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Buying advice for leasing a Toyota Highlander

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rated:
Turning in a Camry lease for a Highlander.
Trying to get the best deal. Single female who doesn't want to be taken advantage of...
Advice appreciated.

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Aside the fact that purely financially, leasing is a bad deal vs. straight purchase of 2-3 yr old car held for 10+ years... (more)

Shandril (Jun. 07, 2017 @ 1:37p) |

All vehicles needs maintenance and thus there is an operating and maintenance cost. It is just how much cost you will ha... (more)

diamente (Jun. 08, 2017 @ 12:41p) |

That's comparing apples to oranges.  Using a car for years 4-13 of its life is different from using three consecutive ca... (more)

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rated:
Why lease?

rated:
Like to get a new car before having to put $ into it.

rated:
Right now SUV's are the hot item because gas is down for a while from its $4+ high.
You perhaps may get a better deal if you look at a car than a SUV as they are not as much in demand right now.

Personally, I was never a fan of lease on vehicles as they like to draw you back as a captive audience
when the lease is up. You may get a better deal if you return the lease to the dealer and just go somewhere
else (different dealer or brand). Remember that your money is good anywhere.  Dont be a captive of that dealer.

rated:
maraki3 said:   Like to get a new car before having to put $ into it.
  That's a lazy reason for leasing a car.  If repair costs are the main concern, buy a Kia/Hyundai since they have 100k warranties.

You're getting taken advantage of with a lease and being a single female has nothing to do with it.

rated:
kriskos4 said:   
maraki3 said:   Like to get a new car before having to put $ into it.
  That's a lazy reason for leasing a car.  If repair costs are the main concern, buy a Kia/Hyundai since they have 100k warranties.

You're getting taken advantage of with a lease and being a single female has nothing to do with it.

Regularly leasing cars is like constantly "put[ting] $ into it" -- except instead of repairs, you constantly get the worst part of the depreciation curve.

rated:
maraki3 said:   Like to get a new car before having to put $ into it.
  Not sure if you know, but this website is called FATwallet.com not thinwallet.com. On a serious note, I wouldn't lease unless you are that lazy that you don't mind loosing money and have no time at all to deal with trade ins or selling a car own your own. 

rated:
If you must lease .. go to edmunds forum for your specific car, and see what other's are paying. I looked into leasing, and in the end didn't do it. But if you must lease - i suggest, you look at total cost say for 3 years lease: how much cost it takes to get the car initially (banking fee etc), add any upfront money they want, multiply the monthly payment by 36, and get an idea of total cost you must pay out for 3 years. Then use that to compare from one dealer to another.

Also - if you post your rate quoted on edumnds, there are site mod there who are experts at these things, and they'll give you an idea whether it is good deal or not.

rated:
How much do you owe on the old lease? Did you go over miles?
And why the 'single female' post? Married men get taken advantage of at dealers too.

rated:
1. You need to know the value of your old car. Will it cost you money or save you money? Go to edmunds.com or Kelly BB and do a car appraisal. Whatever it says your car is worth, it is worth slightly less to a dealer. Take it to Carmax and get a hard offer. Use that as your baseline. If you have equity in the car, you can sell it or use it for a trade in, even if it is a lease. If you have negative equity (your car is worth less than your buyout option) then you'll have to deal with the costs associated with turning it in at the end of the lease. If you have to do this option, make sure the new dealer promises to cover any costs for wear and tear.

2. Getting a new lease: Send out an email to the 20 closest dealerships asking them for their best out the door payment for the car you desire. They will need your zip, trim style, make, model, desired mileage, length of lease down payment, when you intend to buy. Be as specific as you can. If you leave the door open for them to ask you questions, they'll beat around the bush. Mention whether or not you are a student or a veteran as there are sometimes discounts for those things.

3. You may get a few offers and likely lots of people asking questions or trying to get you into the dealership. Don't Go! Do all your negotiating through email and use several offers to get a feel for the market. When you get an offer you like, ask for all the components of the lease and plug them into a lease calculator. You want to understand all pieces and want NO surprises when you go to fill in paperwork.

One of the components you will get is a Vehicle price. You can use this to check edmunds.com or truecar to see if you are in the range of people who did well with their purchase.

You should also be able to get money factor and residual in advance if you go to a Toyota Highlander board. You want to be armed with as much info as you can before you start.

Do as much paperwork as you can before you go to the dealer. CHECK EVERYTHING! They will try to put the wrong payment or downpayment in your paperwork and you need to be ready to push back. Keep all the emails with your dealer quotes on it. If you have to turn your car in because there is no equity, get the end of lease inspection done before you go to the dealership. The inspector will tell you how much you owe for excess wear/mileage. Be sure to get the new dealership to commit in writing that they will cover it.

