How much does a car lease cost

Car leasing - renting instead of buying

Car financing and car leasing in comparison

It has been possible to lease cars in Germany since the 1960s. The point here is not to pay off the purchase price of the car. Rather, you pay with your monthly payments that you can use the car for the agreed period.

Lease contracts usually have a term of around 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 are initially without a car. Often, however, you will be offered another lease for a new car straight away.

In contrast to car financing you have no right to buy the car at the end of the contract period. However, some dealers offer you the option of ultimately buying the car. However, this must be contractually stipulated in advance.

Leases are made by both Dealers, Manufacturerssuch as BMW, Audi, Skoda or Opel, as well as special ones Leasing companiessuch as Sixt.

Car financing

  • When it comes to car financing through installment loans & Co., the main thing is that you own the car at the end of the term. You are then the owner of the vehicle.
  • The purchase price of the car is repaid with the monthly installments. With the last monthly installment or payment of the final installment, you are the owner of the car. The monthly rates are usually higher than with car leasing.
  • The term is usually longer than a leasing contract. This means that you are tied to the provider for longer and less flexible.
  • With car financing through a loan, there is usually that Ability to terminate the contract. This is particularly advantageous if you unexpectedly become insolvent, 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 time you will Right of use for 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 loss in value of the car is repaid with the monthly installments. This means that the rates are usually lower than with car financing.
  • When leasing, you give the car back to the dealer at the end of the contract period. You don't have to worry about selling the car yourself. This means that you have less effort. Only in some cases can you buy the car. However, this must be stipulated in the contract.
  • Most of the time, the duration of a car leasing is shorter than that of a car financing. You are therefore tied to a provider for a shorter period of time.
  • You cannot usually terminate a leasing contract. Even in the event of a possible insolvency, you will still have to pay the monthly installments. This can be a big problem if you don't have any financial reserves.

Monthly rates

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

Another factor that affects the size of the monthly payments is that deposit. If this is no longer applicable, it will be allocated to the installments. If you pay a higher deposit, you can benefit from lower monthly payments. As a rule, a down payment amounts to 1,000 to 10,000 euros, depending on the car manufacturer and model. In the case of a leasing contract without a 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 deposit must be paid with the monthly installments.

Furthermore, the Contract term Influence on the monthly rates. The longer the contract runs, the lower the rates. However, you are then bound to the lessor for a longer period of time.

The final influencing factor is the Mileage. However, this is only the case if your contract includes so-called kilometer leasing. A higher mileage of the car then results in higher monthly payments.

Car leasing without a deposit

As a rule, you have to pay a deposit when you sign a lease. Depending on the model and manufacturer, this is around 1,000 to 10,000 euros. If you cannot have this amount and would like to lease a car without paying a deposit, this is it at least possible. To use this option, however, you must have a sufficient creditworthiness feature. That means you have a regular income and a positive SCHUFA information have to show.

Contract models - kilometer leasing vs. residual value leasing

Two different contract models are offered for vehicle leasing: the kilometer leasing and the residual value leasing. These differ in as is settled at the end of the lease term. Before concluding a contract, you should deal with the advantages and disadvantages of these contract models so that you are not surprised by possible back payments at the end of the contract period.

The kilometer leasing - the specified total mileage should be adhered to

With kilometer leasing, it is contractually stipulated how many kilometers you are allowed to drive during the term of the contract. With a contract term of three years, this is usually around 30,000 km. At the end of the term, a check is made to see how many kilometers you have actually covered.

If the value of the kilometers actually driven is below this specified limit, you will in many cases be reimbursed. If the mileage is above the limit, additional payments are due. These are calculated using the so-called multi-kilometer ratewhich is stipulated in the contract.

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

Most leases, however, include one Allowance. Depending on the specified total number of kilometers, this can be between 2,500 and 5,000 km. You can exceed the total number of kilometers by this allowance without having to make additional payments.

In addition to the exemption, there is also the so-called Exemption limit. If an exemption limit has been set in the contract instead of an exemption, only too few kilometers will be reimbursed. However, if the total number of kilometers is above the limit, additional payment must be made here.

So pay close attention to what is stipulated in your leasing contract. Overlook the little one Difference between tax exemption and tax exemption limit, you may be unpleasantly surprised when you return the leased vehicle.

