Realistically speaking, no dealership likes to see little to no money due at signing. A car dealerships idea of a good cash down amount and a professional car buying agent or concierge's idea may vary greatly.

The idea behind putting money "down" at leasing for a car dealer, is not just  having you cover your fees/taxes/first payment, but also put money against the selling price of the car, also known as a "Cap Cost Reduction".

Stay away from Cap Cost Reductions!

Why? .. If you total your vehicle, that money goes with it!

So what is a good amount down? 

First and foremost, ALWAYS start with zero down. If you are comfortable with your payment that way, then stay that way.

If you prefer the payment to be a little bit lower, and can afford to cover the acquisition, registration, documentation fee, and first month payment, then only pay strictly those amounts, because they are the critical amounts being folded into your lease payment.

Anything outside of the aforementioned amounts are considered a down payment against the vehicle, and are generally not required anyway. 

(Unless of course the bank is collecting a security deposit from you) 

What is our suggestion?

If you are leasing a car, say $30,000 or less, chances are your acquisition fee, documentation fee, registration and first payment combined are no more than $1000 anyway.

$45,000 or more would also hint at a higher acquisition fee vehicle, as well as higher payment, which in most cases would equate to $2000 being the suggest amount to put up front. 

Keyword = "Suggested"

If we had our way with leasing, we wouldn't put down a penny, but in general, lease payments look much prettier when you pay the fees upfront. 

Thats the simple truth. 

Rule of Thumb: 

  1. $30,000 or less = $1000 down
  2. $40,000 or less = $1500 down
  3. $50,000 or less = $2000 down
  4. $60,000 or less = $2500 down

... see where I'm going with this? 

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