What are my best options if I only need a car for a year or less?
November 4, 2009 4:34 AM   Subscribe

My car lease is ending soon. I thought I wouldn't need a car for any longer than my lease terms. But now I do. What are my best options if I only need a car for a year or less?

I only got this car because I accepted a job and moved to a city where a car is necessary for reliable transportation. I didn't expect to be here for longer than two years because my job is very stressful, and I see it as a stepping stone to something better. (I don't want to get sidetracked as to why I'm still here, but rest assured it's not the situation I want to be in.) I'm leaving my current job in a year's--or less--time. I would most likely be relocating to a place where I don't need a car at all.

However, I do still require reliable transportation for the rest of the admittedly indefinite time I am here. So should I get a new lease, buy out my current lease, buy a different car, or what?

Complications: I don't have the cash to buy my leased car outright--I'd have to get a loan. I don't want to be stuck with trying to unload the car in the middle of a lease or before the loan is paid off. Unfortunately, public transportation and walking/bike riding aren't good options for me. I do carpool sometimes, but I don't want to be begging rides 100% of the time.

I know this sounds a bit all over the place...that's why I hope AskMe can help me think about this more clearly, and hopefully offer some good suggestions! Thanks in advance.
posted by frippsie to Travel & Transportation (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Check out a car rental place. I have no reason to think this, but I would imagine that they have some kind of provision for longer term rentals...?

Also, you're probably right in that getting another lease probably isn't the best option.
posted by gjc at 5:43 AM on November 4, 2009

Do you have the cash to buy a cheapie used car? Like a mid-90's Hyundai or some similar piece of junk? The likelihood that you'll have serious problems in a year or less isn't very high.
posted by downing street memo at 5:58 AM on November 4, 2009

You could buy a several thousand dollar car to get you through the extra year. Then you could unload it quickly when you move.
posted by luckypozzo at 6:02 AM on November 4, 2009

Best answer: You can get a very reliable used car for around $2K and if you don't trash it you'll probably get almost all that money back on the other side. That's WAY cheaper than a lease.

Do you have any car nerd friends to help you shop? This is an absolute must. A cheap car is not something you want to get from a dealer.

If you need advice on what used car makes/models are reasonable, mefimail me. I'm always happy to chat about cars.
posted by paanta at 6:06 AM on November 4, 2009

You can get a 12month lease. Complicating matters is where I've seen 12 months leases have been on higher end cars.The monthly payment is going to be very high though.

Hertz and other car rental places offer monthly rentals. Again, expect to pay a lot (not as much as if you got it on their daily rate but still expensive).

Getting a cheap car to get around in the short term is probably going to be cheapest. But watch out since it may become a money pit and not reliable like you've become accustomed to.
posted by birdherder at 9:11 AM on November 4, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks for all the comments. paanta, I will probably be contacting you soon since I know zip about cars...as you may have already guessed!
posted by frippsie at 4:15 PM on November 4, 2009

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