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Beware of Dealers That Markup the Lease Acquisition Fee

Dealer ScamWhen it comes to leasing, there's a lot of things you need to keep an eye on so you don't get ripped off.

One of those things is the lease acquisition fee (also referred to as the Lease Inception fee or Origination Fee).

This is a fee charged by the leasing company to cover their initial administrative costs - or so they say. It's really just an additional profit source.

You don't get charged an acquisition fee when you take out a car loan, there's really no reason why you should be charged one for a lease.

These fees usually start at $350 and can be as high as $1,000 for some luxury vehicles.

If a car dealer is setting up the lease for you, you need to make sure they're not marking up the acquisition fee.

Some leasing companies allow dealers to mark up the fee a few hundred dollars and let them keep the difference.

The way to combat this is to comparison shop your lease with several different car dealers. Keep a close eye on this fee and see if they all charge the same thing - if so, it's not likely to be marked up.

Sometimes you can catch this extra fee and save yourself a good chunk of change.

Since you should be comparison shopping your lease anyway, It's certainly worth the extra effort to pay attention to this fee.

3 Steps Every Car Buyer Needs to Take to Save Maximum Money

The 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 Network

Select 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).
Select Vehicle to Get Local Pricing

Step 2 Get Prices From TrueCar / CarsDirect

TrueCar, 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 Checklist

Follow this up with my checklist to make sure you squeeze out every last bit of savings.
- Gregg Fidan

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About The Author

Gregg Fidan Gregg Fidan is the founder of RealCarTips. After being ripped off on his first car purchase, he devoted several years to figuring out the best ways to avoid scams and negotiate the best car deals. He has written hundreds of articles on the subject of car buying and taught thousands of car shoppers how to get the best deals.
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