NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- Owning a new car is great and all, but there's a reason leases were attractive before the recession.
Leases are a less costly way of getting behind the wheel of a new car, but those short-term deals disappeared during the economic downturn. Tightened credit took car buyers out of the lease market, while automaker bankruptcies ended lease offers altogether for a time.
Leases are making a comeback, but rising used car values, shrinking used car supply and a changing credit landscape are making them much different than the boom-era leases buyers may remember. Three years and 36,000 miles with $0 down payment? Try two years and 20,000 with a down payment similar to the price of a used car.
Brandy Schaffels, an analyst at auto pricing site TrueCar, says there are still deals to be had in the recovering auto lease market. The following deals offer buyers some options while providing an alternative to costly financing plans or upfront payments: