Car leasing – renting instead of buying

Car leasing: which leasing models are there and for whom are they worthwhile??

A way to your dream car: car leasing

A way to the dream car: car leasing.

You have found your dream car? Congratulations, you have already taken an important step towards a new car. But now there is another question to be answered: how to pay for the car now?

Many financial institutions offer different financing models for your new car. These include the classic installment loan, balloon financing and three-way financing. With all these car financing options pay off your car with monthly installments. With settlement of the last monthly installment or. The final installment finally makes the car yours.

Another option that you should not neglect in your considerations, however, is the leasing. What is leasing and how does it differ from car financing options?? How does leasing work? can i lease a car without paying a down payment? How can the leasing rate be calculated and what does it depend on?? Is there only new car leasing or is it also possible for used cars? These and other questions are answered in our guide to car leasing answers.

FAQ: car leasing

Leasing is a kind of term-linked rent and not a purchase contract. So you do not acquire ownership of the car when you lease it.

Leasing is particularly attractive for entrepreneurs, u. A. For tax reasons. But it can also be an interesting option for private individuals.

Use our checklist to check the leasing contract in detail before you sign it.

further guides to car leasing

When is it still possible to cancel a leasing contract years after it was signed?

An eugh ruling has revived the revocation joker. Many credit and leasing agreements can therefore be revoked, in some cases even years after the agreement has been concluded. But when is it possible to revoke a leasing contract?? » read on.

Do you have to expect additional payments if a residual value guarantee is agreed when leasing?

Car leasing is becoming more and more popular. In addition to mileage leasing, there is also a form of settlement in which a so-called residual value guarantee is stipulated. But what is the significance of the residual value guarantee in leasing?? Is such a clause in the leasing contract legal at all?? Answers to these questions can be found in our guidebook. » read more.

Who settles the damage in the event of an accident with a leased vehicle?

Leasing is a good way of always being able to drive new vehicles at manageable rates. In the event of an accident with the leased car, however, many people are not sure how to proceed vis-à-vis the lessor. What happens, for example, in the event of depreciation?? Find out here! » read on.

Car financing and car leasing in comparison

car leasing has been possible in germany since the 1960s. It’s not about paying off the purchase price of the car. Instead, you pay with your monthly installments for the use of the car during the agreed period.

Leasing contracts usually have a term of about two to five years. This is often shorter than the term for car financing. Your right to use the car expires at the end of the contract. Then you have to return the car to the dealer and find yourself without a car for the time being. Often, however, you are immediately offered another leasing contract for a new car.

Unlike car financing do you not have the right to buy the car at the end of the contract period?. However, some dealers offer you the opportunity to buy the car after all. However, this must be contractually agreed in advance.

Leasing agreements are concluded by both dealers, manufacturers, such as BMW, audi, skoda or opel, as well as from special leasing companies, like z.B. Sixt, offered.

car financing

  • With car financing through installment loans& co. If it is mainly about the fact that the car belongs to you at the end of the term. You are then the owner of the vehicle.
  • With the monthly installments the purchase price of the car is paid off. With the last monthly installment or. Paying the final installment you are the owner of the car. The monthly installments are usually higher than for car leasing.
  • The term is usually longer than with a leasing contract. This means you are tied to the provider for longer and are less flexible.
  • If you finance the car with a loan, there is usually a possibility to terminate the contract. This is especially advantageous if you become insolvent unexpectedly, for example due to illness or the loss of your job.


  • With leasing, you rent the vehicle for a certain period of time. During this period the right to use the car granted. If you already know that you only need the car for a certain period of time, car leasing could be an option for you.
  • The monthly installments are used to pay off the depreciation of the car. This means that the installments are usually lower than with car financing.
  • With leasing, you return the car to the dealer at the end of the contract period. you do not have to take care of selling the car yourself. This gives you a lower cost. Only in some cases can you then also buy the car. However, this must be stipulated in the contract.
  • In most cases, the term of a car lease is shorter than that of car financing. You are therefore tied to a provider for a shorter period of time.
  • You usually cannot terminate a leasing contract. Even in the event of a possible insolvency, you must continue to pay the monthly installments. this can be a big problem if you have no financial reserves.

Monthly installments

The amount of the monthly installments is influenced by various factors. On the one hand, this is the vehicle price. If, for example, you choose an expensive SUV with upscale equipment, the monthly installments will be higher than for a similar car with basic equipment. A small car would be even cheaper in comparison.