In addition to the aforementioned additional payments, however, additional costs to come towards you. Namely, you are liable for damage and defects that extend beyond the term and age-related use. As the lessee, you are therefore obliged to handle the vehicle with care.

In this context it is important that this is where conflicts arise particularly often. It is not specified how exactly damage is 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 judgments here, which in the worst case may not be in your favor.

The ADAC lists some court rulings that are important in this context. So it was determined in many negotiations that Small scratches in the paint, scrapes and dents are part of the contractual wear and tear, as these represent typical signs of wear and tear that can arise in heavy traffic and when parking is limited.

With kilometer 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 enter a slightly higher valueso that you do not have to worry about high additional payments.

Also make sure that an exemption and no exemption limit is agreedso that you do not have to pay for slight excesses of the total number of kilometers.

Handle your leasing vehicle with careto avoid arguments about whether your car has been excessively worn.

Residual value leasing - less transparent than kilometer leasing

At the Residual value leasing a calculated residual value is determined when the contract is concluded. This estimated value indicates how much the car will still be worth at the end of the lease term. If you return the car, it will be subjected to an appraisal, in which it is determined what actual residual value it still has.

If the appraisal determines that the actual residual value of the leased vehicle is greater than the estimated residual valueso you get as a lessee 75% of the additional proceeds are paid out. The other 25% go 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 it in the report? determined value of the vehicle below the residual value specified in the contractso you need this Pay the difference. You wear the so-called with this type of car leasing Residual value risk. It doesn't matter why the car is worth less than previously estimated.

By taking good care of your car and handling it carefully, you can do something yourself to ensure that the residual value does not decrease significantly. However, if the used car market collapses, for example, the actual residual value of the vehicle will decrease without you having any influence on it.

Often a Total kilometers set. However, this does not mean that you have to pay more if you exceed this limit, as with kilometer leasing. Rather, the indication of the total number of kilometers means that the calculated residual value refers to the specified number of kilometers.

In general, warnings are often given against this form of leasingbecause it is less transparent than kilometer leasing. Furthermore, you have to bear the residual value risk and have only limited influence on the residual value determined at the end of the contract period. Often there are also disputes between the lessee and the lessor about which damage and defects reduce the value of the car, as there is no fixed set of rules for this.

You should therefore only opt for this form of car leasing if you cannot realistically estimate the total number of kilometers and conclude a contract with billing for kilometers.

Check whether the calculated residual value specified in the contract is realistic. If it is set too high, high back payments are inevitable.

Also keep in mind that the usually very low monthly payments with residual value leasing do not mean a lower total price. Deviations in the determination of the residual value can result in high costs. Therefore, check various offers and calculate them to find the best and cheapest solution for you.

Car leasing for entrepreneurs - take advantage of tax advantages

Car leasing can be particularly worthwhile for entrepreneurs and the self-employed. There are several reasons for this. On the one hand, company leasing offers the opportunity to return the vehicles for operation at regular intervals and to get new vehicles through the conclusion of new contracts.

New, well-maintained cars can be an important figurehead, especially for companies and the self-employed. Also are New cars are generally less prone to repairs than older carswhich lowers the cost of maintenance and repair work. In addition, there are many providers of leasing contracts high discounts allow if several vehicles are leased at once. In addition, many companies often need larger cars that are more expensive to buy than small cars. Leasing is particularly useful for vans.

If the entrepreneur or self-employed person were to buy the car or even an entire fleet of vehicles himself, he would have to spend a large amount of money for this purpose. This would have to financed by a loan become.

One consequence of this is that the credit line at the respective financial institution decreases. However, this has a negative impact in case the company needs to borrow more in the future. However, if the entrepreneur opts for leasing, no loan needs to be taken out, the credit line remains unchanged and the company's liquidity is maintained.

Furthermore, company leasing is off-balance sheetbecause the relationship between debt and equity does not change. The expenses for the leasing expenses are only recorded in the income statement. This has a positive effect on the equity ratio.

You can also spend on car leasing are deducted in full for tax purposes as operating costswhich reduces the payments to the tax office. Another plus point are the fixed monthly payments. These provide a secure basis for calculating the total expenses of the company and thus a Planning security.

Another point that has a positive effect for entrepreneurs and the self-employed is that Flexibility of the leasing contract. It can be contractually agreed that insurance will be included in the contract. In addition, it can also be determined who is responsible for the maintenance and repair of the leased vehicles. This reduces the effortthat the lessee then has to operate in these areas.

