Best Car Lease

Best Car Lease
Best Car Lease

What is the best car lease? Is there a better way to end a year than with the lease of a brand new car?  The best lease is the one you’ll never forget. The Toyota RAV4 V6, pictured to the right was leased with no money down, for $280.00 a month. This particular 2011 Toyota RAV4 V6 AWD, with it’s added Value Package, has an MSRP of $27,300. If you think that’s a great deal, you’re absolutely right, but it gets even better. Why is it the best way to lease a car and why is it the best deal for me? Well, for two reasons:

  • The lucky Lessor of the lease option in this example was me
  • The dealer agreed to make the final $247 payment on my leased Subaru Legacy and pay the $300 termination fee.

Is the Best Car Lease the one that Yields the Lowest Payment?

I realize that what is best for me is not necessarily best for everyone else. Financially, this was an excellent deal for me, however. When you factor in the $547.00 paid back to me over the 36 month term of the lease, my average payment is only $265.00 per month. That is a Lease Value Ratio (LVR) of just .97% ($265.00 / $27,300), making it one of the lowest, if not the lowest LVR ever published on this blog. So, using the Monthly Car Lease ratings guide, this is in fact the best deal I could have possibly made at the end of 2010. This just goes to show you that even manufacturers lease specials are negotiable. But, that is only one of the reasons which made this the best car lease for me.

Best Way to Lease a Car

Part of the success was the way I was treated by the dealer. This was the easiest car leasing experience I’ve ever had. Basically, I closed the deal on this car before I ever set foot in the dealer’s lot. I am sure that many of you are thinking that anyone who likes writing articles on car leasing must enjoy visiting and bickering with car dealers. Nothing could be further from the truth. While I love to test drive new cars, I don’t enjoy haggling over finances. I need to make those decisions by myself without outside forces pressuring me. I think the car leasing formula I’ve devised on this website is a a pretty good way to gauge what kind of financing deal you are getting on your car lease. But, how many people can take an honest look at the numbers while a dealer is in their face trying to sell them the car? These are the kinds of things you need to work out in your own time with your own personal space and with no outside influences coercing you. I had driven a Toyota RAV4 many years ago when the latest design was in its first year. The residual values on the car had not yet been established and so the lease rates were horrible. I’d be paying around $450.00 a month for a similar car as the one I leased today for $280.00. I was also underwhelmed with the acceleration performance of the 4 Cylinder I test drove. I knew the V6 was one of the fastest cars in its class and it would love to drive one if I could get the payment where I wanted. I’ve admired the great lease deals on 4 Cylinder RAV4s all year long on this website: $199.00 a month with $1,199 – $1,799 down. I knew in my mind that a V6 which retails for $3,000 more should lease for about $75.00 more. So, my goal was to get a V6 Rav4 for around $275.00 a month and no money down. I figured if the $24,000, 4 Cylinder Lease special is $199.00 a month and $1,799.00 down, a monthly payment under $300 with no money down is a good deal on the more expensive V6 model.

Car Lease Shopping Online

I visited some Car Dealer Websites. The first one happened to reside right across the street from the office where I work. They also happen to have the largest Toyota Inventory in the state. As I shopped the dealer inventory, I noticed there was an option for chatting with a sales representative online. I clicked on it and in a few minutes I was connected to a sales rep. I told him what I wanted. A 2011 RAV4 V6 for $275.00 a month and no money down. I also told him that I needed one more favor: I asked them to buy out the lease on my Subaru Legacy which still had 1 payment remaining and a $300 termination fee which I wouldn’t get stuck with if I chose to lease another Subaru. The sales rep told me he would get me a quote right away. When 24 hours passed and I hadn’t heard back, I logged back online and was told that the quote was almost done and would be over to me any minute. After another 24 hours passed, I gave up on this dealer. I don’t like sales reps that are pushy, but this is ridiculous. If you have to nag a car dealer to sell you a car, then something’s wrong. This was four days ago and I still have not heard back from this dealer. So, I went online and shopped another dealer which was 18 miles away. I asked for the very same thing and 10 minutes later I was given a quote via email that matched my exact needs: $280.00 a month, no down payment, and a 36 month lease term with 12K per month mileage. This was only $5.00 a month more than what I asked for on my first try and that was due to the fact the car cost $700 more due to a value package which includes the larger 17-inch wheels and some other convenience features. Now, all they had to do was get me out of my Subaru Lease. I emailed the sales rep my payoff and car loan information. Within a couple of hours, he emailed me back an offer to pay for my $300 termination fee as well as my final $247.00 payment. I accepted and agreed to make the drive to the dealership the next day to do the paperwork and drive off with the car. Today, was the day! Everything worked as planned, without any bickering, haggling, tricks or hidden secrets. My payment is $280.00 per month, no money down (first payment only), and I’m getting a check mailed back to me for $547.00, which I had them put in writing. There was only one inconvenience to the deal: The weather. Denver had its first real snow storm of the year. The streets and highways were so bad that I was unable to go over 40mph the entire 20 miles home. It was an excellent way, however, to test the AWD handling and traction control of the car! The best car lease deal doesn’t have to include such a powerful engine, it could be for a variety of other reasons that attracted you to the car; ie gas mileage, luxury, navigator, etc. etc.. For me, it had a lot to do with the V6 Performance.

Why Lease a V6 vs 4-Cyl?

The RAV4 V6 engine delivers 269HP, offering unprecedented acceleration in a small SUV. These cars will go from 0-60 in 6.2 seconds. In most cases, performance like this comes with a big hit in fuel economy. Not so, with the Toyota RAV4. The 4-Cylinder model gets 21/27 MPG while the V6 achieves 19/26 MPG. The difference in fuel economy is small while the performance edge is massive in the V6 Model. While, the retail price averages $2,000 more for the V6, a good lease deal can make up the difference. I’d only be paying about $30.00 a month less for the 4-Cylinder RAV4 and barely saving a nickel at the pump. There is another thing to like about a Toyota RAV4. The base model comes fairly well equipped. It has pretty much everything I wanted: Cruise, Power Windows/Locks, Remote Entry, 6-Disk CD Changer in Dash, MP3 Auxiliary audio, Mileage Computer, Outside Temperature, ABS, TCS…just to name a few. If you want a navigator and leather, you will probably be in the $350 range which is still an excellent lease value.

Lease of the Year

Thanks for visiting and reading about my personal Car Lease success story. I look forward to sharing the monthly car lease specials with you each and every month for the coming new year. Before we get to the 2011 January Lease specials, look for the 2010 Car Lease of the year which will be published here by January 1st, 2011. CHEERS! Until then, that’s the best car lease.

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2 thoughts on “Best Car Lease

  1. great story. we’re looking for a rav4 as well right now and came across your sight. so you made your offer at the time toyota was offering a rav4 lease special? unfortunately, i dont see them having any specials right now 🙁

    • Paul,

      I have no idea why Toyota stopped their lease specials on the RAV-4. The Rav-4 was the hottest car lease for about 9 months running.
      Check with your Toyota Dealer and ask them for the same deal. The Rav-4 with V6 is amazing. Took it on a 300 mile drive back from Pagosa Springs. The power and handling going over the mountain passes is fantastic.
      What’s really amazing though was the 29MPG we averaged during the entire trip. Granted, we had a little bit of a tail wind half of the way, but still…For a car with a V6, 269HP and AWD, 29MPG is unbeatable.

      Always ask your dealer for a better deal.

      Good luck,


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