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Hi,
I live on the Upper West Side and I'm about to start a job which covers 2 hospitals, one on the UES and one in Washington Heights. Since my job involves crazy hours when crosstown buses aren't yet running and the subway is infrequent, I'm looking into other transportation options that are viable year round (unlike scooter or biking).

I thought a smart car could be a great fit. I currently spend about $200 a month on zip cars for non-work purposes, so that's another incentive to get a car.

I'm considering leasing a Pure, but still have a few questions:

1) How real are the discounts on parking? Icon has ads for $99/mo for the first year, but I assume that's associated with specific garages...they also say 1/2 off on their rates, including monthly. Has anyone used this? I'd prefer to street park, but this might be a challenge on the UES, warranting me paying for a parking spot there. I called icon and I'm still waiting to hear back.

2) Outside of the $395 return fee, what other costs should I expect at the end of the lease? I should be fine on milage restrictions, but a car street parked in Manhattan is bound to take some wear and tear and I don't want to be surprised with a crazy damages bill if I decide to return the car instead of buying it.

3) What are people's experience with driving and street parking the Smart in Manhattan? I'd have to find nightly parking in the West 70s and day parking near NYP-Columbia (W 166th and ft washington) and NYP-Cornell (E 70th and york). Does anyone use a Smart in these areas who could give some insight?

4) I'm committed to my job for 5 years, so maybe buying rather than leasing would make more financial sense? I'm only 25 but I do have very good credit and could manage the downpayment.


I'm going to test drive at the Manhattan dealer next week and if I like it will probably rent one on a weekday to practice cruising around the city and trying to park it various places. Think that should help the decision making process.
 

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To answer your questions:

1) The discounts for Icon are 1/2 off, but some places are higher than others. For instance, Icon at the base of the Empire State building will be a lot more than another lot that's out of the way. Best way to get exact prices are to call Icon garages that you would be parking at and not the general 1-800 number.

2) If you get a white or black smart you won't really worry too much about scratches since those panels are dyed all the way through, so there isn't any paint to chip. If for whatever reason you get one of the panels really scratched/cracked/damaged you can get an inspection by the dealer before the lease ends so they can tell you what you will/will not be charged for. Or you can just change a panel yourself for pretty cheap.

3) Can't help you on this one, live on LI.

4) Unless you intend to keep the car it would be better to lease. It's less monthly, most likely less out of pocket, and you don't need to worry about the warranty expiring after 4 years. Lease it for 3 and you can always buy it out after or get into a new lease if you'd like.
 

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The MB dealer I am going to lease from said they use the "credit card rule". Any mark which can be covered by a credit card will be considered normal wear and tear and will not be an extra charge at the end of the lease.

To me, leasing makes perfect sense financially if you were going to buy the car new or barely used anyway(as long as you don't go over miles). You're just paying for the depreciation of the vehicle. If you bought new/barely used and sold it 3 years later, your net loss would be rather similar. My lease will cost me about $8,000 to have a Passion for 3 years with 45,000 total miles.

Obviously it doesn't compare to buying a $2,000 10 year old Honda beater that would probably last you 3 years as well with minimal maintenance.

But I know what I want, and that's a new, fun to drive vehicle with some luxuries - gotta love the heated leather seats, and of course the shifting paddles on the Passion <3. I pay $170 per month for that and it's worth it to me. I will turn in my 2013 in 3 years and lease a 2016 on the spot.
 

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Hi,
I live on the Upper West Side and I'm about to start a job which covers 2 hospitals, one on the UES and one in Washington Heights. Since my job involves crazy hours when crosstown buses aren't yet running and the subway is infrequent, I'm looking into other transportation options that are viable year round (unlike scooter or biking).

I thought a smart car could be a great fit. I currently spend about $200 a month on zip cars for non-work purposes, so that's another incentive to get a car.

I'm considering leasing a Pure, but still have a few questions:

1) How real are the discounts on parking? Icon has ads for $99/mo for the first year, but I assume that's associated with specific garages...they also say 1/2 off on their rates, including monthly. Has anyone used this? I'd prefer to street park, but this might be a challenge on the UES, warranting me paying for a parking spot there. I called icon and I'm still waiting to hear back.

2) Outside of the $395 return fee, what other costs should I expect at the end of the lease? I should be fine on milage restrictions, but a car street parked in Manhattan is bound to take some wear and tear and I don't want to be surprised with a crazy damages bill if I decide to return the car instead of buying it.

3) What are people's experience with driving and street parking the Smart in Manhattan? I'd have to find nightly parking in the West 70s and day parking near NYP-Columbia (W 166th and ft washington) and NYP-Cornell (E 70th and york). Does anyone use a Smart in these areas who could give some insight?

4) I'm committed to my job for 5 years, so maybe buying rather than leasing would make more financial sense? I'm only 25 but I do have very good credit and could manage the downpayment.


I'm going to test drive at the Manhattan dealer next week and if I like it will probably rent one on a weekday to practice cruising around the city and trying to park it various places. Think that should help the decision making process.
 
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