Private leasing - a new, modern car on a regular basis

In contrast to entrepreneurs and the self-employed, private individuals have no tax advantages when they lease a vehicle. When is leasing worthwhile for private individuals? This question can be answered as follows: Under certain circumstances, car leasing can also be a good alternative to car financing.

For one thing, they are Monthly rates in a leasing contract are usually lower than with the various financing options. That means for the lessee only low running costs attack. On the other hand, you forego a costly investment in buying a new car.

If you opt for private leasing, you can choose a car that you might not be able to afford to buy as a new one. You can then adapt this to your needs and wishes at the dealer and make it as convenient as you want.

In many cases, leasing companies also offer extra service packagesthat include insurance and / or maintenance costs. This is very convenient as you don't have to take care of anything yourself.

Due to the usually very short terms of the leasing contract, you can also change cars frequently. This means that you have a new car available at regular intervals. This is not only an advantage for technology and car fans, but also for all other drivers. Because a new car is usually less prone to repairs than an older onewhich reduces maintenance and repair expenses. If there are defects in the vehicle anyway, these are usually still covered by the guarantee due to the vehicle's young age. In these cases, the costs for necessary repairs would be borne by the manufacturer.

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

However, private leasing also has its effects on cars disadvantage. On the one hand, you can use the leasing rates, such as entrepreneurs and 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 run into financial problems as a result of a potential job loss. You should therefore only opt for car leasing if you have a secure job or sufficient financial means to bridge possible emergencies.

Tip: Compare cheap car leasing offers with the mobile app

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Your duty: Regular maintenance of the leased car

The care and careful handling of the leasing vehicle are part of your duties. This also includes the car regularly serviced becomes. You do not usually have to pay the costs yourself, but you are still obliged to do so. Failure to attend the inspection and maintenance appointments can result in damage.

However, they have to Maintenance and repair work carried out professionally become. So you should only ever - as long as no authorized workshop is specified in the leasing contract certified specialist workshops go and never lend a hand yourself.

You should all Retain receipts for repairs and maintenanceas you have to present this at the end of the contract period. On the basis of this, the lessor then checks whether the defects and damage found in the appraisal can be traced back to inadequate or neglected maintenance or repair. If this were the case, you would have to pay for this damage.

Additional insurance for car leasing

With vehicle leasing you only have one right of use over the car, but it is also your job to do that To adequately secure the car against theft and damage. Because of this, a adequate insurance of great importance.

This is precisely regulated in most leasing contracts. Liability insurance is generally not viewed as sufficient protection. In most cases, you have to take out at least partial comprehensive insurance for the leasing vehicle. However, fully comprehensive insurance is recommended, as this also applies in the event of a total write-off or theft.

The lessor insists on this insurance requirement because he is the owner of the leased car. If the lessee is unable to pay the costs incurred in the event of a total loss or theft of the vehicle, the lessor will then lack this money. However, if there is a fully comprehensive insurance, the lessor knows exactly that he will be reimbursed for the replacement value of the car. This increases its security. However, if the replacement value is lower than the outstanding leasing installments, you as the lessee must bear this difference.

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

Termination of the leasing contract - is it that easy?

In principle, it is not possible to simply terminate the leasing contract. Once the contract has been concluded, you usually have to pay the installments by the end of the contract period.

The contract stipulates whether a termination can be carried out at all. If this is possible, so However, you will have to pay considerable costs in the event of termination.

For one, you have to do the originally set Pay the total leasing fee. This includes not only the monthly payments that are still outstanding, but also other costs that the lessor has incurred. These include costs for the purchase of the car, administrative costs and the calculated profit.

If you cannot afford the total leasing fee, you can try to get your Submit leasing contract. In this case, you would need to find someone to continue your existing lease. This person then pays the monthly installments. However, the lessor must give its consent.

The new lessee is then noted in the contract. Here you should make sure that your name is deleted from all contract documents. If this were not the case, claims could be made against you for outstanding payments.

When is it possible to terminate the car leasing contract?

A termination of your leasing contract is only possible in rare cases.
Examples for this are:

  • After an accident or total loss: If the leasing car is significantly damaged after an accident and the repair costs exceed 60% of the replacement value, it can be terminated. However, you have to pay the lessor's compensation claim - this is the difference between the amount that is covered by the fully comprehensive insurance and the residual value of the leased car or the leasing installments still to be paid to fulfill the contract.
  • After the car is stolen: As in the case of an accident or total loss, the lessor's claim for compensation must be paid.

