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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Although I have never leased a car in my life (and I'm 60) my wife and I are hoping the lease terms will be attractive so we can lease the smartcar. We figure that way we can share the risk with PAG. To us the ultimate buy price is more important than the monthly because we hope and expect that we will like the car on a daily basis (we've rented it in Europe) and that it is a success in the US and is reliable and safe feeling in the US environment over time.

While the option to buy at the end of the lease is a must to lease for us, it would be nice to just give it back to Smart at the end of the lease if the smart bombs in the marketplace or proves unreliable or feels unsafe in USA service conditions.

Any thoughts?

p.s. please no generic lease versus buy stuff as answers. the smart is a special case so please respond based on the smartcar's qualities. thanks.

e.g. items we've thought of- 1. low annual miles likely with short haul use only, 2. too short waranty from PAG - a 2 year lease would be nice with a 2 year waranty. etc.- then buy the car at the end of the lease with the extended waranty if we like it! 3. The plastic panels make it more likely to not get stuck with deductions for wear and tear at the end of the lease if you don't buy it.

Seems like there are some good reasons to go for a lease in this situation. But arguing the other side- if you really feel unsafe in the car in US conditions or if the car gives a lot of reliability headaches a lease can be hard to get out of and then you're suffering for 2 years. Also although I would never do this, those among us who would be tempted to sell it on for a quick profit lose that chance too.

So what do you all think?
 

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Good question! I've never leased either but if the 2 year warranty turns out to be real that may be the best option. Lease for 2 yrs and then see if you want to buy another one. :)
 

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Or just pay a few dollars more for the extra year of service (get the maintenance package, too if you want). That would probably be less than the extra money you'll spend on the lease over a cash purchase.
 

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I'm seriously considering a 2 year lease for one reason. In two years, might PAG start bringing in turbo and/or Brabus models? I don't expect we'll see them in 2009, but I'm hoping for 2010! :D
 

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Yuppers, Lewis! I should have mentioned that as well! I drove a CDN 450 cdi and it was a blast! It got incredible mileage as well! Thanks for reminding me!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
I believe I recall in the initial publicity the company mentioned they would do trade-ins and leases just like any other car dealer.

Of cause the big issue will be the individual terms- and with two year's orders in hand, and the declining dollar versus the euro I worry that the terms will not be as good as we hope they would be. So I predict that most of us will be selling our current cars privately and buying at the introductory price because that is looking better and better next to what our Canadian friends are paying for their 451s.

I WOULD however be interested in a lease if the terms are financially comparable to the intro pricing for purchase.
 

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Many places will lease ...

inexpensive cars. Saw a base MINI ad for $199/12 month lease (yes, that's one year!!!) here in Chicago (Patrick BMW in Schaumburg) so why not a smart?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Without chewing this to death if the price of the Smart is likely to rise and if the Smart will continue to remain in short supply common sense says the dealers would love a lease program. But sooooooooooo much still remains unknown that it is anyone's guess what if anything will happen with leasing.
 

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I've always been a fan of leasing (never own a depreciating asset I always say!) But in this case I'm not sure.

I'd be willing to bet low supply and high demand should equal a great residual value on a lease. Bad thing is they will probably jack up the money factor (if you go through Smart USA) so that might wipe out any super low payments.

Vlad
 

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IMHO, for me it is the "smart" thing to do. In effect it is like having a 24 to 36 month test drive, particularly with a new model. Initially they will probably go with a residual based on what the bean counters in finance calculate. I would guess that their calculations will be greatly exceeded at termination due to market forces.
 
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