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!

Paying for Your New Ride: Buy or Lease?

Shopping for a new car is exciting, but figuring out how you’re going to pay for it can be downright confusing. Pay in cash? Buy or lease? It will depend on your financial situation and your lifestyle but we have some advice to help you decide.


  1. Paying in cash Very few people actually pay cash for a new car, but if you’ve been saving and don’t want the stress of monthly payments hitting your budget, paying cash can be the best option. First, paying cash means no interest costs or financing fees, which can add up. You’ll also be able to do what you want with it, and when the time comes it will be easier to sell since you hold the title. The only downside? If paying cash is a squeeze on your savings, consider leasing or financing. Cars depreciate the moment they drive off the lot!
  2. Financing This is the most common payment option and basically means you’ll make monthly payments for a set number of months. Many customers finance through the dealership, but you have the option of using a bank or credit union. You will have to make a down payment which can be 10-20% of the car’s purchase price and of course, you’ll pay interest. Aside from the financial aspects, if you plan to drive a lot or anticipate a lot of wear and tear on the car, financing is probably the best option.
  3. Leasing If you’re a low-mileage driver like most of our Metromile customers, or you like getting a new car every few years, leasing is a great option. Basically, leasing is like renting. You pay a monthly payment for a set time period which is often lower than financing a car and can have a lower down payment. Plus, leased cars are under warranty so almost all repair costs will be covered. You will be given the option to buy at the end of lease as well! The downsides? Since you’re really just renting the car you aren’t building any equity and if you go over your mileage, it can be costly.

No matter your payment choice, be sure to negotiate and compare prices! And, don’t forget, with every new car comes the need for car insurance. If you don’t drive a lot, you could save a lot with Metromile’s pay-per-mile insurance. Get a quick quote now to see how much.

Maintenance Monday: How to Keep Your New Car in Tip-Top Shape

Purchasing a new car can be very exciting. From the initial research to negotiating with the dealership to showing it off to all of our friends, it feels good to have finally bought a new car. But after the purchase you need to focus on keeping that new car looking and driving like new. Let’s face it, your car will never look the same as it did when you drove it off the lot. Here are a few suggestions for keeping your new ride in pristine condition.

Maintenance Monday

1. Have the exterior waxed. The paint on your vehicle will have to deal with some pretty harsh conditions over the years such as extreme heat, UV rays, rock chips, bird droppings, and even snow and salt. Having the exterior professionally waxed every year will create a protective layer on the exterior surfaces that will help in minimizing the effects of the elements, keeping your new ride looking sharp for many years to come.

2. Avoid the temptation to apply a bunch of shiny protectants to the interior. Although these products will make things look shiny and smell good, they can actually remove the plasticizers out of the interior finishes, increasing the likelihood of age or sun related cracking. There are products that are designed to clean interior surfaces with a Ph-balanced solution but use them sparingly.

3. Regular preventive maintenance is probably the most important thing you can do as a new car owner to keep your car healthy. Anyone who’s spent a ton of money on repairs will warn you not to ignore preventive maintenance. The basics, such as changing your oil, checking your tire pressure and getting scheduled inspections and are like getting regular checkups at the doctor. This keeps your car healthy and also gives a chance to catch anything serious before it becomes a major problem. That could save you thousands down the road.

4. Pay attention to recalls. We have all seen small problems turn into major ones when the dealerships sell products that have safety defects. Some of these problems do not become apparent until years after the vehicle was made. Manufacturers are proactive these days in alerting the consumer of these issues, so pay attention to them. You may receive a voluntary recall notice in the mail years after the purchase, so make sure you take the necessary steps as soon as possible so that your car stays safe and reliable for years to come.

These are just a few simple things that you can do to keep your new ride looking good and running smooth.

Three Car Insurance Add­-Ons to Keep Your Car Out of Trouble

Next in our “buying a car” series is a guest post from our friends at The Zebra. If you have questions specific to Metromile’s per-mile insurance offering, please contact one of our licensed agents to find out which options are best for you and offered in your state. Enjoy!

After the unmistakable joy a shiny new car brings, comes a glimmer of worry. Namely, just how to keep your new ride in tip­top condition. That’s where insurance add-­ons can help: in addition to the main components of liability and comprehensive insurance, there are optional coverages that can make a major difference in the protection of your vehicle — and yourself. Many insurance companies offer a long list of ancillary policy features, with everything from custom equipment to pet injury coverage, making it hard to tell which add-­ons are worth the extra bucks, and which to ditch. Here, we’ve compiled three add­-ons you should consider, and when they might come in handy.


Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is a vital policy add­-on for anyone that doesn’t have a full coverage health plan or simply has no medical insurance at all. PIP protects you — and your passengers — against personal injury by covering medical expenses, such as medical and surgical treatment, ambulance fees, medication, and in some cases, lost wages and rehabilitation services. And since PIP is a “no ­fault” coverage, even if you are determined to be at ­fault in an accident it wouldn’t limit your use.

PIP coverage benefits vary based on state, insurer, and the specifics of the policy, but typically can provide anywhere from $1500 to $250,000 in personal injury coverage. Considering that in the United States 2.35 million people are injured or disabled in car accidents annually, PIP coverage is often well worth the price.

Uninsured Motorist

There are three main reasons to opt to carry uninsured motorist coverage. One: You want protection against hit and run collisions. Two: You live in a state with a large population of uninsured drivers (you can refer to our table on uninsured drivers by state). And, three: the minimums for insurance required by the state you reside in are too low to cover all accident-related expenses. If any of these match your situation, you’ll definitely want to add uninsured motorist coverage to your policy. (more…)

Buying a Car: 5 Things to Know Before the Purchase

Now that the long summer days are slowly dissipating, it’s is a great time to focus and get back on track. Fall often signifies the start of new beginnings, even if you aren’t heading back to school. Whether it’s a promotion at work, moving to a new city or buying your first car, we think the increasingly crisp air is excellent motivation to turn over a new leaf (pun intended). Many experts even suggest that September is one of the best time to purchase a car because it’s when next year’s models start rolling into the dealerships. So to help make the purchasing experience as smooth as possible, we are launching a blog series about buying a new car, covering everything from the features to look for to understanding the costs involved. First up? The most important things you should know before heading to the dealership.


What’s the best car for me?
You are the best judge of the type of car that will suit your needs. Do you head up to the mountains to ski every weekend in the winter? Or maybe you only use your car for weekend grocery runs? Make sure the vehicles you consider have the right features, fuel economy and cargo volume to fit your lifestyle. While a car’s appearance is definitely a factor in the decision-making process, the actual specifications are equally if not more important. Once you have an idea of the type of car, check out sites like Edmunds or Car and Driver to identify the best models before you head to the dealership.

Should I buy new or used?
It’s always exciting to have a shiny new car, but sometimes buying used can prove to be a better option. Weigh the pros and the cons before you decide: are there enticing incentives being offered with the new car? Could you really save some cash if you went the used route? Our friends at The Zebra have a great article highlighting the best cars to buy used, so check it out while doing your research.

Is the price right?
Once you have identified the car model(s) that you are interested in, identify the car’s invoice price which is how much the dealer is actually purchasing the car for. Unless you are buying a very popular model, you should be able to negotiate a price closer to the invoice versus the “sticker price” or MSRP. You can also use sites like TrueCar to see what other consumers are paying. If you have this information ready when you walk into the dealership, the dealer will know you mean business. (more…)