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Do I Need a Down Payment on a Car Lease?

Down Payment on a Car Lease

Car dealers love to keep the details a secret about buying and leasing cars, but the purpose of this website is expose all the secrets of the car business. One of the more commons questions I get from readers is do I need a down payment on a car lease. My short answer would be no you don’t need a down payment, but first there are several conditions or stipulations you must meet.

When you see or hear automakers advertisements for low monthly car lease payments there are always disclaimers. These disclaimers will provide you with the details for being able to qualify for those low payments and they usually require a down payment on a car lease. Not to mention that you still need to add tax, title and license to your price and ultimately you lease payment. Some lease specials require several thousand dollars down and then add on your other fees and you could be putting out $5,000 or more, which in my book is a down payment on the car lease.

Lease Down Payments and CreditCar Leasing and Down Payments

However if you have an acceptable credit score as specified by the car-makers finance division you can still lease a car without a down payment. Obviously your monthly payment will be higher than the advertised special, but you won’t need a down payment on a car lease. The amount of the increase will be determined by several factors including the cost of the car, the residual value and the money factor. Now don’t forget that you still need to add the sales tax, title, license and any required car dealer fees.

So if you were wondering do I need a down payment on a car lease the answer is no you don’t. If you have good credit and you are willing to accept a higher monthly lease payment you are good to go. The dealership where you get your new leased car will also be happy to roll your sales tax, fees, title and license in your payment and you will not need to put any money down on your new leased car. Your only cash out of pocket to drive away in a new car will be the first month’s payment.


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