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What Is a Micro-Lease?

POR: adam karner
Female sales manager assisting a customer in a car showroom

Flexible car ownership is becoming increasingly popular, with models like vehicle subscriptions seeing a lot of traction in recent years. As opposed to committing to long-term loans or leases, it seems that many drivers are interested in short-term car lease alternatives that offer more freedom and variety. This shift has led automakers and dealerships to introduce new options with even less commitment.

One such emerging option is micro-leasing, which ditches traditional contract lengths and replaces them with a much shorter stint. An innovative way to access vehicles temporarily, micro-leases are becoming somewhat of a hot topic — especially with the rise of new electric cars.

If you’re interested in learning more about micro-leasing and how it differs from a traditional lease, keep reading. Our comprehensive guide has everything you need to know.

Micro-Lease vs. Traditional Lease: Understanding the Differences

As the name implies, a micro-lease is a car lease with a much shorter term length than a more traditional car lease. Where multi-year leases usually last around two to three years, micro-leases generally last only six to 12 months. Put simply, they’re a great option for acquiring short-term access to a vehicle for less than a year.

The key difference between a micro-lease and a traditional lease is the duration of the leasing term. The much shorter length of a micro-lease gives consumers the freedom to try out a vehicle without having to commit to it long-term. After the six to 12-month micro-lease period, they’re free to return the vehicle or swap it for something new, whereas most standard leases would tie them to the same vehicle for two or three years.

In addition, micro-leases can also have lower monthly payments because of how short they are. With fewer monthly payments required overall, each individual payment is reduced to a much more manageable amount.

With many people still a little hesitant to make the transition from petrol cars to electric vehicles (EVs), micro-leasing gives them the option to experience a vehicle they’re unsure about without needing to commit to it for years.

Advantages of Opting for a Micro-Lease

There are a number of advantages to opting for a micro-lease over a traditional lease.

The biggest of these is the shorter contract term, which represents a much lower level of commitment when compared with the longer two or three-year terms. With just six to 12 months until the micro-lease is over, drivers can try out a new vehicle without being tied to it for years. This is ideal for a few key consumer groups, such as short-term residents, business travelers, or anyone wanting to test different vehicles.

Also, the lower overall cost of a micro-lease can potentially lead to smaller monthly payments than a standard two to three-year lease. By spreading the smaller cost over a shorter lease term, micro-leasing is a more affordable option for drivers, giving them better access to the latest vehicles.

Potential Drawbacks to Consider

As with anything, some potential drawbacks to micro-leasing should be considered before you put pen to paper. For example, while there’s weight to the theory that micro-lease payments can be lower than traditional leases, the opposite can also be true.

When it comes down to it, dealerships are in the business of making money, and they may incentivize customers to take out longer leases by reducing the monthly payments to something more affordable than micro-leases. If you’re considering taking out a micro-lease, make sure to compare the two options and their costs first.

With micro-leases being a relatively new concept, you may also find that they aren’t as widely available as you would expect, and those that you do come across will be limited to particular vehicles. This can be quite restricting, only allowing you to pick from a small pool of vehicles at a small pool of dealerships. Because of this, the specific vehicle you want might not be available for micro-leasing. It’s also likely that micro-leases won’t be as customizable as other long-term commitments.

What Is an Extended Car Warranty, and Should I Invest in One?

The most important thing you need to know about extended warranties is that having one in place is the best way for any driver to save hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars per year on the rising cost of car ownership. But to give you the full story, we need to go right back to the beginning of a car’s life cycle.

Every new car rolls off the production line with what’s known as a Garantía de Fábrica or manufacturer’s warranty. This acts as the automaker’s promise to repair or replace any components that fail due to fault within a predetermined number of years or miles traveled (whichever comes first). Some manufacturers are much more generous than others with how long this lasts, but whatever the case may be, there’s one thing you can count on: As soon as it expires, future repair bills are your responsibility.

