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100 Cheapest Car Leases - Growella

The 100 Most Affordable Cars to Lease

By Dan Green

When you’re shopping for a car lease, the car with the cheapest price tag isn’t always going to be the car that’s cheapest to lease. Consider the cost of the lease, plus the cost to insure your car and to fill it with gas. Here’s a breakdown of the cars that cost the least to lease in 2017.

What Does It Mean To “Lease A Car”?

Leasing a car is a form of car ownership.

A car lease is an agreement between you and a car dealership. You’re given a car for a specific length of time, after which you’re required to bring the car back to the dealership.

While you have a car on lease, it’s yours. You can drive it how you want. Then, when your lease ends, you drive it back to the dealership, as-is.

Leasing a car is similar to having a car on loan, and that’s how car dealerships look at the car lease arrangement. They’re giving you a car to drive with the expectation you’ll bring it back.

By the time you bring the car back, though, the car has lost some value. It’s not worth the same as when your lease started. The dealership can’t sell the car for the same amount of money.

This loss in value to the car is known as depreciation .

Depreciation on a car is what determines its lease payment. So, if a car is expected to lose $10,000 in value over the next three years of you driving it, your three years of lease payments will be roughly equal to the same.

This is why car payments are cheaper when you lease a car as compared to when you buy one. When you lease a car, you’re only paying its depreciation. When you buy a car, you’re paying its whole price.

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Why Would You Lease A Car?

When you’re shopping for a car, you can buy it or lease it.

The decision to buy a car or lease a car is a personal one, but there are some obvious scenarios that can help you decide whether you should lease a car or buy one.

1. You want the latest technology and safety features in your car

For example, if technology and safety features are important to you, you’ll want to consider a lease. This is because, when you have a car on lease, you get to drive it for a few years and then you can get a new one.

Technology and safety upgrades happen quickly in today’s automobiles.

A few years ago, cars rarely included USB ports and collision detection systems; and, camera-assisted parking didn’t exist.

Today, even in entry-level cars, drivers get access to heads-up displays, automatic braking, and blind spot monitoring. In a few years, that feature list will be even longer.

2. You don’t like spending money on random car repairs

Another reason to lease a car is that routine maintenance costs are typically less for drivers who lease as compared to drivers who buy.

This is because leased cars are often bundled with bumper-to-bumper warranty coverage , and free routine maintenance. No matter what goes wrong with your car — from something small like an oil leak to something major like engine failure — the repair costs are covered by your dealership and your lease.

Typically, when you lease a car, the only money you put into a car is for fuel.

3. You like driving the most luxury car you can afford

A third reason to lease a car is because you like to drive “fancy” cars, but don’t like making fancy car payments. Leasing a car gets you the same car for a lot smaller payment as compared to buying.

Remember: when you lease a car, it’s the car’s depreciation you’re paying for — not its sticker price; and, a car will typically lose 50% of its value while it’s on lease.

This means that while you lease a car, your payments will add up to roughly half of the car’s original sticker price. This half-price for a luxury car will usually be less than the full price of a standard car, which is why leasing a car can be cheaper than buying one.

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There are other times when leasing a car makes more sense than buying, too, including:

When you’re going to lease a car, though, and you want to stay in budget, shop for cars that are cheapest to lease. There are some excellent deals in today’s auto marketplace.

The 100 Cheapest Cars To Lease

There are plenty of reasons to lease a car instead of buying one.

Maybe you like to drive new cars every few years; or, maybe you drive your car for business; or, like to drive an upscale auto. None of these are bad reasons.

Leasing can be smart, financially. And, because leasing a car is entirely about its monthly payment, you can compare the overall monthly cost of leasing a car to help you make the best possible choice.

The Growella “Cheapest Cars To Lease” Methodology

When you lease a car, your car lease payments are based on the car’s depreciation during the term of your lease. However, as the driver of a leased car, car payments aren’t your only out-of-pocket expense. You’re also required to carry auto insurance; and, (most) cars don’t run without gasoline, so gas is required, too.

Using publicly available data and an insurance pricing engine, we assumed the following: a 25-year old female driver in a city setting with no traffic offenses; a thirty-six month auto lease; depreciation equal to the value of a trade-in car in 2017 minus its MSRP of three years ago at 15,000 miles driven per year; gas mileage as provided by auto manufacturers; and, an average gas price as provided by FuelEconomy.gov.

We also assumed that the driver did not shop for new auto insurance during her lease; and, that she did not move, nor incur a traffic offense, nor change her driving habits. We ignored whether the issue of is car insurance cheaper if you lease or buy, because differences vary by state and driver.

8

Cheapest Cars To Lease - Kia Rio

Kia Rio

Estimated Total Monthly Cost:$337
Average monthly depreciation:$209
Average monthly auto insurance:$40
Average monthly cost of gas:$93

Read more on the Kia Rio at Edmunds.

