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The Internet offers a quick, efficient way to request auto lease quotes from multiple dealers. We recommend clicking on each of the links below to harvest two or three quotes before setting off to do battle.

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Top 10 Leasing ScamsTM

Top 10 Leasing ScamsTM
  1. Secret Price Hike
  2. Disappearing Trade
  3. Quote the Factor As APR
  4. Phony Lease/Buy Comparison
  5. The Undisclosed Acquisition Fee
  1. The Payoff Packing Scheme
  2. The Extended Warranty Rip-Off
  3. The Phantom Options Scam
  4. The Single-Payment Rip-Off
  5. Phony Lease Trade-in

Free Bonus Scam: The Call-Back Leasing Scam

Unlike Dave's top 10 list, this one isn't funny. Rather it's a shameful list of dirty tricks most often used by dealers and salesmen to rip-off unsuspecting customers. Your most potent weapons against these assaults are knowledge, diligence, and skepticism. In short, trust no one and check everything yourself.

Here are some general pointers on protecting yourself:

  1. Know the terminology of leasing, specifically the terms gross cap cost, net cap cost, cap reduction, residual, and money factor.
  2. Before you begin to negotiate, insist on disclosure of the money factor and/or lease interest rate, residual value, fees, rebates and incentives.
  3. Make sure your cash down payment and trade equity are properly applied as a cap reduction payment (reduces the cap cost).
  4. Account for and understand all adjustments to the gross cap cost. In general, gross cap cost - cap reduction + capitalized fees + capitalized taxes = net cap cost. Net cap cost is used to calculate the monthly payment.
  5. Account for every penny of the cash required at signing. Ask the salesman to break-down this figure in writing. Typical components are first payment, security deposit, sales tax, sales tax on down payment, luxury tax, DMV fees, and acquisition fee. 
  6. Always, always, always calculate the payment yourself. It is not hard and can be done easily with a hand calculator. If the payment on the contract does not agree agree with your calculations, do not sign anything.
  7. Trust your instincts. If something doesn't sound or feel right about the deal then don't do it.
  8. Finally, consider using a service such as  The Leasing Hot Line  who will analyze the lease over the phone for about $30, or analyze the deal yourself with consumer leasing software such as Expert Lease Pro.

If you catch a dealer pulling one of these scams, contact your local Attorney Generals office and take your business elsewhere (yes, there are honest dealers out there - you just have to find them).


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