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Discussion Starter #1
So I just leased a brand new 2014 Dodge Challenger R/T Plus Blacktop (in "Header Orange"). After all included options (incl. laser security etching & Pearl Guard protection), the total price of the car was $39,275.

The bottom-line deal turned out that the dealer agreed to pay off my current vehicle in full (a 2012 Nissan Juke for $18,275) + no money down, dealer pays first month's lease payment of $450, and the monthly lease payment is $450 for 35 months ($16,200 in total). Keep in mind that I've never done a lease before.

My main reason for going with a lease is because I've accepted the fact that I will have a car payment for the rest of my life, and I wanted the option of upgrading to a new vehicle and/or model every 3 years. Was this a wise move?

Additionally, I've already taken it upon myself to make some upgrades to my leased Challenger. I've added the R/T black hash decal stripes to the hood/fender, and I've upgraded the rear tires to Goodyear Eagle RSA "All Season" tires.

So my main question is... Will my decision to upgrade my Challenger come back to haunt me when it comes time to turn over the vehicle at the end of my lease? Will the dealership take into account all of the upgrades and give me a better deal on my trade-in? Or will I be "punished" for making personal modifications to a vehicle which I do not actually own?

Clearly I'm "Flying Blind" here, so that's why I'm reaching out to you guys to better edumacate me on all this stuff. ;)

Thanks guys...
Mikey ;)
 

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As long as your not doing 'performance mods' or dumping your money into the car thats technically not yours you should be fine. I guess you could always take the mods off and sell em but youll never get full price back.

On the other hand though. Sounds like you did the right choice by leasing.
 

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So I just leased a brand new 2014 Dodge Challenger R/T Plus Blacktop (in "Header Orange"). After all included options (incl. laser security etching & Pearl Guard protection), the total price of the car was $39,275.
I'm not going to touch that...but...oof.

The bottom-line deal turned out that the dealer agreed to pay off my current vehicle in full (a 2012 Nissan Juke for $18,275) + no money down, dealer pays first month's lease payment of $450, and the monthly lease payment is $450 for 35 months ($16,200 in total). Keep in mind that I've never done a lease before.
Dealers paying off loans "in full" is what they have to do, the real question is was the pay-off amount more or less than the trade-in value they gave you? If your Juke was worth, say, $16,000 at trade-in and they paid $18,275 to pay it off then they rolled the negative equity of $2,275 into the lease. They didn't just wipe out that $2,275 of negative equity. On the flip side, if your trade-in value was higher than the pay-off amount then that extra money gets applied as part of the down payment.

My main reason for going with a lease is because I've accepted the fact that I will have a car payment for the rest of my life, and I wanted the option of upgrading to a new vehicle and/or model every 3 years. Was this a wise move?
It ultimately depends on you, leases work for some and not for others. Some people, such as myself, don't want to be tied down by mileage limitations and not being able to make changes to the car. In the case of my Challenger, I'm never going to get rid of it so it wouldn't have made sense to lease it anyway.

I used to be like you, changing cars every 1-3 years because I'd get bored but I never leased and with one exception I never put myself into a situation where I had to roll negative equity into a new loan.

Additionally, I've already taken it upon myself to make some upgrades to my leased Challenger. I've added the R/T black hash decal stripes to the hood/fender, and I've upgraded the rear tires to Goodyear Eagle RSA "All Season" tires.

Nice! Tires are wear items anyway, so no problem there. The stripes aren't a permanent change either, so shouldn't be a problem.

So my main question is... Will my decision to upgrade my Challenger come back to haunt me when it comes time to turn over the vehicle at the end of my lease? Will the dealership take into account all of the upgrades and give me a better deal on my trade-in? Or will I be "punished" for making personal modifications to a vehicle which I do not actually own?

Oh, there is no trade-in with a lease. It's a surrender and you cross your fingers that they don't come at you with a list of penalties at the end; Excess mileage, excess wear, etc. There are also fees due at the end of the lease, so even if you brought the car back at the end of the lease in perfect shape and under mileage you are still likely to get stuck with a disposition fee which can be hundreds of dollars.

If you put money into the car in the way of mods then they could ding you for them (Read your lease terms) or just give you nothing for them, which is why most people put the car back to stock and sell their mods at the end of a lease.

Clearly I'm "Flying Blind" here, so that's why I'm reaching out to you guys to better edumacate me on all this stuff. ;)

Thanks guys...
Mikey ;)

Well, not that it will do any good now, but I would suggest asking these questions and doing your research before signing a contract. I'm not saying that you got taken for a ride, but it sounds like you may have been an easy target.

One suggestion, though. Don't just give up and give in to the idea of having car payments for the rest of your life. Personally, I find the idea of low or zero payments, instant equity and a sense of ownership to be better than a lease. The only way to get there is by working hard and sticking with something even if you want something different. IMO, leases are very restrictive and you're likely to find surprises at the end that make the slightly lower monthly payments not seem like they're worth it.

Consider this, if you lease 4 different cars @ $450/mo for 36 months each that's almost $65,000 in payments and you have nothing to show for it. No equity, no car, nothing. If you plan it right, you can own a pretty sweet car outright by that time.

Just watch the fine print and enjoy the car, consider this a learning experience for yourself and by the end of the term you'll likely know if leasing is right for you or not.

And of course, enjoy the Challenger! :D
 

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Personally, I would never do a lease.....zero investment. If you buy, and sell it later, even at a loss, at least you get some money.

EDIT: I wouldn't do any mods to a car I am pretty much renting.
 

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I leased a car once... NEVER again. Penalties, fees and anything else they can think up and you're stuck because buried somewhere in that microscopic type it states that they can do just about anything and you agreed when you signed.

