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Taking advantage of a lease pull ahead program can save... Taking advantage of a lease pull ahead program can save you money (Alamy).
According to data from Swapalease.com, 2014 is shaping up to be the "Year of the Lease Pull Ahead."

Nearly 3 million vehicles projected to come off of lease this year, a 50 percent increase from 2013, according to NADA. Because of that spike in turnover, manufacturers are ramping up incentives in order to keep lessees from jumping to other brands. This is good news for consumers, as lease pull aheads often offer great deals.

Manufacturers such as BMW, Ford and Lincoln utilized aggressive pull-ahead programs throughout 2013. With so many people coming off of leases and finding themselves back in the new car market in 2014, even more automakers are going to join the trend.

What the heck is lease pull ahead, anyways?

You've probably heard this term before, likely in a local car or dealer commercial.

Lease pull ahead programs are simple. Automakers and dealers entice lease holders to turn in their vehicles early in order to "re-lease" another vehicle, said Scot Hall, executive vice president of Swapalease.com. It's a deal usually offered to people with five or fewer months remaining on their current lease.

The pull ahead is generally advantageous to both the shopper and the seller. The lease holder can turn in a vehicle early with no penalty, allowing them to get in a different model of the same brand that meets any new needs or desires they may have. The program benefits automakers and dealers because it encourages people to stick with the same car brand, instead of shopping around, and keeps new car inventory moving off of the lots.

For example, if you had leased a previous-generation Ford Fusion for three years back in 2011, Ford might offer you a good deal on a new 2014 Fusion, which comes with an all-new design, technology and interior, a few months before your original 36-month lease on the old one is up.

"The great thing about the pull ahead for automotive consumers is the flexibility. These programs allow people to get in new vehicles that come with the latest technology and safety features much sooner without taking a financial hit, as the manufacturer waives the early termination payment," said Hall.

Automakers and dealers will also often offer very good rates on the new lease in order to further entice people to stay with the brand, Hall added.

Is a lease pull ahead for you?

Pull ahead programs are often a good option if you're already in a lease and you fit one or more of these criteria:

1. You want to stay in the same vehicle family. If you're happy with your current brand and don't feel the need to shop around, you can often get a great lease deal by taking advantage of a pull ahead program. Automakers want to keep customers from jumping ship and will give discounts in order to do so.

2. You like to lease. Leasing gets a bad rap from people who love to crunch numbers, since you're paying for something you don't actually own. But if you really like having a new car complete with the latest technology, design and features, it's a great thing to do. Not everyone wants to hold onto the same car for eight to ten years, after all.

3. You're ready for a new car now. Maybe you're family is growing and you need some more room or maybe you're just sick of your current ride. Regardless of the reason, pull-ahead programs allow you to cut your current lease short and get behind the wheel of something new.

Brands more aggressive than others

The top ten manufacturers Swapalease.com projects to be aggressive with pull ahead programs are Buick, Chevrolet, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Ford, Audi, Volkswagen, Infiniti, Toyota and Honda. These companies will offer especially tantalizing rates on new leases for customers taking part in the program.