Another factor influencing the level of the monthly installments is the down payment. If this is omitted, it is apportioned to the installments. If you pay a higher down payment, you can benefit from lower monthly rates. Usually, depending on the car manufacturer and model, a down payment of 1.000 to 10.000 euro. In the case of a leasing contract without down payment, however, the monthly installments are higher. The reason for this is that the lessor has less collateral in this case. In addition, the usual down payment must be paid with the monthly installments.

Furthermore, the contract term influence on the monthly rates. The longer the contract, the lower the installments. However, they are then also tied to the lessor for a longer period of time.

The last influencing factor is the mileage. However, this is only the case if your contract includes so-called mileage leasing. A higher mileage of the car will then bring higher monthly installments.

Car leasing without down payment

Contract models – mileage leasing vs. Residual value leasing

Two different contract models are offered for car leasing: mileage leasing and residual value leasing. These differ in, how the lease is settled at the end of the lease term. Before signing a contract, you should familiarize yourself with the advantages and disadvantages of these contract models so that you are not surprised by possible additional payments at the end of the contract term.

The mileage leasing – the set total mileage should be respected

With vehicle leasing, you have a choice: mileage leasing or residual value leasing

When leasing a vehicle, you have the choice: mileage or residual value leasing.

In the case of mileage leasing, the contract specifies, how many kilometers you are allowed to drive during the contract period. For a contract term of three years, this is usually about 30.000 km. At the end of the term, the number of kilometers you have actually driven will be checked.

If the value of the actual kilometers driven is below this fixed limit, you will in many cases be reimbursed. If the mileage is above the limit, additional payments are due. These are calculated by the so-called multi-mileage rate, which is contractually fixed.

This rate is usually set as a cent amount, the amount of which depends on the respective vehicle type. According to the ADAC, a mid-range car will cost an estimated 10 to 15 cents per extra kilometer estimated.

However, most leasing contracts include a allowance. Depending on the total number of kilometers, this can be between 2.500 and 5.000 km. you may exceed the total mileage by this allowance without having to make additional payments.

In addition to the allowance, there is also the so-called "mileage allowance" allowance. If the contract specifies an exemption limit instead of an exemption amount, only too few kilometers driven will be reimbursed. However, if the total number of kilometers exceeds the limit, you will have to make additional payments.

So pay close attention to what is stipulated in your leasing agreement. Overlook the small difference between allowance and exemption limit, this is how you can be unpleasantly surprised when you return the leased vehicle.

In addition to the additional payments mentioned above other costs to come to you. You are liable for damage and defects that exceed the mileage and age-related usage limit. As the lessee, you are therefore obliged to handle the vehicle with care.

It is important in this context that conflicts arise particularly frequently here. It is not specified how exactly damages are classified. what you would describe as typical signs of use can be assessed by the lessor as a non-contractual defect. You would then have to pay for this. Even experts often come to different conclusions, which in the worst case may not be in your favor.

The ADAC lists some court rulings that are relevant in this context. Thus, in many negotiations, it has been determined that small scratches in the paintwork, scuffs and dents are part of the contractual wear and tear, as these are typical signs of use that can occur in heavy traffic and when parking is scarce.

for mileage leasing, you should have an overview of how many kilometers you usually drive per month and year. When concluding the contract, it is better to specify a somewhat higher value, so that you do not have to fear high additional payments.

Also make sure that you agree on a free amount and not a free limit, so that you do not have to pay for minor overruns of the total number of kilometers.

Handle your leased vehicle with care, to avoid disputes about whether your car has been excessively worn out.

Residual value leasing – less transparent than mileage leasing

In the case of residual value leasing, an appraisal is carried out when the car is returned

In the case of residual value leasing, an expert opinion is drawn up when the car is returned.

At residual value leasing a calculated residual value is determined when the contract is signed. this estimated value indicates how much the car will still be worth at the end of the lease term. If you return the vehicle, it will be subjected to an expert appraisal, it is determined what the actual residual value of the vehicle still is.

If it is determined during the appraisal that the actual residual value of the leased vehicle is higher than the estimated residual value, this is how you as the lessee get 75 % of the additional proceeds paid out. The other 25 % goes to the lessor. If you would like to conclude a follow-up contract with the same provider, this value will often be credited to you.

Is the in the appraisal the value of the vehicle is determined to be lower than the residual value specified in the contract, you must pay these difference to be paid in arrears. in fact, with this type of car leasing, you bear the so-called residual value risk. It is irrelevant for what reason the car is worth less than previously estimated.

