Used car leasing began as a relatively niche option for those that couldn’t afford the payments required for brand new car leases. With time, certifications and quality assurance for leasing used cars has become more robust. 


Many are now finding pre-owned vehicles to be an appealing option when it comes to acquiring a car. Leasing already comes with a myriad of benefits, such as lower monthly payments, maintenance coverage, and easy returns. Plus, you have the ability to upgrade to a better car later on.

Walker’s Renton Mazda has one of the largest inventories of used, Certified Mazdas in the Seattle area. Find out why leasing or purchasing a leased car might be a great option, and why a used leased car company is beneficial. We’ll go over how to find a used car for leasing, and the advantages and disadvantages of choosing this option.

Finding a used car for lease


Any search for a used car for lease starts by either finding options online or via a dealership. At Walker’s Renton, you can do both; either browse our selection of online cars or come to our store to speak with used car sales professionals.

Online lease options

There are many websites out there that specialize in leasing used cars. These involve both finding a new lease to take on or getting rid of an existing lease on one’s car. 


All of these sites offer billions of vehicle listings with various search criteria that make it easy to find a pre-owned vehicle that matches one’s needs perfectly. There are also online calculators to help estimate total payments and even additional services one can purchase such as pre-owned vehicle inspections and insurance. 

Find a used car leasing company

Many dealers offer leases for used vehicles. There will be franchised car dealerships that offer used options for their make of cars, and independently-run used car dealers. These dealers help you make sure that the car you’re considering leasing is certified, and therefore more reliable.


The trick to finding a reputable pre-owned car is to evaluate how long it’s been in business, and whether their parent brand has a solid reputation. There are many customer review sites for local dealerships that will highlight ratings and reviews on the service quality of dealerships - these should be factored in as well. 


A good dealership will also offer many financing options, a large selection of used cars, and include convenient services like in-person delivery of cars. You can find all of these elements at Walker’s Renton Mazda.

Buy warranty

After finding a used car for lease, it’s important to purchase a warranty along with signing a lease. A warranty covers any future issues the used vehicle might have. Many used cars will encounter mechanical issues that require maintenance and repairs, these can be very expensive. With a warranty, however, one can have these fully covered for free or partially discounted. 

Insure the lease

In addition to purchasing a warranty, a used car lease should also be insured. Used vehicle insurance is legally required and this applies even for leased cars. The requirements for insurance coverage vary by region but it’s always mandatory. There are specific insurances provided by dealers that’ll cover the minimum requirements and provide additional coverage related to the lease payments itself. 


There are many advantages to taking on a used car lease. 

Advantages of leasing a pre-owned car

Tax savings

Leasing pre-owned cars comes with tax savings one would pay on the lease. This is mainly due to leasing requiring one to not pay any tax on the value of the vehicle, and only on the usage of the vehicle during the lease. This tax is also included in the monthly payments. 

Better cash flow

With tax savings, the attractiveness of a secondhand car lease is the lack of needing a hefty upfront payment to drive out with a car. This gives one much better cash flow to spend or invest in other ways while also owning a used vehicle. 

Limited depreciation


With minimum cash upfront, this limits one’s loss of money via depreciation. Even with used car leases, the depreciation is calculated and pre-determined.

Better car options

Used car leases also enable one to pick cars that may be a class higher but still affordable compared to if the car model was new. 

Limited expenses

Used car leases also involve warranties and coverage of maintenance. This reduces the expenses on one’s end for covering servicing and any repairs. 


Related: Pre-owned Inventory

Risks of leasing a used car

Although leasing a used car may be attractive, it’s important to be aware of some of the risks associated with leasing a used car. 

Maintenance issues

Pre-owned cars come with more prevalent maintenance issues, since they’re older. This means inconvenience for an owner when the car breaks down and needs to be taken in for repairs. Many warranties associated with leases come with clauses that may only partially cover costs. 

Acquisition fees

Generally, taking on a used car lease also involves ancillary fees that the dealership or online site takes in addition to the monthly lease payments. This may not be the same case when it comes to home auto loans. 

Expensive warranties

Warranties for certain pre-owned car leases can also be very expensive for older models. This pertains to certain models that may be very old and are prone to more repairs. 

Paying more than needed

Used car leases also calculate the value of the car at the end of the lease. This calculation helps estimate the monthly payment amount. In some cases, the lease provider may overstate the value of the used vehicle compared to actual depreciated values. That can mean one ends up overpaying for the secondhand car compared to market. 


Related: Need a Car Loan or Lease?


Negotiating a Used Car Lease

When you purchase a pre-owned car, it’s an excellent idea to negotiate the price. It is vital to find a deal with an affordable monthly payment, so it’s imperative to look at the total cost of the lease, which includes any fees that you have to pay.


 Keep in mind that some dealers will attract you with monthly payments rather than informing you the total cost upfront. Be prepared to calculate the total cost on your own. 


The price of a leased vehicle is called the capitalized cost. You can lower the monthly payment by negotiating the capitalized costs before signing the contract. 

Calculating Price


You can calculate the total price of the lease by multiplying the monthly payment by one less than the number of months that you would have to pay and add the amount you have to pay upfront. If the first payment is included in the amount that is due after signing the contract, subtract one.


For example, if you decided to pursue a three-year lease with a payment of $200 per month plus $2000 after signing the contract. The first thing to do is multiply 200 by 35 months, and then add $2000 to the total cost. The final answer is $9000 that you would have to pay. 

Money Factor


It’s also important to check the money factor that is being converted and charged into the interest rate by multiplying it by 2400. Some car buyers find it more efficient to compare the interest rate rather than the money factor. 

Residual Value


The car's residual value is the expected value at the end of the lease. This is the same thing as registration, license, tag, acquisition, and title costs. You might be able to negotiate the documentation fee and other fees with the dealer. 

Mistakes to Avoid


One of the most common mistakes people make is not reading the contract before signing it. Make sure you understand what you agreed to so you won’t get penalized at the end. If you find an error or any incomplete information, it’s essential to make corrections immediately. It’s better to take the time to get it right before signing anything.


Another factor to look out for is extended warranties, gap insurance, extra cost, and protection package. Before you buy anything that the dealers have to offer, it’s best to compare the prices with other external sources.


Related: What Country Makes Mazda Cars?

Paying for Your Lease

It’s important to make your monthly lease payment on time. Late payments can lead to a penalty, repossession of your car, and lease default. If you have to have excellent credit to lease a used car and don’t pay on time, you may jeopardize your credit score.


 The best way to make sure you pay your lease on time is to set up automatic payments or auto-pay on your card. Make sure that you set the transactions a few days before the due date to ensure that you don’t receive a one or two-day late payment.


Now that you know about leasing a used car, check out our selection of pre-owned vehicles at Walker’s Renton Mazda.


Related: Should I Buy or Lease a Car?