Every weekend, the local newspapers are littered with car sales advertisements. Because of all the hype and scams that car dealers are known for, I’m sure a great many of us refuse to pay too much attention to them. But let’s face it, sometimes those advertised, low monthly car payments are simply too good to ignore. Have you noticed how one or more of the local dealers in your city always advertise the lowest car payments and wondered how they can sell or lease the same car to you for so much less than their competition? The answer is simple: they can’t. Whether it’s a lease or a purchase, the lowest payments always have the largest down payments in the fine-print section at the bottom. They further complicate your hopes with things like military, recent grad or owner loyalty rebate requirements.
How to Spot a Really Bad Car Lease Deal in Three Easy Steps.
Hidden Fees and Down Payments
How to spot a really bad car lease deal. Is it any coincidence that the lowest advertised car payments in my Denver Post always come from the same dealer? Arapahoe Hyundai, for example is advertising a 2013 Hyundai Elantra for just $105.00 per month? I’ve seen suspicious Ads from Arapahoe long enough to know that it is best just to completely ignore them. In today’s Saturday paper, for example, Arapahoe Hyundai is advertising a 2013 Hyundai Elantra for just $105.00 a month. That sounds great until you look at the bottom of the Ad. To get the $105.00 a month payment requires $2,975.00 down. When you average the $2,975 into the 36 month term , the $105.00 is more like, $191.00, but wait – there’s more bad news:
Military, College Grad and Loyalty Rebates
Every dealer offers $500 – $1,000 to recent college grads; military members and/or previous owners of the brand they are shopping for. The bottom of the Arapahoe Hyundai Advertisment not only requires a $2,975.00 down payment, but also that you must qualify as a recent college grad for Hyundai’s military and loyalty owner rebates. These are usually worth between $500 – $1,000 each and the rebate comes from Hyundai, not the car dealer. Add another $1,000 – $2,000 to your average payment..Now, you’re Hyundai Elantra is well over $200.00 a month – a very average deal and no better than what the rest of the car dealers are offering. Don’t go to dealers who play this game.
Choosing the Right Car Dealer
When you think about it, what kind of dealer or any company for that matter, would want to fool its customers into doing business with them? Furthermore, isn’t it a bit insulting that a car dealer thinks so little of our intelligence that they don’t think we are capable of whipping out a calculator or iPhone and doing a little basic math? The monthly car lease specials are always based on what is being offered by the manufacturer. Those deals can yield even lower payments with a little bit of negotiating effort. Since you are going to be negotiating why not choose a business that you want to do business with? In the course of my last several car lease deals, I’ve learned to appreciate the dealers that make things as visible and easy as possible – that means no tricks, fine-print or games. Spotting the worst car deals from the most familiar culprits is as easy as looking at the Saturday car Ads each week.
Five Misleading Car Deals
- 1: 2013 Kia Soul: $89.00 Per Month
- 2: 2013 Kia Rio LX: $89.00 Per Month
- Fine Print: $4,000 down, 39-month Lease
- 3. 2013 Hyundai Elantra: $105.00 Per Month
- 4. 2013 Hyunda Tucson LTD AWD: $205.00 Per Month
- 5. 2013 Hyundai SOnata SE 2.0 Turbo: $149.00 Per Month
- Fine Print: $2,975.00 Down. Military and Owner Loyalty Rebates Required: Valued at $1,500
None of these car deals are really terrible. What makes them bad is the less than honest way the dealer misrepresents an ultra-low, monthly payment. If we abide by the rules of determining a good car deal and only take the average car payment into consideration, we’ll never be unpleasantly surprised when we scroll down to read the fine print. Furthermore, we can always refer to our Lease Value Ratio formula to get an immediate idea of how much value we are getting for our average monthly payment.