Years ago leasing was simple, not anymore.
 
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I leased a Volvo C70

....For 3 years. It worked out great. I knew how many miles/year I needed and had the contract reflect it. No fees on turn in. Leasing is good for people who buy Euro Imports (BMW, Audi, Mini, VW, Mercedes), as these cars get expensive when the free maintenance ends....usually at 3-4 years. And those free oil changes turn into $350 oil changes. Those cars are made so that you cannot perform most maintenance on them if you wanted. I've owned euro imports after 4-5 years and they become bigger money pits than a boat.
 
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There is a purpose to leasing, it meets certain needs. I leased when I knew I was going to move across country in three years, wouldn't want to keep the car, and had a predictable mileage. In that instance, I actually was able to sell the car back to the dealership instead of just turning it in and pocketed $1200 over and above the lease payoff. It also works if you are the type to trade in every couple years.

Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 

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Be sure to have an excellent insurance policy on that car, and pray that you never have an accident with it.
If you do, be sure to have the vehicle repaired by your insurance company's DRP (recommended repair facility) that way, hopefully your insurance company will guarantee that your vehicle is repaired correctly.

Trying to turn in a leased car with accident damage, even if repaired correctly will cost you dearly. You may be required to buy the vehicle at the end of the lease.
 

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Leasing works for some and not for others. I leased a car once about a dozen years ago, and when I had to get out of it before the lease term expired, due to a sudden change in my work/income scenario, it was a painful experience because I was locked to a value with the dealer and had zero negotiating power. Lesson learned.

I'm not saying that I'll never lease a car again, but the urge is simply too great to have fun with and modify a Challenger to make it a car that I would choose to lease.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks to everyone who's chimed in thus far on this subject. In an effort to answer a multitude of questions without replying to each one individually, here goes:

1. I failed to mention in my original post that due to my Employer's benefits, I was able to get "Preferred Pricing", which was 1% over dealer cost. So my final price was not $39,275. It ended up being $36,206.

2. They paid me $127 more for my Nissan Juke trade-in than it was worth, so they threw that in as a down payment.

3. The lease contract states that I will incur a $450 disposition fee (whatever the hell that is!) upon surrendering the car at the end of the lease.

4. I do have the maximum insurance coverage on the car (pretty much because they insisted upon it). My insurance is $527 every 6 months through State Farm.
So from what I can gather from all the kind responses, I probably shouldn't have done a lease. Oh well, live and learn. But I do appreciate all the advice guys. ;)
 

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Thanks to everyone who's chimed in thus far on this subject. In an effort to answer a multitude of questions without replying to each one individually, here goes:

1. I failed to mention in my original post that due to my Employer's benefits, I was able to get "Preferred Pricing", which was 1% over dealer cost. So my final price was not $39,275. It ended up being $36,206.

2. They paid me $127 more for my Nissan Juke trade-in than it was worth, so they threw that in as a down payment.

3. The lease contract states that I will incur a $450 disposition fee (whatever the hell that is!) upon surrendering the car at the end of the lease.

4. I do have the maximum insurance coverage on the car (pretty much because they insisted upon it). My insurance is $527 every 6 months through State Farm.
So from what I can gather from all the kind responses, I probably shouldn't have done a lease. Oh well, live and learn. But I do appreciate all the advice guys. ;)
1. The total you pay to use the car is the sum of your payments. In a lease you are paying the depreciation and interest on the car.

2. They paid you 127 more than your payoff

3. Aka your 36th payment

4 leasing works for many people but as said here, buy depreciating assets in cash and you will always have equity.

1100 a year for a 500 deductible policy is not too bad
 

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Be sure to have an excellent insurance policy on that car, and pray that you never have an accident with it.
If you do, be sure to have the vehicle repaired by your insurance company's DRP (recommended repair facility) that way, hopefully your insurance company will guarantee that your vehicle is repaired correctly.

Trying to turn in a leased car with accident damage, even if repaired correctly will cost you dearly. You may be required to buy the vehicle at the end of the lease.
Never thought of that. Guess they will also stick you for the diminished value.
 

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You made so many mistake in this deal. it's not even funny. everybody here knows it, but doesn't want to burst your bubble.

First, you never combine deals. combining the pay off of your Juke with the deal was an error, it clouds the deal your getting. Don't get me wrong, IF you know how much your vehicle SHOULD trade in for, you can do it, clinging to that price as a reference to the REAL deal your getting, but you need to be aware of this.

Second, just because it's a lease, doesn't mean that you can't get the same DEALER discounts off the MSRP that you would negotiate, were you buying the car. the Factory incentives for a leased vehicle are less, but- those two discounts are separate, one is set in stone- the factory rebate/discounts, the other, what the dealer is discounting the vehicle below MSRP is what you are REALLY negotiating.

third- never buy the extra add ons please? just cake for the dealer, 'nuff said.


A very good place to check on the price of what you should pay is, in fact- True Car, Truecar.com.
If you want to know what it should cost in a lease- they only quote purchase prices i think- just add back the factory rebate from dodge to the purchase price, then go to
dodges website, and find and subtract the current lease incentive in it's place. Then shoot for 500- 1500 less.

good news is that it's illegal for a dealer to take a trade in to entice you into a lease. They have to take the car in trade as a purchase by them, completely separately, so they violated the law, and you have grounds to terminate the lease. you will probably need a lawyer's letter and about an hour of his time to press the matter to the dealership, but you should be able to undo the lease, and either re-negotiate it, or change it into a purchase. Please check the price on Truecar, first, OK? Good luck.
 
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