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The laws regarding an apartment lease and a car lease are very different, because housing is necessary for all people and a car isn't legally considered a necessity (no matter how we personally view it or where a person lives). That's also why the government has programs to help low-income families receive housing, but there aren't any similar programs for those who wish to buy, rent or lease a car. Shelter is essential to human life. A car is a modern convenience.
A car lease is a contract
that allows a person to use a car for a specified amount of time. The person who leases the vehicle is required by the contract to return it at the end of the leased term, or pay the agreed price. That's why GAP insurance is recommended. If you are in an accident, your insurance company will only pay the value of the car. If the contract price of the lease is more than what the car is worth, the consumer ends up paying the dealership for nothing. It's really in that person's best interests to get GAP insurance - especially because it will also protect someone who is hit by an uninsured driver. That doesn't really translate to an apartment lease, because if someone you don't know destroys the building you live in, it's the landlord's responsibility to repair it, not the tenant's (under state law).
The reason that a person needs a loan for a car lease is that this is how dealerships make money. They don't have to give you the car, so they're allowed to require that you finance the deal through them. The consumer here has the option to accept the lease terms and get the loan, or reject the terms and do business elsewhere.
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