How to Lease a Car in South Carolina

by Dan Howard

Leasing a car can be an excellent option for consumers who only plan on using the vehicle for a few years, or for people who enjoy the thrill of driving a new car but wish to avoid the hassle of selling a vehicle. Once you've found a car that you wish to lease in South Carolina you will need to pay vehicle property tax, obtain insurance, register and title your newly leased vehicle.

Visit a car dealership and identify vehicles that you are interested in leasing. Then research information about those vehicles. Be sure to note each car's estimated residual value, or value at the end of the lease period. Cars with higher residual values can be leased for less money, since they will be more valuable to the dealer when you return them at the end of the lease. Once you've researched the vehicle, you can negotiate the lease price and terms with the dealer.

Obtain the Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin for your leased vehicle from the dealer. You'll need this certificate when you register and title the car.

Pay all vehicle property tax that is required for your vehicle. Tax is assessed on a county-by-county basis; for information on property tax requirements in your county see the documents linked in the Resources section below.

Obtain insurance for your vehicle from a licensed auto insurance company. South Carolina requires drivers to obtain a minimum of $25,000 of bodily injury insurance coverage for two injured people per accident, plus $25,000 of property damage liability insurance.

Fill out an application for certificate of title and registration (South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) Form 400 which is linked below in Resources. You'll need to fill out this application in conjunction with the dealer that you are leasing from. You must use your full legal name when filling out the form. Take the application to your local DMV office. The vehicle's title will only list the leasing company, while the registration will list both your name and the name of the leasing company. The application fee is $15, as of September 2010.

About the Author

Dan Howard is a sports and fitness aficionado who holds a master's degree in psychology. Howard's postgraduate research on the brain and learning has appeared in several academic books and peer-reviewed psychology journals.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera luxury car - model toy car image by alma_sacra from Fotolia.com