Search Cars for Sale

Ford and Lincoln Introduce Leasing a Car With a Twist

Ford and Lincoln have come up with creative twists on leasing a car that are designed to put some money back into the consumers’ pockets.

Leasing opens up all sorts of possibilities for flexibility. Because the lender retains ownership of the vehicle, and the consumer is really just renting it for a fixed period of time (usually 36 months or less), the lender is free to come up with all manner of schemes enticing consumers to lease.

Ford recently introduced two unrelated leasing programs. One is through Ford proper, and the other is through the Lincoln luxury division. Ford’s plan saves drivers money, while Lincoln’s plan can potentially return some money to the shopper when the lease terminates.

Ford’s Lease-Sharing

Currently in pilot testing in Austin, Texas, Ford’s lease-sharing program encourages families and small groups of friends to band together to lease a new Ford vehicle. Designed for groups of three to six people, Ford calls the program Ford Credit Link.

Each group shares all costs and benefits of the lease and the leased vehicle. Target groups might include licensed family members living under the same roof, neighbors with sporadic vehicle needs or carpooling co-workers. How much per month would it be worth to have access to an F-150 pickup for projects whenever you needed it?

At the core of the 24-month leasing program are a vehicle plug-in device and a smartphone app that help lease-sharers make lease payments, reserve drive times and monitor maintenance. In essence, this is the next step in car-sharing.

Lincoln’s Unused Miles

Lincoln Financial Services’ leases now provide certain customers the opportunity to trade in any unused miles at lease termination for cash amounts to put toward a new lease or to purchase another Lincoln vehicle.

Lincoln calls the program Lincoln Miles, and it applies to select leasers of MKC, MKX and MKZ models with an embedded modem. Program participants will monitor their mileage usage through daily mobile updates that will also include projections of total-mile usage at the end of the lease contract period.

Any number of life changes, like moving or changing jobs, can affect the average number of miles you drive in a year, and exceeding a lease contract’s mileage limit can cost big bucks in penalties at the end of the lease. The daily monitoring of Lincoln Miles can help consumers rein in their usage to avoid those lease-end penalties. The big news, however, is that the program also rewards leasers who return a vehicle at lease end with fewer miles than allowed in the contract.

Lincoln has attached cash values of between $100 and $1,000 to the unused miles, which the drive can use toward leasing or purchasing another Lincoln.

What It Means to You

Roughly one out of every three new cars sold today is through leasing, making this big business for carmakers and their financing arms. But all leases aren’t created equal. Ford and Lincoln are offering some innovative and unusual options, but if you’re considering leasing a car, shop around for the lease that fits you best.

Russ Heaps
Russ Heaps
Russ Heaps is an author specializing in automotive, financial and travel news. For nearly 35 years he has covered the automotive industry for newspapers, magazines and internet websites. His resume includes The Palm Beach Post, Miami Herald, The Washington Times and numerous other daily newspapers through syndication. He edited Auto World magazine, and helped create and edit NOPI Street... Read More about Russ Heaps

Sign up for Autotrader newsletters

The best cars and best deals delivered to your inbox

Email Address 

By subscribing, you agree to our privacy policy

Where You Can Buy

Loading dealers...

Leave a Comment

Most Popular Articles

2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid: First Look

The 2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid jumps to the head of the hybrid class.

Best New Cars for 2022

Here is our list of the best new cars for 2022 (presented in alphabetical order by manufacturer).

Best New Car Deals: September 2022

This month's best new car deals include several attractive offers for qualified shoppers.

Search By Style

More Articles Like This