Insurance liabilities, low loan financing and cost issues have kept automakers off the leasing jones in the past few years. In the late 1990s, leases accounted for a quarter of all new-car transactions. Today it has dropped to as little as 12 percent of transactions. Automakers are once again playing with the lease numbers and coming up with new deals to make it an attractive alternative to buying again. GM started a new pilot program that allows you to break a lease without a huge fee and DaimlerChrysler is continuing their 12-month lease pull ahead. I was always uneasy about leasing, but when our two-year old purchased car was totaled in an accident, leasing was a great alternative in a pinch to get a new car at a low price. Rent or buy? It's all according how you are going to use the car.

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