Why It's Not Smart to Put a Down Payment on a Lease
In fact, we advise against ANY down payment when you lease. There are several reasons for this, the most important being that you can lose the money you put down if your vehicle is stolen or totaled, especially during the first few months of your lease.
Insurance companies pay the actual market value of a vehicle in the event that it's stolen or totaled.
Even if you have GAP insurance, your down payment is still not fully protected.
Imagine putting $3,000 down on a car you don't own, it gets stolen and you lose that amount! That's a huge hit, and it's not as uncommon as you think.
Another reason to avoid putting any money down is because in most states, you will need to pay taxes on that amount. (If you roll it into the monthly payment, you'll still pay taxes, but it will be paid off slowly over the life of the lease).
One of the main advantages of a lease is supposed to be low up-front costs and low monthly payments which frees up your cash flow. If you have to put up several thousand dollars in the beginning, it defeats the purpose.
Always remember that leases are negotiable - it's simple to roll any down payment into the monthly lease payment, and you should always do so.
3 Steps Every Car Buyer Needs to Take to Save Maximum MoneyThe key to getting the best deal is to gather price or lease bids from as many local dealers as possible. Then shop that best price around until no one can beat it. Here are the steps:
Step 1 Get Prices From My Trusted NetworkSelect the vehicle you're interested in to see if there are local dealers in my network who will provide you with their best upfront price. You will get direct access to an internet sales manager who you can further negotiate with online (no need to visit dealership).
Step 2 Get Prices From TrueCar / CarsDirectTrueCar, and CarsDirect are my top 2 online price quote recommendations. These services show you pre-negotiated prices from dealers closest to you - and the deals are usually pretty decent. But remember, you can still negotiate further.
Step 3 Complete my ChecklistFollow this up with my checklist to make sure you squeeze out every last bit of savings.
- Gregg Fidan
Each week, I'll keep you up-to-date on the latest car deals and news that might affect your purchase. This includes...
- Best Rebates, Incentives, and Lease Deals
- Latest Car Buying Scams and Tricks
- The Best & Worst Time to Buy a Car
- Which Cars You Should Avoid