By taking good care of your car and treating it with care, you can do your part to ensure that the residual value does not fall sharply. However, if the used car market collapses, for example, the actual residual value of the vehicle will be reduced without you having any influence on this.

Often, the residual value contract also includes an additional total mileage fixed. However, this does not mean that you have to pay extra if you exceed this limit, as is the case with mileage leasing. Rather, the specification of the total number of kilometers means that the Calculated residual value refers to the specified number of kilometers.

In general, there are frequent warnings against this form of leasing, as it is less transparent than mileage leasing. Furthermore, they must bear the residual value risk and have only limited influence on the residual value determined at the end of the contract term. There are also frequent disputes between the lessee and the lessor as to which damage and defects reduce the value of the car, as there is no fixed set of rules in this respect.

Therefore, you should only opt for this form of car leasing if a realistic estimate of the total mileage and the conclusion of a contract with mileage accounting are not possible for you.

check whether the calculated residual value specified in the contract is realistic. If it is set too high, high additional payments are unavoidable.

also keep in mind that the usually very low monthly installments for residual value leasing do not mean a lower total price. Deviations in determining the residual value can result in high costs for you. therefore, check different offers and calculate them in order to find the best and most favorable solution for you.

Car leasing for entrepreneurs – taking advantage of tax benefits

Car leasing can be worthwhile, especially for entrepreneurs and self-employed persons. There are several reasons for this. On the one hand, company leasing offers the possibility of returning the vehicles for the company at regular intervals and also of obtaining new cars by concluding new contracts.

Especially for companies and self-employed persons, new, well-maintained cars can be an important advertisement. In addition new cars are usually less prone to repairs than older cars, which reduces the cost of maintenance and repairs. In addition, many providers of leasing contracts high discounts if several vehicles are leased at once. In addition, many companies often need larger cars, which are more expensive to buy than small cars. leasing is particularly suitable for vans.

Car leasing pays off mainly for the self-employed and entrepreneurs

Car leasing pays off especially for the self-employed and entrepreneurs.

Would the entrepreneur or. If the self-employed person buys the car himself or even a whole fleet of cars, he would have to spend a large amount of money for this purpose. This would have to be financed by a loan become.

A consequence of this is that the credit line at the respective financial institution decreases. However, this has a negative effect if the company has to take out further loans in the future. However, if the entrepreneur opts for leasing, no loan has to be taken out, the credit line remains unchanged and the liquidity of the company is maintained.

Furthermore, company leasing is balance sheet neutral, as the ratio between debt and equity does not change. The expenses for the leasing expenses are only recorded in the profit and loss account. This has a positive effect on the equity ratio.

In addition, the expenses for the car leasing can be can be deducted in full as operating costs for tax purposes, which reduces the payments to the tax office. Another plus point is the fixed monthly payments. These provide a secure basis in calculating the company’s total expenses and thus a planning security.

Another point that has a positive effect for entrepreneurs and self-employed persons is the flexibility of the leasing contract. It can be contractually agreed that insurance is included in the contract. It is also possible to determine who is responsible for the maintenance and repair of the leased vehicles. This reduces the effort, that the lessee then has to incur in these areas.

Private leasing – regularly a new, modern equipped car

private individuals, unlike entrepreneurs and self-employed persons, have no tax advantages when leasing a vehicle. When is leasing worthwhile for private individuals? This question can be answered as follows: under certain circumstances, vehicle leasing can also be a good alternative to car financing in these cases.

Private leasing can be worthwhile if you like to change cars frequently

Private leasing can be worthwhile if you like to change cars frequently.

On the one hand monthly rates in a leasing contract usually lower than with the various financing options. This means that for the lessee only low running costs incurred. On the other hand, they forego the costly investment in a new car purchase.

If you opt for private leasing, you can choose a car that you might not be able to afford as a new purchase. You can then customize this at the dealer to suit your needs and preferences and make it as comfortable as you like.

In many cases, leasing companies also offer offer extra service packages, include the insurance and/or maintenance costs. This is very convenient, because you do not have to take care of anything yourself.

Due to the usually very short terms of the leasing contract, you can also frequently change the car. You will have a new car at your disposal at regular intervals. This is not only an advantage for technology and car fans, but also for all other drivers. For a new car is usually less susceptible to repair than an older one, which reduces expenditure on maintenance and repairs. If defects nevertheless arise on the vehicle, these are usually still covered by the warranty due to the low age of the car. The cost of necessary repairs would thus be borne by the manufacturer in these cases.

in addition, you do not have to worry about selling the car yourself, this is done by the leasing company. It’s convenient, takes work off your hands and you don’t have to spend time on it.