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

In contrast to the auto finance options, where the goal is to buy the car at the end of the term, with vehicle leasing you pay to be able to use the car for the specified period of time. You have no right to buy the car at the end of the lease period. If you still want to buy the car, this is only possible if this is specified in the leasing contract.

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

Another option: used car leasing

Most leasing contracts are for new cars. If you are considering buying a used car, some sellers also offer one Lease used cars. A used car is a vehicle that has at least one previous owner.

Leasing a used car is recommended if you do not value a new, modern vehicle. Because of the much lower total price for the used car the monthly leasing rates decrease strong and you save your budget. However, you should bear in mind that used cars are more susceptible to repairs than new ones and that the manufacturer's guarantee has usually expired. Some dealers and leasing companies also offer used car leasing without a down payment. However, the monthly installments 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 use the Annual car leasing think. Annual cars are cars that were first registered no more than twelve months ago. In addition, there may be a maximum of twelve months between the date of manufacture and the initial registration.

The quality differences between new and annual cars are only minor. In terms of technology, they are usually hardly less well equipped than new cars and, if they have been well cared for, they show little difference in appearance from a new car. However, the monthly rates are greatly reduced when leasing an annual car, since the value of a year-old car is usually well below that of a new car. This difference can be up to 30%.

Another plus point of annual cars is that they are mostly due to their young age still have a guarantee and warranty. Many defects that can occur in the car are therefore still covered by the guarantee, which is why you do not have to pay for the repairs yourself.

Car leasing: pros and cons

  • Unlike buying a vehicle, you don't have to make a large investment.
  • The monthly installments are lower than with car financing.
  • The leasing 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 prone to repairs than used cars.
  • Entrepreneurs and the self-employed can deduct the costs from tax as operating costs.
  • You cannot keep the vehicle after the contract period has expired.
  • You are only the user of the car, not the owner.
  • In most cases, no termination is possible - so you are bound for the entire term of the contract.
  • Further costs through a comprehensive insurance prescribed by many providers.
  • Billing for residual value leasing in particular is not very transparent.

Conclusion - for whom is car leasing worthwhile?

The car leasing It is especially worthwhile for entrepreneurs and the self-employed. In order to purchase a new vehicle or even a complete vehicle fleet, you do not have to make a large investment immediately, but acquire the right to use the vehicle (s) by paying the monthly installments. Big plus: The installments can be fully tax deductible as operating costs.

Leasing is only partially worthwhile for private individuals. Although the monthly rates seem pleasantly low compared to car financing options such as balloon financing or car loan, they can You will have to pay high costs when you return the vehicle. Residual value leasing in particular is not very transparent in this context.

In general, it can be said that the cheaper the new car is, the less profitable it is to lease a car. If you were to make a cash purchase, the dealer could give you high discounts. There is no such thing 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.

So keep in mind the Make the decision to lease a car carefully and carefully. First of all, decide whether leasing is even an option for you. Compare the different financing options and let yourself Submit offers from different providers. Special computers on the Internet can make your search easier. They can calculate the possible leasing rate for you immediately so that you can compare more easily.

Lease contract checklist

If you have finally made a decision after gathering a lot of information and intelligently comparing several providers, you should too review the lease. It is not uncommon for you to avoid problems later by carefully reading the contract.

You should pay particular attention to the following points:

  • On which Period is the contract term set? The shorter this is, the higher the monthly payments. You are more flexible because you are not tied to the provider for so long.
  • How high are the monthly payments? Can you really afford this? Also think about unforeseen expenses that may suddenly become necessary (for example if household appliances suddenly break).
  • With kilometer leasing: is the total number of kilometers realistic? It is better to give a slightly higher value. Otherwise you face the risk of additional payments later. In this context, also check that an exemption and no exemption limit has been set.
  • With residual value leasing: is the calculated residual value realistic? Remember that you have to pay the difference between the Low Calculated Residual Value and the High Realized Residual Value.
  • Is the car described with all its equipment? In the case of used car leasing, all existing defects should also be listed in the contract. If this is not the case, you could later be charged with the fact that you were responsible for this damage to the vehicle.
  • Has it been noted that you can buy the car at the end of the contract period?
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