Auto Leasing

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Gas Prices Reduce SUV Leases

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How you can "Go Green" and Save Money

SUVs and pick up trucks may soon be less attractive or even unavailable to lease. Several domestic automobile companies announced, in July 2008, their intentions to either tighten lease terms or end their lease incentives altogether. According to the Wall Street Journal, Chrysler announced that it will "no longer offer auto leases through its lending arm". Ford Motor Co. similarly announced it will raise lease prices and tighten finance terms for leased vehicles-particularly trucks and SUVs. If you had your heart set on leasing a big truck or SUV this year, think again.

Both companies have sited trucks and sport-utility vehicles as major areas contributing to their extreme financial losses. Why? The rise in gasoline prices has caused the post-lease sale values of the cars to plummet. Trucks and SUVs typically get much lower gas mileage than smaller cars. As consumers look for ways to save money, many look for ways to spend less on gasoline. An off-lease truck or SUV now has a much lower resale value than automobile companies had expected.

This phenomenon can work to your advantage! Shop for a high-mileage economy vehicle to lease and you will accomplish two things: you will find better lease deals and you will reduce your carbon emissions by using less gasoline! Visit to learn more about your car's fuel economy or to look up MPG for any car.

Consider the following calculation (taken from the New Hampshire Carbon Challenge Carbon Estimator). By switching from a car that gets 18 miles to the gallon (like a typical SUV) to a car that gets 30 miles to the gallon (like many smaller cars), and assuming the car is driven 12,000 miles per year, a consumer can lower his CO2 emissions by over 5,000 pounds! Additionally, by adhering to the speed limit and maintaining adequate tire pressure, CO2 emissions can be lowered by another 700 pounds. The savings are not just environmental. The estimator currently calculates monetary savings to be $969/year and speed limit and tire pressure savings to be $132/year.

Want to learn more? For more carbon emissions facts, visit

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