However, private car leasing also has its disadvantages disadvantages. On the one hand, you can reduce the leasing rates, as entrepreneurs and self-employed people, not tax-deductible as operating costs. On the other hand, once the leasing contract has been concluded, it can no longer be terminated in most cases. This is also the case if you have financial problems due to a possible loss of your job. You should therefore only choose car leasing if you have a secure job or sufficient financial means to bridge possible emergencies.

Tip: with the leasing market.De app mobile compare cheap car leasing offers

On the road with your smartphone compare leasing offers from more than a thousand car dealerships from all over germany? This is not a problem thanks to the leasing market.De app for ios and android! create search orders and be automatically informed about new offers for your dream car. you can conveniently save your favorites in your personal parking space and access them at any time. To keep you up to date, you can receive the latest deals by push message directly to your cell phone. If you have found a suitable vehicle, you can inquire about it directly with the dealer – without obligation and free of charge. Downloads are available in the app store and on google play.

your obligation: regular maintenance of the leased car

The maintenance and careful handling of the leased vehicle are part of your duties. This also includes that the car regularly serviced will. In most cases you do not have to pay for this yourself, but you are still responsible for it. If you do not keep the inspection and maintenance appointments, damage can occur.

However, the maintenance and repair work carried out professionally are. As long as the leasing contract does not specify an authorized repair shop, you should always go to a repair shop certified repair shops go and in no case do it yourself.

You should pay all keep receipts for repairs and maintenance, as you have to present it at the end of the contract period. On the basis of this, the lessor then checks whether any defects and damage found in the appraisal are due to an unreasonable or. you are responsible for the lack of maintenance or repair. If this were the case, you would have to pay for these damages.

Additional insurance for car leasing

Although with a vehicle lease you only have the right to use the car, it is also your responsibility to take care of the vehicle adequately insure your car against theft and damage. For this reason a adequate insurance of great importance.

You are often offered insurance in addition to the leasing contract

Often, you are offered insurance in addition to the lease agreement.

In most leasing contracts this is exactly regulated. Liability insurance is generally not considered sufficient protection. In most cases, you will have to take out at least partial coverage insurance for the leased vehicle. However, fully comprehensive insurance is recommended, as it also covers you in case of total loss or theft.

the lessor insists on this insurance obligation because he is the owner of the leased car. If the lessee is unable to pay for the costs incurred in the event of total loss or theft of the vehicle, the lessor will not have this money. However, if there is fully comprehensive insurance, the lessor knows exactly that he will be reimbursed for the replacement value of the car. This therefore increases its safety. However, if the replacement value is lower than the outstanding lease payments, you as the lessee have to bear this difference.

Another insurance, the so-called GAP insurance (from engl. "gap" = gap), you can take out comprehensive insurance in addition to, to avoid exactly this problem. This insurance pays the difference between the amount covered by the fully comprehensive insurance and the residual value of the leased car, or the amount covered by the lease. The leasing installments still to be paid for the fulfillment of the contract. GAP insurance is not compulsory, but you should consider it especially if you want to lease an expensive new car of the upper and middle classes.

Cancellation of the leasing contract – is it so easy to do??

Cancellation of the leasing contract is generally not easily possible. Once the contract has been concluded, you usually have to pay the installments until the end of the contract term.

Whether a cancellation can be carried out at all is specified in the contract. If this possibility is given in the event of termination, however, you will incur significant costs.

On the one hand, you must pay the originally pay the total lease payment. This includes not only the outstanding monthly installments, but other costs incurred by the lessor. This includes costs to buy the car, management costs, and the calculated profit.

If you are unable to raise the total lease payment, you could try to recover your leasing contract to be surrendered. In this case you would have to find someone to continue your existing leasing contract. This person then takes over the payment of the monthly installments. However, the lessor must give his consent.

The new lessee is then noted in the contract. here you should make sure that your name is deleted from all contractual documents. If this is not the case, you may be subject to claims for outstanding payments.

When is it possible to terminate the car leasing contract??

