A wise man once said, “Knowledge is power.” That holds true for pretty much every aspect of life, especially car leasing. The more you know about this industry, the less you need dealers to provide you with information or help, and the less opportunities dealers have to take advantage of you. Here are some common ways they’ll try to “help out”:

“Just trade in your current car early with us! You won’t have to owe a thing and you’ll get into a brand new car”

Wrong. A lot of the time, dealers will make it sound like they’re taking liability for the rest of your lease, which is simply not true. For arguments sake, let’s say that the dealer just forgot to process your paperwork and doesn’t make the leftover payments on you vehicle or return it to the leasing company (which happens more often than you think). That means that the leasing company holds YOU responsible, not the dealer. Sucks, we know.

More often than not, however, you’ll be getting your leftover payments enrolled into the lease you will be signing; essentially making you responsible for your old car’s payments and your new car’s payments at the same time. Bad deal.

“The interest rate we’re offering is 2.8%, which is way lower than any other dealership I’ve seen”

Yup, that interest rate is exceedingly low – only you’re not actually going to end up paying that amount. Dealers will often use the money factor of the vehicle and the interest rate interchangeably as a gimmick to get you excited about the thing they’re offering and sign quicker. The interest rate is derived from the money factor, but they’re definitely not synonymous.

The formula is: Interest Rate = (Money Factor) x (2400).

Yes, it is always 2400, no one really knows why so we can’t help you there. So, if the dealer is offering a 2.8% money factor, that would actually come out to:

(.0028) x (2400) = 6.72%

“When comparing leasing to buying, always lease because you’re getting the same car for cheaper”

While people generally pay lower for lease payments than loan payments in the designated increments that they pay them, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re paying lower OVERALL. Dealers can stretch your leasing term to be 4 years long if they wanted just to make it seem like you’re paying less, when in reality you’re just making more payments of a lower amount. There are way more factors that go into deciding to lease a car

“Leasing is pretty similar to renting so it won’t affect your credit”

Okay, who keeps telling people this? This is just outright false information. Leasing is in no way like renting and if you don’t make the payments on time, leasing will affect your credit score. It is what it is.

“Sorry, leases don’t offer rebates”

Again, who is telling people this stuff? Blatant lies, for real. There are tons of rebates and discounts for car leasers, and if those don’t apply to you, leases are always at least a little negotiable.

“We know that we marketed this car to be $99 per month with zero down, but you just don’t qualify for that deal”

We call bullshit. This is a personal favorite. This is basically synonymous to a child turning an argument around because you called his bluff. There was no $99 per month deal with zero down. In fact, we can almost guarantee that no such car exists in the leasing world as an entirety. Dealers do this trick all the time to get people interested about their dealership so that they’ll come by in person, and then ram them with some totally unrelated deal. It’s called “bait-and-switch” – look it up, friends.

All in all…

Don’t trust everything you hear.

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