What is a TRUE no money down lease?

  1. Literally no money down when you go to sign?
  2. Just the acquisition fees, registration, and first months payment down at signing?

Let's make some sense of this all.

A true no money down lease deal on your typical Honda or Toyota at a Boston dealership is structured out so that you assume little to no financial liability after you leave the dealerships lot.

God forbid, if you total the car leaving the Starbucks parking lot next door, all that money that you would've put down has pretty much gone to waste!

It cannot, I repeat, CANNOT, be reapplied to the next lease agreement you sign!

Similarly, the reason why people put so much money out of their pocket is to drive down their monthly payment. The reason why trust gets lost as soon as a dealership gets you to come in after reading: "$99/month!!" Is usually because it implies that you'll be putting a hefty amount down upfront to decrease the the monthly costs.

You see, the total costs of the lease are the same no matter how seemingly low it may seem, or how much money gets collected up front.


$99/month!! Only $2,000 down!!

A Typical Low Payment Honda Accord Lease Ad:

The fine print: (taxes, fees, registration additional)

  1. The fees: Acquisition Fee $600
  2. Title and Registration $150
  3. Dealer Documentation Fee $300-$400
  4. State Inspection $30
  5. Sales Tax ($25-$30 additional per month)

The Math
36 payments = $4,300 (including tax)
Money down = $2,500
Fees = appx. $1,200

True cost of lease = $8,000


$169/month!! Zero/No Money Down!!

The fine print: (taxes, fees, registration additional)

  1. The fees: Acquisition Fee $600
  2. Title and Registration $150
  3. Dealer Documentation Fee $300-$400
  4. State Inspection $30
  5. Sales Tax ($25-$30 additional per month)

The Math
36 payments = $6,800 (including tax)
Money down = $0
Fees = appx. $1,200

True cost of lease = $8,000

Typical "No Money Down" Honda Accord Lease Ad:


Sign and Drive Event!

Not mentioned: (taxes, fees, registration being rolled into your payment)

  1. The fees: Acquisition Fee $600
  2. Title and Registration $150
  3. Dealer Documentation Fee $300-$400
  4. State Inspection $30
  5. Sales Tax ($25-$30 additional per month)

The Math
36 payments = $8,000 (including tax)
Money down = $0 (Not including your 1st payment)
Fees = $0 upfront (appx. $1,200 rolled into your payment)

True cost of lease = $8,000

Typical Sign & Drive Honda Accord Lease Ad:


Seeing a trend, right?

you say tomato, i say...

True cost of lease = $8,000

The real payment number =

[true cost of lease]/[36 months] =

$220/month is your actual payment.

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