Cancellation of your lease is only possible in rare cases.
Examples are:

  • After an accident or total loss: If the leased car is significantly damaged after an accident and the repair costs exceed 60 % of the replacement value, termination is possible. However, you must pay the lessor’s compensation claim – the difference between the amount covered by the fully comprehensive insurance and the residual value of the leased car or the value of the leased vehicle. The leasing installments still to be paid for the fulfillment of the contract – to be paid.
  • After the theft of the car: as in the case of an accident or total loss, the lessor’s compensation claim must be settled.

Can I buy the leased car at the end of the contract period??

Often not an option: buy the car after leasing

Often not an option: to buy the car after the lease.

Unlike car financing options, where the goal is to buy the car at the end of the term, with car leasing you pay for the use of the car for the specified period of time. You do not have the right to buy the car at the end of the leasing period. If you still want to buy the car, this is only possible if it is stipulated in the leasing contract.

If you know in advance that you want to buy the car later, car leasing is not advisable. Instead, find out about car financing options. These include the car loan, the balloon and the three-way financing.

Also an option: the used car lease

Most leasing contracts are concluded for new cars. If you are considering purchasing a used car, some providers also offer the possibility of a leasing a used car. a used car is a vehicle that has had at least one previous owner.

leasing a used car is recommended if you do not want to buy a new car with modern equipment. Due to the much lower total price for the used car the monthly leasing rates are reduced strong and you save your budget. However, you should bear in mind that used cars are more susceptible to repair than new cars and the manufacturer’s warranty has usually already expired. Some dealers and leasing companies also offer used car leasing without a down payment. However, the monthly installments will then increase.

If it doesn’t have to be a new car, but you still want to drive a car that is as new as possible, you can also consider the annual car leasing think about. Annual cars are cars that were registered for the first time no more than twelve months ago. In addition, the maximum period between the date of manufacture and the date of first registration must not exceed twelve months.

the quality differences between new and annual cars are only small. They are usually technically hardly less well equipped than new cars and, if they have been well maintained, also show little difference in appearance to a new car. However, the monthly installments are greatly reduced with annual car leasing, as the value of an annual car is usually significantly lower than that of a new car. This difference can be up to 30%.

Another advantage of a year-old car is that, due to its young age, it is usually less expensive than a new car still have a warranty and guarantee. Many defects that can occur in the car are still covered by the warranty, which means that you do not have to pay for the repairs yourself.

Car leasing: advantages and disadvantages

  • unlike buying a car, they do not have to make a large investment.
  • Monthly installments are lower than for car financing.
  • The leased vehicle does not have to be taken over at the end of the contract period – if you conclude another leasing contract you can choose a new, high-quality car
  • New cars are less susceptible to repairs than used cars.
  • Entrepreneurs and self-employed persons can deduct the costs as operating expenses for tax purposes.
  • You can not keep the vehicle after the expiration of the contract period.
  • you are only the user of the car, not the owner.
  • In most cases, it is not possible to terminate the contract – you are therefore bound for the entire term of the contract.
  • additional costs due to fully comprehensive insurance required by many providers.
  • Especially the settlement of residual value leasing is not very transparent.

Conclusion – for whom is car leasing worthwhile??

On the Internet you can find special calculators that calculate the leasing rate

on the internet you can find special calculators that calculate the leasing rate.

The car leasing especially worthwhile for entrepreneurs and the self-employed. To buy a new car or even a complete fleet of cars, you don’t have to make a big investment right away, but by paying the monthly installments you acquire the right to use the car or fleet of cars. To use the car. big plus: the installments can be fully tax deductible as operating costs.

For private individuals, leasing is only worthwhile to a limited extent. Although the monthly installments seem pleasantly low compared to car financing options such as balloon financing or car loans, it can be high costs for the return of the car. Especially the residual value leasing is not very transparent in this context.

Generally speaking, the cheaper a new car is, the less profitable it is to lease. If you were to buy the car in cash, the dealer could offer you a high discount. These do not exist with car leasing. If you do not have the necessary financial means for a cash purchase, financing offers such as the car loan could offer you better conditions.

Therefore, remember to pay the making the decision to lease a car carefully and deliberately. First decide whether leasing is an option for you at all. Compare the different financing options and let you you can get offers from different suppliers. Special calculators on the Internet can make your search easier. They can immediately calculate the possible leasing rate for you so that you can compare more easily.

Leasing contract checklist

Once you have made your decision after gathering a great deal of information and comparing several providers, you should also make sure that you have a good idea of what you want subject the leasing contract to a review. It is not uncommon to be able to avoid problems later on by reading the contract carefully.

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