A New Startup Is Taking Used Car Leases Mainstream


If you’ve ever wished that leasing a car or buying a used one was easier, your wish might be about to come true thanks to a San Francisco startup Beepi.

The company leases used cars, letting drivers get into used cars at a lower price point than a new lease or used car loan, and without all the hurdles typical to the car-shopping experience.

As you probably already know, traditional auto leases have plenty of advantages over buying a car. Car dealerships offer more incentive for leasing, including $0 down payment for qualified buyers, for example. And when you lease, you also enjoy lower monthly payments and sales tax. However, when car leases terminate, lessees end up surrendering a four-year-old (or newer) vehicle — not very old for a modern vehicle. Beepi sees those cars as an opportunity.

“We’re fundamentally changing the way people buy and sell cars, taking a process that hasn’t changed over the past 100 years and making it simple and trustworthy,” Tyler Infelise, Beepi’s head of product, said in an email. “We’re giving buyers and sellers the simplicity of transacting completely online or in-app. People love it for being the total opposite of what they were used to, and as a result, we’ve grown [10 fold] in the past year.”

According to recent data comparing used car and new car leases, compiled by Merit Mile, used cars make for much more affordable lease options. And because used cars retain 30% more of the original value after three years, used car leases subsequently have an average depreciation charge of nearly $140 less than new car leases. In the end, Merit Mile’s case study found a new sedan lease came in at $553.76 monthly, compared to a used sedan lease payment of $387.01.

Given that disparity, the demand for the Beepi’s model is seemingly growing. The company just launched in Houston, its 16th market.

Before You Lease or Buy

In the past few years, car leases and loans have become more available to people with bad credit, with some analysts even suggesting there might be an auto loan lending subprime bubble akin to the housing bubble of 2008.

Though Beepi does offer customers an affordable leasing option, the company still determines terms based in part on your credit score. It’s important to monitor the health of your credit report and score before you apply for a loan or lease. You can get your credit reports for free once a year at AnnualCreditReport.com, and you can check two of your credit scores for free every month on Credit.com.

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