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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
  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

6. The Payoff Packing Scheme

In the event of early termination, the dealer inflates the lease payoff amount then pockets the difference. This scam has been found to involve the close cooperation of the leasing company and the dealer.

How it Works: Most leasing customers know to expect some sort of fee for early termination. The problem is that leasing contracts are very vague about early termination penalties making it near impossible for consumers to calculate the payoff amount themselves. When a consumer contacts the leasing company requesting the payoff amount, the customer is referred to the dealer. The dealer obtains the true payoff amount from the lease company, then inflates the amount by several hundred dollars. Upon arranging the payoff the dealer pockets the difference.

How to Prevent: First, try not to terminate early unless you are really compelled (no penalties are even lower than un-inflated penalties). If the termination is forced (the vehicle is stolen or wrecked), and your lease includes gap insurance, the penalty should be significantly reduced.  Second, re-read your contract carefully before beginning early termination negotiations. This may give you some insight into what penalties and fees will be assessed. Third, always contact the leasing company first and avoid involving the dealer in the process. Finally, don't be afraid to object or complain if you feel the early termination penalty is excessive.

 


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