Is it better to lease a car for 36 or 48 months?

Car Lease Terms

accept car lease contract

Leasing terms at dealerships vary from 1 to 60 months.

Most car dealers have 24-, 36-, and 48-month lease contracts. Traditional leasing companies typically stick to 36- or 48-month terms of a car lease.

Before diving into the main topic, let’s define the car lease terms first:

Short-term Car Lease

There’s no official guideline for car lease terms and exactly what length does the “short” term have. Some dealers consider it as 24 months or less, others define it as less than 36 months.

One-month Car Lease

It is not far-fetched to lease a car for a single month. But it is hard and pricey. This is one of the downsides of short-term car leases. Even if you will be able to find one, car dealers often don’t offer you a new-brand vehicle. This is another drawback.

Car Lease Takeover

Car lease takeovers, also known as car lease transfers or car lease swaps, are the best alternative option for short-term contracts (car lease for less than 24 months).

You can click on “Car Lease Takeover; Why And Where?“ article in which we have talked about car lease transfer.

12 months (one-year) Car Lease

12 months on calendar

While it is possible to get a one-year car lease, it is generally not recommended. Because it can be very costly due to the vehicle’s depreciation during the first year on the road. You should pay all the lease’s fees such as registration at once, within one year, rather than spreading those costs over multiple years.

24 months (two-year) Car Lease

A 24-month car lease is more expensive than a three-year car lease contract but cheaper than a one-year lease.

Generally, the shorter a new-brand car lease you want, the harder it will be to find. And it will contain more monthly payments.

In other words, you’ll find a two-year lease and car lease transfer much easier and faster than other short-term leases.

36 months (three-year) Car Lease

The benefit of a 36-month car lease is the automaker-supported lease offers. As we mentioned in ” The best time for a car lease in Canada”, when vehicles are reaching the end of their life cycles, car manufacturers support their sales with special lease offers such as low monthly payments, little due at signing, or a combination of both.

Note that there are many 36-month lease deals available than 24-month leases.

48 months (four-year) Car Lease

48 months car lease term

The longer the length of a lease agreement, the less monthly payments will be. Of all long-term contracts on offer, the 48-month lease agreement has the lowest monthly payments.

Keep in mind that never sign a lease contract beyond 48 months. In fact, anything beyond 48months is pushing the value of the lease.

Car lease: 36 vs. 48months, which is better?


First, it is necessary to figure out the ideal length of the lease contract. Most manufacturers have a 36- and 48-month lease.

Car leases for 24 months may offer extra flexibility, but it is costly when it comes to monthly payments.

Generally speaking, 48-month leases will offer smaller monthly payments. So, a 48-month car lease contract is a smarter choice.

Final thoughts

The car lease takeover is the best option for a “short-term” vehicle lease which is less than 24 months.

For the “long-term” lease contract, 36 or 48 months is the most common lease term. Yet, a 48-month term is a smarter choice.

Comment your experience regarding the car lease takeover or the car lease if you have any.


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