Vehicle retailer AutoNation is offering consumers what it calls “micro leases” under its Mobility segment.
The leases, currently only available in Southern California and South Florida, can be had for a few as six months and up to 12 months, compared to the traditional 36-month period. AutoNation is marketing them as opportunities for flexibility.
“Life changes pretty fast. Now, your car can keep up,” it says on its website. “Drive it on your terms, with no long-term commitment. So you can change your ride to follow the road – anywhere it takes you.”
Customers pick from among new models. AutoNation runs a “soft credit pull” to determine the lessee’s “subscription budget.” The consumer requests the length of the lease and how many miles he or she will require during the period – 800, 1,000 or 1,200, with overage at 25 cents per mile. The entire process, other than picking up the vehicle at the store, is done online and takes just minutes, AutoNation says.
At lease’s end, the lessee decides whether to extend the micro lease subscription, buy the vehicle or swap it.
“Don’t worry about loans, interest, or depreciation,” AutoNation’s micro lease page says. “You can even test drive your car before you drive off.”
The page gives a cost breakdown based on a 12-month micro lease of a Dodge Challenger: a $2,400 upfront payment, $820 monthly lease payment, and all maintenance included, with a limited warranty.