signal well in advance. Avoid passing on steep grades.You will need to start acceleration earlier and realize your tow vehicle will need much more time to pass when carrying a load. Make sure there is plenty of time to avoid oncoming traffic and leave plenty of clearance before moving back into your lane. You don't want to hitrepparttar 142274 vehicle your passing with your trailer.

When traveling on roads with soft shoulders, avoid gettingrepparttar 142275 trailer wheels offrepparttar 142276 pavement. Contactingrepparttar 142277 soft shoulder can causerepparttar 142278 trailer to start to sway. If it happens, don't panic. Do not try to steer right back ontorepparttar 142279 pavement or hard surface. Take your foot offrepparttar 142280 gas pedal but don't hitrepparttar 142281 tow vehicles brakes. Activaterepparttar 142282 trailer brakes by hand and easily tap your vehicle brakes. Downshift if possible. When you have reached a much slower speed and your trailer is under control, gradually easerepparttar 142283 wheels back ontorepparttar 142284 road.

When encountering steep grades you will notice different handling characteristics when towing. On a steep downhill graderepparttar 142285 trailer can actually push your vehicle. Anticipate this and downshift and let offrepparttar 142286 gas a little. You may have to use your trailer brakes hand control to slow you but don't ride them. Only tap them intermittently to avoid overheating ofrepparttar 142287 brakes and ultimately, brake failure.. When facing a steep upgrade you should start accelerating early if possible. Again, you may have to downshift and keep increasing your gas pedal to compensate forrepparttar 142288 drag on you going uphill. As you reachrepparttar 142289 crest ofrepparttar 142290 grade start backing offrepparttar 142291 pedal. A steep grade will test your tow vehicles limits.

Once you have reached your destination you have to find a place to park your "rig". It's best to avoid parking on a grade. The more levelrepparttar 142292 parking arearepparttar 142293 better. If you have to park on a grade, it is best to chockrepparttar 142294 wheels. Hopefully, you have some with you. If you have someone to help, have them guide you intorepparttar 142295 spot. You can't always rely onrepparttar 142296 mirrors asrepparttar 142297 trailer may block your view. Once stopped, keep your foot onrepparttar 142298 brake, turn your wheels towardrepparttar 142299 curb (pointed in on a down hill, out on an uphill), applyrepparttar 142300 parking brake and then shift into park, or with a manual, your lowest gear. This method helps avoid locking your transmission due torepparttar 142301 extra load.

If you are on even a small grade and you plan to unhitch your trailer, you must apply chocks torepparttar 142302 trailers wheels to avoidrepparttar 142303 trailer from rolling away when uncoupled. Just havingrepparttar 142304 lift down will not make it stable. Jack stands also come in handy to level your load.I hope this article has provided you with useful information but it is not intended to berepparttar 142305 " be all and end all" of trailering safety. Read everything you can and talk to other more experienced trailer owners for tips on do's and don'ts. Contact your state governments transportation department and familiarize yourself with laws, regulations and even local ordinances regarding trailers and towing.

W. H. Ingle is the webmaster for and a published author specializing in articles on the subject of trailering and transporting cargo and livestock.

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