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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

5. The Undisclosed Acquisition Fee

Here outrageously high fees may be secretly built into your lease payment without your knowledge.

How it Works: Many leasing companies (but not all) will charge a hefty fee to originate the lease. This so-called acquisition fee or lease origination fee, is typically $450 but may be as high as $895. This fee was originally cooked-up as a profit-enhancer by dealers who would blame the leasing company for the fee then pocket the money. Consequently, negotiating away this fee used to be easy. Unfortunately, the leasing companies wised-up and instituted real acquisition fees, which are near impossible to negotiate. Salespeople are trained to capitalize or build this fee into the lease payment where it will likely go unnoticed.

Variations: Ford Motor Credit adds an undisclosed "administration fee" equal to .00111 times the cap cost to every monthly payment. Over the life of the lease this can add up to a huge sum of money. For example, the fee on a vehicle with a $25,000 cap cost is $27.75 per month times, say 36 months. This adds up to a whopping $999.00! What would you say to your bank if they tried to charge you a thousand bucks to process your car-loan papers?

How to Prevent: Ask the salesman if the lease he is offering has an acquisition fee and if this fee has been capitalized or built-in to the payment. Always get the dealer to breakdown and account for every penny of the cash required at signing. Not all lease companies charge acquisition fees. If there is one, ask that the fee be waived. If they say no, shop around. You may find an equivalent deal from a dealer willing to eat the fee to get your business. And of course if the fee is waived, calculate the payment yourself to make sure that it doesn't find it's way back in without your knowledge.


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