That's not to say other brands won't have the programs. Hall said they will be keeping a close eye on brands that aren't traditionally big leasers, such as Chrysler and Jeep, to see if they hop on the trend.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 11 Months Ago
      As a general rule of thumb I try to purchase appreciating assets and rent depreciating assets so leasing new works well for me. Always under warranty, I like driving new cars, and predictable turn over dates. I figure that if I am purchasing a new car the loan will be for 5 years or so and at that time the care will have between 80K and 100k on the clock...at those mileage rates it isn't worth the additional money that I would outlay for it in the purchase payments. For example, I drive a 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland...sticker price was about $51,000, my purchase price was about $47,000...my lease payment is a little less than $600/month for 36 months, to purchase that same truck my payment would be about $850 for 60 months so in the first 3 years I am paying $9,000 less on the lease side. If I decided that I wanted to trade the car that I purchased in on a new one after 36 months I would still owe about $20,000 on the truck. If I think that I could get about $29,000 for a three year old car with about 50,000 on it I would be better off purchasing. Currently a 3 year old Grand Cherokee Overland is selling for about $26,000-$28,000 (retail ask price give or take a buck or two) so in the short run I am better off leasing by a few grand...give or take...the difference would be greater if I decided to trade it in to a dealer.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Leasing is really only good if you own a business and can write it off. I lease and drive 20K a year. At the end I owe about $2,000 in over mileage. I drive a high end car. It is still cheaper to pay the $2,000 because if I owned the vehicle I would have to put down a hefty down payment which would tie up my money. Then when you are ready to sell deal with depreciation. Leasing affords me to work with the banks money. At the end of lease I get another car.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Leasing a car creates a self rejuvenating market for the automakers. They dont want people to own their own vehicles. This way it gives the automakers predictable profits. There is no plausible reason for someone to rent a car for 2 or 3 years with limitations on how many miles you can drive before monetary penalties kick in. Then you also must consider the higher insurance limits you must carry which of course leads to higher premiums you must pay.
        • 8 Months Ago
        You have the option,which is preset to buy it at the end of the lease. If for some reason you went way over your miles you buy it like you would have originally with out any penalty. My buy out on my 2012 Buick Regal is much lower than wholesale price. Going to buy it out and use for down payment , profit plus less tax off new vehicle. Been playing this game for a lot of years.
        • 1 Year Ago
        Up your lease mileage to 15,000/year. If you drive way more than that then simply do not lease. Insurance for me was the same. I enjoy having a new car every 2 years and paying 0 for maintenence.
      • 1 Year Ago
      I used to lease my car when I could write off part of the payment when alot of my income was 1099 earnings and the car was considered a legitimate business expense. That was the only benefit I could find in leasing one car after another. NowI find the best way to get a new car is to make a decent down payment and purchase the vehicles. But unless I just had to have the latest incarnation of a particlular model I think the best way to buya "new" is to purchase a high quality off lease vehicle. These cars all have low mileage and were always serviced by the dealers and as good as a new car. They even come with a good manufacturers warranty. This way, you can buy a car for between 1/2 and 2/3 the brand new cost and not suffer allthat depreciation.Plus in a few short years you own it
      • 1 Year Ago
      Maybe I'm just thick in the head or something, but I fail to see ANY advantage with a lease for the average person. You make a payment for about 3 years that is just as high as if you were purchasing the vehicle. You turn it in at the end of the lease, and walk away with ZERO, not even scrap metal. It's as dumb as paying rent on a house.
        • 1 Year Ago
        Agree, 100% but, many people that live beyond their means or like to impress, prefer leases because they don't need a BIG DOWNPAYMENT. Many people that can NOT afford a burger from the dollar menu, fall for delaying the big payment at the end of the lease, hopeing they will have the money. As a person that does NOT recommend leasing a vehicle, many people seem to be attracted to these leases that can least afford to lease a car, truck, or home.
          • 1 Year Ago
          larry there was no money due at the end of the lease.
        • 1 Year Ago
        ...You're not thick in the head. It probably was never explained to you. We lease three cars every three years and have been for the last 12 years. First, your lease payment is not even close to your payment if you are financing your car. Secondly, a good rule of thumb is that you will be paying about 50% of the value of the car for a normal 36 month lease. Meaning, I pay for half the value of a new car in three years and then turn the car in. You pay a higher payment for the first 36 months and guess what... after three years you car has dropped to half of it's original value. So, it's a wash. But the lease advantage is... I get into a brand new car every three years... In twelve years I haven't bought brakes, tires, water pump, transmission, alternater or even wiper blades. I change the oil every 7,500 miles and that's it. To take your line "You turn it in at the end of the lease, and walk away with ZERO" is true. Just as true as "After paying a higher amount per month for three years, the equity you have in your car is ZERO." You're still going to owe as much as the car is worth.
        • 1 Year Ago
        I leased a 2012 Nissan Altima. 24 month lease at 15k per year. My monthly payments were $153. No money down and none when I turned the car in. The dealership contacted me with 10 months still on my lease and offered to get me into the new 2014 model. Maybe you don't realize how good the lease prices are???