Leasing is a good idea

Environment and traffic - Car leasing is not financially worthwhile

At first glance, cheap leasing rates fool consumers into a bargain, criticizes Sara Stalder from the Consumer Protection Foundation. The leasing advertisements are aimed at people who cannot afford to spend a lot of money on a car at once. In many cases, expensive cars would attract people with a relatively cheap leasing rate. ACS director Niklaus Zürcher advises not to lease a car that you could buy with savings within the leasing period.

3 times the leasing rate = real costs

According to TCS expert Marco Schärer, a rule of thumb for car leasing is that the actual monthly vehicle costs are three times the leasing rate. Many of these additional costs arise from the leasing contract: Comprehensive insurance is mandatory, repairs may only be carried out by brand representatives and with original parts and the service intervals prescribed by the importer must be observed. In addition, the contract stipulates the maximum number of kilometers that can be driven during the lease. If this is exceeded, you end up paying up to 50 cents per additional kilometer.

Since the car does not belong to the consumer but to a bank or leasing company, the leasing contract may contain further restrictions. For example, that no third party is allowed to drive the car, or that the car is not allowed to go abroad. So before signing a contract, it pays to think about what you need the car for. Then one should check whether the lease agreement meets these needs.

Early exit is particularly expensive

It becomes particularly expensive if you want to get out of the leasing contract early. ACS director Niklaus Zürcher explains this with the higher depreciation of a new car in the first few months. However, the leasing rate is calculated for the loss of value during the entire leasing period: “If you want to get out of the contract after 3 months, then the car has only 65 percent of the new value at this point. The customer has to pay this difference to the leasing company. "

Even if the leasing contract expires normally, it can be expensive for the customer: the garage can offset any damage that goes beyond normal signs of use. It is also not true that the vehicle automatically belongs to the customer after the lease expires. This must be stipulated in the contract. "Otherwise the garage owner has a right of first refusal," says TCS expert Marco Schärer. In addition, the customer still has to pay the residual value of the car.

Installment agreement instead of leasing

The managing director of the Swiss Leasing Association, Markus Hess, admits that when you lease a car you still pay interest. However, he points out that the prices on the second-hand market are currently falling apart. A private car buyer is fully exposed to this, and the leasing customer can leave the problem to the leasing company. In addition, a leasing customer conserves his private funds. Thanks to leasing, he has his assets available for other purposes.

This is precisely where the Consumer Protection Foundation sees an alternative to car leasing: Instead of leasing a car, the customer should conclude an installment agreement directly with the garage owner. In this way, he has a say in the drafting of the contract and in the end the car really belongs to him.

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