- new ultra-low-mileage lease offers allowing in the range of 5000 miles a year are out there; if you want to save $110 a month on your 2020 lincoln navigator, or pay less on some lexus models, you can, carsdirect found.
- sure, 5000 miles may seem like a lot, but when it's spread out over a year it's not even 14 miles a day.
- you can't fault the automakers for trying, given the realities of covid-19 and our continuing quarantines, but we recommend doing a bit of math before signing up for one of these deals.
even if you're not driving anywhere anytime soon, automakers would like to lease you a car.
yes, in this time of working from home and limiting trips to the most essential, new, lower-cost lease offers are popping up with an important catch: ultra-low annual mileage limits. how low? just 5000 miles a year, or less than 14 miles a day.
the deals are not yet widely available, but carsdirect got hold of a dealer bulletin that lincoln sent out about 5000-mile-a-year leases for 2020 models, including the navigator. carsdirect calculated that the lower mileage limit would reduce the monthly payment by $110 (from $918 to $808, saving $3960 in monthly payments over three years) while also increasing the residual value for the suv after three years by 5 percent when compared with a more standard, 15,000-mile lease. so, money saved, right?
well, only for the atypical drivers among us. according to the u.s. department of energy, the average car in the u.s. goes 11,467 miles a year, so a 5000-mile limit means you can only drive less than half the national average before extra fees kick in. a standard 2020 lincoln navigator lease runs for three years and offers a total of 31,500 miles (so, 10,500 a year) with a penalty of $0.25 per mile over that limit, and these low-mileage leases come with that same penalty; it just kicks in earlier. that means that, if you drove the average number of miles a year (6467 over the low-lease limit), you'd be paying $1617 more per year, or $4851 after three years, for your transgressions, more than wiping out the benefits of the lower monthly payment. and the residual benefits wouldn't be there, either, since the car would have more miles on it.
lincoln isn't the only automaker playing the low-mileage lease game, apparently. while there is currently an "ultra low mileage" lease listed for a 2020 ux200 in the fine print on the lexus of kendall dealer website in miami, with a 5000-mile annual limit, most lease deals listed as "low mileage" offer 7500 miles a year, which is just pure freedom compared to 5000. we'll keep an eye out to see if other automakers get in the game.