If you do all your negotiation on line before you go in and check and then double check everything, you will be fine. This also works for buying a car, but since you mentioned leasing, this is the modified method. Good luck!

rated:
maraki3 said:   Turning in a Camry lease for a Highlander.
Trying to get the best deal. Single female who doesn't want to be taken advantage of...
Advice appreciated.

  
please check out leasehackr.com -

great site for leasing info and finding GREAT lease deals.  keeps you informed of what others are snagging leases for and what specials you might qualify for (recent college grad, military, foreign owned car conquest, domestic owned car conquests, etc...).  example, if you own a honda, almost all the domestic dealers will incentivize you to lease their cars.  so, chevy might give you $1000 incentive to lease their cars...etc.  see site and read up.

believe it or not you can make out better leasing than buying a car ...depending on your situation and needs.  business owners can write off leases, you don't have to do large down payment, you drive under warranty all the time (36 months).  of course there are cons: don't own the vehicle, insurance requirements can be more, etc.

Key thought for leasing:  put $0 down!  and then figure out a great monthly rate from there.  i targeted $200 per month for a lease for a SUV.  got a honda crv 12k miles, for $210 a month with $0down/$0 due signing.

don't fall for $99 per month with $3K down...those ads are everywhere.  read fine print about down payments.  stay away from down payments.   

have fun, best luck!!!

rated:
maraki3 said:   Turning in a Camry lease for a Highlander.
Trying to get the best deal. Single female who doesn't want to be taken advantage of...
Advice appreciated.

find the lease price advertised in your town . negotiate it 10-20% down over phone or email .
  Pics appreciated .

rated:
Here is a rule of thumb. With ZERO down, your monthly payment should be less than 1% of MSRP. If you are leasing a $60K car, you should be paying less than $600 + tax in monthly payment for 36 month lease, 10K miles per year.

P.S don't read all of the above BS posts.  OP wants to lease a car and wants the best deal.  BTW go to leasehackr.  There are nice people who will help you out.  This site is full of bums who think Crown Victora is the way to go or buy a 3 year old corolla and drive it for the next 12 years.

rated:
maraki3 said:   Like to get a new car before having to put $ into it.
  If you want to lease, take the advice above.
If you want the best deal and you're not a business owner, buy the car.  You'll pay more for 100k miles (multiple leases) than you will buying a Camry or Highlander and covering dealer maintenance by the book.  Chances of a major failure with a Camry or Highlander when following the maintenance schedule are relatively low.  

rated:
king0fSpades said:   
P.S don't read all of the above BS posts.  OP wants to lease a car and wants the best deal.  BTW go to leasehackr.  There are nice people who will help you out.  This site is full of bums who think Crown Victora is the way to go or buy a 3 year old corolla and drive it for the next 12 years.

  
Yes, exactly my thought. If you want to lease then lease! I haven't leased before so can't help out but did recently read that Highlander has one of the best resale values of all vehicles. That means you should be able to get a good lease deal. Best of luck. 

rated:
king0fSpades said:   Here is a rule of thumb. With ZERO down, your monthly payment should be less than 1% of MSRP. If you are leasing a $60K car, you should be paying less than $600 + tax in monthly payment for 36 month lease, 10K miles per year.

P.S don't read all of the above BS posts.  OP wants to lease a car and wants the best deal.  BTW go to leasehackr.  There are nice people who will help you out.  This site is full of bums who think Crown Victora is the way to go or buy a 3 year old corolla and drive it for the next 12 years.
 

  
At least we're smart (about $) bums.  And there is nothing wrong with driving a 3 year old car until the wheels fall off.  Did it twice already and just purchased a 2014 Pathfinder last month for the same purpose.

rated:
kriskos4 said:   
maraki3 said:   Like to get a new car before having to put $ into it.
  That's a lazy reason for leasing a car.  If repair costs are the main concern, buy a Kia/Hyundai since they have 100k warranties.

You're getting taken advantage of with a lease and being a single female has nothing to do with it.

  Don't fall into that trap. I found Kia/hyundai dealers are most seedy among others. You will end up wasting more time to fix your car and eventually just get it done elsewhere. That being said, my friend got a new sorento and it is a really good car, for now.

rated:
If I were to lease...I would lease a car that actually breaks down after the lease (BMW, benz, audi)...not a reliable boring car made by toyota/honda..

rated:
There is a stupid ad for a leasing agency always advertising that with leasing you are buying the new half of car. i laugh at it because their new half is 3 years and the old half is as much as 14 years and counting for me. As for OP, first you aren't buying when you are leasing. Find a good mechanic and buy a good new or used car and keep care of it and it is not that much hassle to maintain it. i consider leasing a car a lot like using rent-a-center to buy appliance or TVs. People over paying to get that low payment only to now really own anything after 3 years. With a car you own, you don't have to fuss over every nick and door ding or worry about how little or much you drive.

rated:
sharpie130 said:   If I were to lease...I would lease a car that actually breaks down after the lease (BMW, benz, audi)...not a reliable boring car made by toyota/honda..
  
