It's always daunting when you start the process of looking for a new car. No matter how much preparation you put in, it almost always feels like going to battle or at very best a poker game. Today though, the auto industry is going through a transformation just like mobile phone carriers have recently and I think that's pretty exciting since I HATE to be locked into something for 2-5 years like a traditional lease would.
I think this is pretty exciting for anyone with kids especially since it's an easy way to get a first car and then be able to swap it out for something different when they go off to college or get a better job and can afford to move up from that 2005 Toyota Camry to a 2010 BMW :) Average down payment is $895 and you have the ability to return it whenever you need to - there is no long-term commitment.
Another great application is if you are planning a long vacation - say visiting Florida for a month - to rent an SUV would be more than $1,500 (and for two months it would be $3,000). However, with a Cancel Anytime Lease, you would be able to get a similar type of car for a fraction of that price and that's a pretty cool option!
What's the Catch?
The only significant catch that I found is that these are all used vehicles. If that's an issue, this isn't the right plan for you. However, each car includes a "Limited Warranty" that includes: engine, transmission, climate/AC and drive axles. Plus free oil changes too!
DriveTime has a great blog post that talks more about their Cancel Anytime Lease on their blog as well that I encourage you to check out.
If you are a fan of fine print, here's the full details from the site:
LEASE OFFER INFORMATION - $895 due at signing, 65 biweekly payments of $200 including applicable local taxes (vary by location), plus an additional $50 per biweekly payment for the first 4 payments. 30 month term (except as noted above), 18,000 miles/year (1,500 miles per month). Customer may elect 24,000 miles/year (2,000 miles/month) for an additional fee. Excludes other fees where applicable. No security deposit required. Terms only apply to "starter" class vehicles. Pricing and vehicle availability subject to prior lease or change without notice. No early termination penalties. Lessee is responsible for $0.20/mile over 1,500 miles per month (2,000 if elected by customer; prorated based on lease termination date) and damage in excess of normal wear and tear. Liability only insurance required. Subject to income and credit qualification. See your nearest DriveTime dealership for details.
‡No early termination penalties. Lessee is responsible for $0.20/mile over 1,500 miles per month (2,000 miles if elected by customer; prorated based on lease termination date) and damage in excess of normal wear and tear.
An example of a "Starter" class vehicle from DriveTime would be the following:
As you can see, these aren't the latest or greatest cars, but for a starter vehicle, these are a great option to give you the flexibility of having a car while just starting out, on a long summer vacation, or even just to help you repair credit.
Where to the Cars Come From?
So, as you can see from the video above, these aren't some "chop shop" cars - it's probably the same quality car that you'd find from other similar used car dealers but with flexible leasing options that don't lock you into a long term commitment.