A man named Tommy on TikTok (@justroughdrafts) is having a moment of popularity after he revealed to the app that it took him 18 months to figure out that the contract he signed to get his car wasn’t what he thought it was.
“Guess who’s been paying off a car for 18 months of a 36-month lease and just found out what a car lease is,” he said. “The only thing getting me through those payments was the idea that I was going to own it at the end.”
However, as he mentioned, he wouldn’t own the car. With a lease, the car only belongs to a person for the allotted time on the contract. With a lease, drivers may be able to lower their monthly payment, which might make it easier to get a car of higher value. Furthermore, there are usually miles restrictions on leases that aren’t in place if you are financing the car to own it.
“The lack of financial literacy in this country is astonishing,” replied @jfk__47.
Nevertheless, there still may be an option to buy the car at the end of the lease term, so @justroughdrafts can potentially still walk away with a vehicle of his own.
Over five million people have seen his video, bringing several people wondering how this happened. He anticipated people asking him if he read the contract, so he answered those questions in his video.
“I did and I didn’t understand the contract,” he said. “They were like, ‘Here’s your car,’ and I was like, ‘Yipee!’”
While some viewers shamed him for not knowing what he signed and for even sharing the story, others thanked him because it opened their eyes to what a lease actually means.
“This is good information. I always thought lease meant ‘rent to own,’” said @wuffsong.
A majority of the population might not even find themselves in this situation. Not because they read contracts closer, but because fewer people are leasing vehicles.
According to a study from Statista, by the 3rd quarter of 2022 only 18.01% of new cars in America were being leased — which was nearly 10% below the mark for the 3rd quarter of 2021.
Tommy hasn’t updated TikTok on what his next steps will be in this situation, so for now, he will have to continue paying to rent the car he thought would be permanently his.
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