Why I’m Leasing my New Car

This blog post was written by Scotty Abramson, lead analyst on the Earnest growth marketing team and happy Metromile customer.

I work and live in San Francisco. After one awesome car-free year, I heard the call of Lake Tahoe, Big Sur, and Napa. It was time to get a car to better explore the region.


However, I grappled with whether to buy or lease a car. First I had to figure out how many miles I would be driving per year (around 10,000), the type of car that met my current needs (a sporty hatchback), and my car budget (between $200 and $300 per month). I realized a lease was probably the best fit for me. Then I became obsessed with understanding how a car lease actually works.

When you lease a car you are essentially paying the difference between the current purchase price and the price the manufacturer is willing to buy the car back for at the end of the lease. Divide that number by the length of your term, add interest, and you roughly have your payment.

After a week of intense car-lease shopping with multiple dealers, I signed a three-year contract for a VW GTI. So far, it’s been great and I love driving it. I even learned so much in the process I wrote a detailed blog about how I negotiated my lease to get the best deal.

As I this was my first time getting my own new car, I also had to get insurance. Given my expected low mileage per year, and my preference for handling transactions through my smartphone, Metromile made perfect sense for me. So far it’s been great—it was fast to get insured, it’s the right price, I can track my trips through the app.

So if you’re trying to decide between buying and leasing, it pays off to run the numbers and then negotiate every single cent. The same mindset should apply to your insurance. Happy driving!

Break These “Bad Car Habits” Before They Start

For the last post in our new car owner series, we are going to shake things up a bit and focus on the things you shouldn’t do. If you recently purchased a new car (congrats!), there are a few habits you should avoid from the get-go so you can maintain your car’s value if you ever decide to sell. While it might sound counterintuitive to start thinking about selling your car soon after buying it, you will get the most bang for your buck when you take good care of your valuable investment from day one.


Ditch the dirt.
There’s no harm in becoming borderline-obsessed with keeping your new ride squeaky clean. While it’s totally fine to skip a wash or two, don’t let it become a habit. Things like sunlight, rain and even bird poop can wear away at a new car’s finish. Stay mindful of the dirt that can build up and have your car washed a couple times each month, either at your local carwash or at home if you have space (a great way to save money). If you are living in California amidst the drought, check out this article about how to wash your car with a single cup of water. It is also recommended that you get a full detail a few times a year, which is likely offered at the carwash as well.

Avoid aftermarket accessories.
It’s tempting to personalize your car to truly make it “yours”, but be weary of tweaks that can’t be undone. Avoid any add-ons that alter powertrain or safety equipment – this can interfere with your car’s warranty. Even things like bumper stickers can leave residue and reduce your car’s value. Stick to things that can be easily switched out like an air freshener or the classic fuzzy steering wheel cover.

Control the mess.
It’s your car, so you can do whatever you want in there. But do keep in mind that every time you take your dog for a spin, light a cigarette or chow down on a burger, there is a chance you could damage the interior. Plus, eating while driving is considered distracted driving and unsafe. Be mindful of how you treat your car’s interior and you’ll be proud to give your friends a ride instead of trying to mask a lingering stench. (more…)