The Rest Of The 100 Cheapest Cars To Lease

RankCar Make/ModelTotal
Monthly Cost
Average Monthly
Depreciation
Average Monthly
Auto Insurance
Average Monthly
Gas Costs
11Honda Civic$354$233$38$83
12Toyota Yaris$356$233$35$89
13Dodge Dart$363$225$38$100
14Nissan Sentra$363$229$39$95
15Subaru Forester$364$213$34$117
16Nissan Frontier$364$186$38$139
17Subaru Legacy$366$231$36$100
18Hyundai Veloster$372$242$35$95
19Jeep Patriot$374$226$37$111
20Kia Sedona$377$201$35$140
21Hyundai Elantra$379$246$38$95
22Ford Fiesta$383$247$36$100
23VW Jetta$384$263$34$87
24Kia Forte$386$246$40$100
25Hyundai Tucson$391$246$34$111
26Kia Sportage$395$243$35$117
27Chevrolet Cruze$399$274$38$88
28Nissan Juke$409$249$39$121
29Mazda CX-5$410$276$37$97
30Toyota Prius$415$324$36$56
31Honda CR-V$417$284$33$100
32Mini Cooper Cooper$417$277$33$106
33GMC Sierra$421$243$38$140
34Ford Focus$426$293$33$100
35Nissan Rogue$428$292$36$100
36Jeep Compass$428$280$37$111
37Honda Accord$429$286$35$108
38Toyota Rav4$430$283$36$111
39Hyundai Santa Fe$432$257$37$137
40Mini Cooper Countryman$433$279$34$120
41Mitsubishi Lancer$433$289$41$103
42Hyundai Sonata$434$297$40$97
43Honda CR-Z$435$316$36$83
44Mitsubishi Outlander Sport$439$289$38$113
45Kia Cadenza$442$279$38$125
46RAM 1500$445$263$40$142
47Ford Mustang$450$281$35$133
48Dodge Grand Caravan$451$269$36$146
49VW Beetle$454$317$34$103
50Mazda Mazda6$460$321$37$102
51Chevrolet Silverado$465$280$39$146
52Dodge Journey$465$289$39$138
53Mazda MX-5 Miata$471$316$30$125
54Fiat 500$472$317$29$125
55Kia Optima$475$334$39$102
56Honda Pilot$476$311$37$128
57Mini Cooper Clubman$476$316$35$125
58Chevrolet Camaro$479$302$35$142
59Buick Encore$483$342$36$104
60VW Passat$485$346$35$104
61Nissan Altima$487$359$38$90
62Toyota Camry$489$347$39$103
63Chevrolet Malibu$490$358$37$96
64Jeep Grand Cherokee$491$312$41$138
65Kia Sorento$493$334$39$120
66Subaru BRZ$497$313$37$147
67Buick Verano$500$343$36$121
68Ford Fusion$503$355$37$112
69Dodge Challenger$504$339$40$125
70Chrysler 200$507$364$34$108
71Mitsubishi Outlander$510$366$38$106
72Ford Escape$511$358$36$117
73Nissan Quest$519$359$35$125
74Dodge Durango$526$351$38$138
75Chevrolet Equinox$531$379$36$117
76Kia Optima hybrid$534$426$39$69
77GMC Terrain$535$385$36$114
78Ford C-Max Hybrid$539$429$37$73
79Hyundai Sonata Hybrid$548$442$37$70
80VW Tiguan$551$349$35$167
81Honda Odyssey$556$396$32$128
82Dodge Charger$567$398$44$125
83Ford Explorer$586$406$38$142
84Nissan Titan$587$378$42$167
85Mazda CX-9$594$440$37$117
86Nissan Murano$605$449$36$120
87Chevrolet Impala$610$453$40$117
88Nissan Pathfinder$611$448$38$125
89Ford Edge$619$434$38$147
90GMC Acadia$619$457$37$125
91Ford Taurus$627$459$36$132
92Chrysler 300$652$489$38$125
93Chrysler Town and Country$654$472$35$146
94Audi A4$654$494$36$125
95Chevrolet Traverse$658$459$36$163
96Hyundai Azera$679$516$37$125
97Buick Regal$700$516$38$146
98Buick LaCrosse$704$549$38$117
99Nissan Maxima$715$532$40$144
100Nissan Leaf$738$655$38$46

Yes, You Can Share Our Research!

Growella conducted its “The Cheapest 100 Cars To Lease” research to help car shoppers make better decisions for their budgets. If you’ve found our research to be helpful, you are welcome to share this article online with proper attribution.

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Written by Dan Green

Dan Green is a mortgage lending expert and the founder of Growella. Prior to Growella, Dan was a six-time, top-producing loan officer; and, ranked repeatedly among the top 1% of loan officers nationwide. Dan's home buying expertise has been in print and on TV with The Wall Street Journal, NPR, Forbes, CNBC, and others.

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