Earlier this week, Mercedes-Benz Services Malaysia (MBSM) announced its Lease2Go programme, which offers those who are keen to use a Mercedes-Benz, but do not want to be tied down by traditional ownership commitments, a zero-downpayment financing solution.

As mentioned, the operating lease option allows prospective customers to drive their preferred Mercedes-Benz models as well as an upgrade path to newer models in the future.

The programme offers customised lease packages, with a preferred lease tenure (one to four years) and anticipated mileage usage (20,000, 25,000 or 30,000 km) per year. With it, a vehicle’s insurance premium and road tax are all included into the fixed monthly lease, as well as tyre/rim coverage and 24/7 roadside assistance.

All a Lease2Go customer needs to do is provide a two-month security deposit (refundable) and a one-month lease rental upfront. After that, he or she only needs to pay the monthly lease amount for the period the car is used, as stipulated in the agreed lease tenure, as well as the servicing costs of the car.

At the end of the lease period, the car will be returned and customers can opt to upgrade to another Mercedes-Benz model of their choosing. From an accounting viewpoint, the car legally belongs to the leasing company, meaning it remains off the books of the company that is leasing the car.

To help prospective lessees understand the benefits of the programme and the costs involved, the company has come up with tables that detail the costs of going with Lease2Go, comparing it against Agility Financing as well as traditional hire-purchase schemes in two repayment periods (60 months and 84 months, with different interest rates).

A couple of readers have shared the tables with us, though it’s worth noting that these calculations are for July 2017, and may be revised accordingly as it progresses.

Models detailed are the A 200, C 200 Avantgarde, C 200 Exclusive, C 250 AMG Line, CLA 200, E 200 Avantgarde, E 250 Avantgarde and Exclusive, GLA 200, GLC 250 and S 400h, and as shown in the cost tables for all 11 examples, the Lease2Go programme offers much cheaper repayment rates than going with a traditional hire-purchase route, though a corresponding Agility Financing plan is more competitive.

For example, taking an A 200 under the Lease2Go programme will entail a lessee to pay RM200,933 over a 36 month (or three-year) period, with a monthly installment of RM5,581, insurance and road tax all factored in. For the three-year period, the full service package for the car will cost RM19,228.

Going with a 60-month hire-purchase Classic scheme at a 2.50% interest rate means a customer will be paying RM254,769 for the car, or RM58,836 more, though the monthly payment rate is less, at RM3,530. He or she also has to pay more upfront – RM25,992 as compared to the RM11,163 (which is fully refundable) with a Lease2Go option.

Agility Financing, which entails the customer to put the same RM25,992 upfront payment, does work out to be cheaper over an identical 36-month period, with a total repayment cost of RM146,985. The monthly installment is RM3,109, but Agility (and HP Classic) does not factor in insurance and road tax – over the course of the next two years, the driver will have to fork out a further RM10,148 for insurance and road tax.

The biggest attraction of the Lease2Go programme for prospective Mercedes-Benz drivers is with its initial zero-downpayment, which allows an easy entry into the world of the Tristar, and there’s no commitment of ownership or disposal of the vehicle – which will be a depreciating asset – needed at the end of the tenure.