For those cars, I'd either buy it as a CPO where you can get up to 3 years of coverage or buy one that still has some of the original warranty and get an extended warranty from the manufacturer that can go to 7 years 100k. I don't think Audi does it, but you can also get 3rd party warranties that do the same if you don't want repair bills. They're usually half the price of a new car after 3 years and after another 3 years, are still worth about half of that so you end up paying a quarter instead of a half for about the same time frame. 

rated:
ceobeaver said:   1. You need to know the value of your old car. Will it cost you money or save you money? Go to edmunds.com or Kelly BB and do a car appraisal. Whatever it says your car is worth, it is worth slightly less to a dealer. Take it to Carmax and get a hard offer. Use that as your baseline. If you have equity in the car, you can sell it or use it for a trade in, even if it is a lease. If you have negative equity (your car is worth less than your buyout option) then you'll have to deal with the costs associated with turning it in at the end of the lease. If you have to do this option, make sure the new dealer promises to cover any costs for wear and tear.

2. Getting a new lease: Send out an email to the 20 closest dealerships asking them for their best out the door payment for the car you desire. They will need your zip, trim style, make, model, desired mileage, length of lease down payment, when you intend to buy. Be as specific as you can. If you leave the door open for them to ask you questions, they'll beat around the bush. Mention whether or not you are a student or a veteran as there are sometimes discounts for those things.

3. You may get a few offers and likely lots of people asking questions or trying to get you into the dealership. Don't Go! Do all your negotiating through email and use several offers to get a feel for the market. When you get an offer you like, ask for all the components of the lease and plug them into a lease calculator. You want to understand all pieces and want NO surprises when you go to fill in paperwork.

One of the components you will get is a Vehicle price. You can use this to check edmunds.com or truecar to see if you are in the range of people who did well with their purchase.

You should also be able to get money factor and residual in advance if you go to a Toyota Highlander board. You want to be armed with as much info as you can before you start.

Do as much paperwork as you can before you go to the dealer. CHECK EVERYTHING! They will try to put the wrong payment or downpayment in your paperwork and you need to be ready to push back. Keep all the emails with your dealer quotes on it. If you have to turn your car in because there is no equity, get the end of lease inspection done before you go to the dealership. The inspector will tell you how much you owe for excess wear/mileage. Be sure to get the new dealership to commit in writing that they will cover it.

If you do all your negotiation on line before you go in and check and then double check everything, you will be fine. This also works for buying a car, but since you mentioned leasing, this is the modified method. Good luck!

  
Double check the lease paperwork and have dealer write down what they say they are going to do. If the dealer is taking over your existing car payment or paying for over mileage when you are going to a new lease, make sure they write it down on paper. I have a friend with Lexus GSF ($100K lexus, very nice, goes to over 100 mph easily and feels like you are going 60 mph). He traded in a prior lease into this GSF lease. The dealer was acting like his friend and saying they will cover the over mileage fee (over 8K miles) on his prior vehicle. The paper work said otherwise. He ended up paying for the over mileage expense. He went to a very prominent consumer law attorney who sues auto dealers but the attorney refused his case. 

I second people here on NOT leasing a highlander. Toyota is a boring car. I drive a toyota. Grant Cardone (youtube him) drives a camry even though he had become a millionaire because spending money on car is just not a wise decision. You can get an used one for most likely for what you will pay for 3 year lease payments. You could lease if you are driving exotic cars that cost over $80K, $100K and you don't want to tie up all that cash in the car because you are smart enough to use that cash to make money for you. And you want to trade in the car for another car after 3 years. My friend above wants to trade in his GSF for an R8 which has the same engine as in Lamborghini. He hasn't done it because it's mind boggling expensive. 

Comment about FWF. There is nothing wrong with leasing if you can write it off as business expense. And do you not want to enjoy life? FWF's mindset is save but you can't save your way to wealth. The way to wealth is to make more money. I heard my friend made $ 2 million dollars last year. 



 

rated:
semi-off topic:
so for the person who wants to absolutely avoid car repair issues would a strategy of buying a late model used car and selling before they hit 100K miles then rinse/repeat be a better saver in general compared to constantly leasing that same model car?

rated:
lol no way, 100k is powertrain, there are many other things that go wrong after 36k

rated:
Aside the fact that purely financially, leasing is a bad deal vs. straight purchase of 2-3 yr old car held for 10+ years, if you're set on leasing and decide to afford the extra cost, just email dealerships around your area asking for their best leases with $0 down payment. On comparable terms, it should be pretty easy to get a decent deal especially if you know what to expect from your own leasehackr.com estimate.

And time your lease with an end of month/quarter (say last few days of June) or a 4th of July or Labor Day sale event.

rated:
nwill002 said:   semi-off topic:
so for the person who wants to absolutely avoid car repair issues would a strategy of buying a late model used car and selling before they hit 100K miles then rinse/repeat be a better saver in general compared to constantly leasing that same model car?

All vehicles needs maintenance and thus there is an operating and maintenance cost. It is just how much cost you will have depending on the cars you have. 

rated:
Shandril said:   Aside the fact that purely financially, leasing is a bad deal vs. straight purchase of 2-3 yr old car held for 10+ years
  That's comparing apples to oranges.  Using a car for years 4-13 of its life is different from using three consecutive cars for the first three years of their lives.  They're different products. 

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