To lease, you have two possible choices: either lease through a dealer’s finance source or through an independent lease company. A conventional dealer has a captive finance source, which can be the car manufacturer’s financial company, such as BMW Financial Services, Honda Motor Credit or General Motors Acceptance Corporation (GMAC), or a major national bank such as Chase Manhattan. Independent lease companies are no financial obligation to any single one manufacturer financing source, but work with dealers anywhere in the country.
So which one is better?
Conventional dealers provide better lease-deals on limited-time promotions. Factory-subsidized cars that have subvented money factors and residuals are very attractive lease deals and can be very hard to beat anywhere else.
Independent lease companies can offer you unbiased and professional advice on vehicle selection regardless of make and model. This is because they are not tied to a single manufacturer or financing source, unlike conventional dealers who have to sell specific models. They can also be more flexible regarding negotiating lease terms like residual value and mileage. Ultimately, if you prefer a more personal and customer-oriented relationship with your leasing agent, then you will do well with an independent leasing company.