Skip to main content

Can you lease a car online?

minute read

    Leasing cars can be a way to acquire a shiny new vehicle every few years while avoiding some of the added responsibilities of long-term ownership, like perpetual maintenance costs and worrying about depreciation. Both these factors (and others) may have you leaning towards leasing a car instead of buying one. There’s one more plus — you might be able to lease a car online.

    Like purchasing a car online, leasing a car online may allow you the benefits of uploading and signing necessary documentation from home and potentially having your car delivered to your door (though there may be a fee for the latter). While convenient, leasing online also has its downsides, like potentially forgoing taking your new car out for a test drive. Let’s learn more about how you might get behind the wheel of a newly-leased car with just a few clicks.

    What is a car lease?

    When you lease a car, you sign a contract to pay a lessor and borrow a car for an agreed-upon term. As is the case for all leases, when you lease a car online, you’ll sign a contract that very specifically describes the terms and conditions of your agreement. This document will typically specify the period of time you will keep the car (also called the term), provide your total cost of leasing a car and set a mileage limit and cost per mile if you exceed that limit. Depending on your lease agreement, you may have the option to purchase the car at the end of your contract.

    How to lease a car online

    If you’ve decided that leasing a car is the right decision for you, you may be able to obtain a lease conveniently online without ever stepping foot in a dealership — if you’re willing to forgo the test drive, that is. Leasing a car online is similar to purchasing a car online and may follow a similar procedure.

    1. Researching your options

    Being diligent with your research is an important step towards leasing a car online. With that in mind, look over driver reviews that provide first-hand knowledge of how a particular car might operate. However, this isn’t as effective as test driving cars yourself, so plan to visit a dealership to test drive a car before completing your online application.

    While some brick-and-mortar dealerships have online leasing available, there may be institutions that specialize in online leasing services without having a physical showroom. Checking user reviews online can provide a keen insight into a company’s online services and general reliability.

    2. Applying to lease a car online

    Once you’ve decided which online leasing company and car would be best for you, you will likely need to complete a detailed lease application and upload various documents as defined by the leasing company to determine your eligibility which could include:

    • Valid driver’s license
    • Social security number
    • Proof of residency
    • Proof of income

    If you have any questions or are having trouble uploading documents, you may be able to call a representative and process an application over the phone.

    3. Reviewing the terms and conditions of your lease

    If everything checks out above and you’re approved for your car lease, a PDF of your lease agreement will be sent to the email address you provide. It’s important to carefully review your agreement to be sure you understand its terms and conditions like:

    • Your total lease cost
    • Your lease terms, including agreement length and detailed payment information
    • Whether there’s a down payment required, and how this impacts the cost of your lease
    • Any mileage or usage limits

    If you have any lingering questions, contact your online lessor to be sure you understand your contractual lease agreement fully before signing any documents.

    4. Signing and returning your online car lease documents

    Once you’ve reviewed and agreed to the terms your online leasing company provided, you’ll typically sign your lease agreement electronically which will return to them instantly.

    5. Purchasing car insurance

    You may not be able to arrange pick up or schedule delivery of your vehicle until you’ve purchased car insurance. Your car lease agreement will usually specify if you need comprehensive coverage and provide any other insurance stipulations. Shop around for quotes from different insurance providers to find the best deal possible. Once you’ve got a policy in place, you’ll likely be asked to provide proof of insurance electronically.

    6. Arranging for delivery or pickup

    When you lease a car online, you may have the option for home delivery, bringing your new ride right to your driveway after your lease is signed. Note that delivery may come with additional costs, and not every online lessor offers this service. If that’s the case, you’ll be asked to schedule a time to pick up the car in person.

    In summary

    Leasing a car online may be a hassle-free way to get a fresh set of wheels without leaving the comfort of your home. While the process to lease a car online is fairly straightforward, it pays to be extra diligent when researching your vehicle and reading through your lease agreement before signing. Now that you know how to lease a car online, your next ride could be just a few clicks away — delivered straight to your door.

    What to read next