All is not lost, however. If you want to continue enjoying the protection that you’re used to, you have two options. The first is what most people would refer to as a traditional “garantía extendida,” which can be purchased via a dealership or sometimes directly from your manufacturer. An extended warranty does exactly what you’d expect by extending your factory warranty coverage beyond the expiration date. While this certainly sounds great on the surface, unfortunately, there are some significant drawbacks to this kind of coverage.

For example, contract prices are usually much more expensive than they’re worth, plus repair work can only be carried out at an authorized dealership. Even worse, to purchase an extended warranty, you must have a factory warranty in place. Leave it just a day late, or purchase a used car, and you’ll no longer qualify for coverage.

Due to these major downsides, a “contrato de servicio de vehiculo” from a third-party provider is the universally preferred alternative. This is because third-party providers are incentivized to offer almost like-for-like coverage for an even better price point, usually adding on some extra perks to sweeten the deal, giving you even more value for your money. For your convenience, repair work can be carried out at the certified auto shop of your choice, and you don’t need any sort of active factory warranty to sign up for coverage.

It’s worth clarifying that an extended warranty or vehicle service contract and auto insurance are two very different things. To be more specific, an extended warranty protects you from the cost of repair bills incurred as a result of unexpected component failure, while auto insurance protects you from the cost of car repair bills incurred as a result of a collision or other such incident. The two do work great together, however, so it’s highly recommended you invest in both for maximum money-saving potential.

The Role of Extended Warranties in Micro-Leasing

Cars can be incredibly unpredictable, and six to 12 months is plenty of time for a breakdown to happen. Paying for a lease is expensive enough, so if you don’t want to risk the rest of your money, it’s worth investing in extended auto protection. For example, if you intend to drive long distances during your lease period, you can bet a breakdown will wait until you’re hundreds of miles from home to rear its ugly head.

Without an extended warranty in place, your trip will be well and truly interrupted, costing you time and money you just don’t have. With adequate protection, however, you’ll be back on the road before you know it without having spent a penny. Garantía Endurance has an auto protection plan for almost any vehicle, with options for short-term leases, too. Whatever the reason you’re micro-leasing, whatever the car, get in touch, and we’ll get you covered.

We’re Ready to Help You Drive with Confidence

Driving is one of the most liberating things you can do, but it’s not so much fun if you’re always worried about breaking down. While component failure is an unfortunate inevitability of car ownership, the resulting repair bills don’t need to be. With an extended auto warranty watching your back, you can rest easy, knowing that whatever happens, your money stays safely in your wallet. So, if you’re looking for total driving peace of mind, look no further than Endurance.

Since establishing our business almost 20 years ago, we’ve helped thousands of America’s drivers save serious money on the cost of car ownership. We pride ourselves on our unrivaled eligibility, offering a wide range of vehicle service contracts for an even wider range of drivers. Whether you’re a casual commuter, a high-mileage vehicle owner, or even if you use your car for commercial purposes, we’ve got something for almost everyone. And if none of our base plans quite meet your needs and budget, we’re always willing to be flexible. Just give our team a call, and we’ll customize a plan that works for you.

We don’t just offer top-quality coverage; we also give you some of the best-added benefits. Every Endurance plan comes with Asistencia en carretera 24 horas al día, 7 días a la semana (including towing, fuel delivery, and lockout services), rental car reimbursement, and trip-interruption costs as standard. On top of that, all new Endurance customers get a year’s free access to our Beneficios de élite package, which adds up to four tire repairs or replacements annually, key fob replacement, up to $500 in collision discounts, and up to $1,000 in total loss protection. All you need to do is pay an affordable activation fee, and you’re all set.

Better yet, we’re also the direct administrator of all our plans, meaning no hassle or middlemen to deal with when you file a claim. Whenever you have a question, our equipo de servicio al cliente galardonado is always on hand via email or phone, or you can download the Endurance smartphone app to put all of the most important information right in the palm of your hand. All of our plans are also fully transferable to future owners, potentially increasing your vehicle’s resale value and helping with depreciation if you decide to sell it later on.

Give us a call at (800) 253-8203 a Solicite una cotización GRATIS, o tienda en linea to see your price now. We also have plenty more helpful articles on our extended warranty blog, so if you’d like to do some more reading before you leave, make sure to check it out.

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