I want to offer counterpoints to some of Aganju said, because that's not exactly the whole story:
- it is generally very expensive if you want to end the contract early; often you can’t, so you’d end up having to keep paying, even though you are moved away, and have too to pay for storing the car in a garage; or worse.
While it's generally expensive to end a contract early, it is however possible to sell your lease to a used car dealership--and just like any car depending on the model/condition/demand it's even possible to make money this way. For example, I signed a 3 year lease but had to move after 2 years (and couldn't bring the car). I was able to sell the vehicle lease to a dealer, and made a profit such that it covered my original down payment. Essentially, this means that I was able to lease a brand new car for 2 years with no downpayment.
- you are required to have all standard maintenance done, at the prescribed intervals, at the official dealership, or you get hefty fees tacked on. Those maintenances tend to be not cheap.
This varies by dealer and lease contract. This wasn't a requirement for me, however, oil changes through the dealer were free. Also, there was no other "required maintenance".
- if you drive more than the preallocated mileage, you have to pay extra; that can quickly add up to significant amounts - for example, returning it with 90000 miles instead of 60000 miles could cost 30000 x 40 ct = $12000 extra.
This is true, and a good thing to keep in mind. However, this is negotiable at time of the lease if you think you may go over the allotted contract mileage.
- you must have full comprehensive insurance at all time, with no or very low deductible
This varies by state.
- you have to return the car right after the lease period, and any dent or scratch or stain will be estimated, and you will have to pay for that.
This is true, but this is also true if you bought a car outright and tried to sell it--condition of course matters.
- when returning the car, you will have to pay for any parts that they consider ‘overly’ used, like brakes, transmission, etc; if you are a sporty driver, this hits you easily.
This can be true, but this is also true if you bought a car outright and tried to sell it--condition of course matters. If you're a standard driver, this isn't likely to affect you though as normal wear and tear is often part of the lease.
-on the positive side, if you have a business, you can deduct the leasing payment every month directly.
This is a nice benefit.
You're also going to have a cheaper lease if you get a car that tends to have higher resale value, which makes sense.