The new and used car markets are going through some big changes in 2023. You don’t want to get stuck with an overpriced new vehicle, so you’re thinking about leasing. We don’t blame you! Some automakers are offering great car lease deals. We dug through the latest new car lease offers to find you the very best lease deals in September 2023. There’s something for everyone, from trucks and SUVs to sedans. We hope you’ll find this lease comparison tool to be helpful.
Note: These lease deals are for customers in the U.S., and are subject to approval.
Cheapest Cars to Lease Right Now
Looking to get into a new vehicle for the least amount of money possible? From sedans to crossover SUVs, these are the cheapest cars to lease right now, period.
Hyundai offers several of the best car leases this month:
Polestar 2 Long Range Dual Motor, All-Wheel Drive: $8,500 EV lease credit (Polestar is throwing an additional $1,000 on top of the $7,500 EV lease credit that most competitors are offering.) For the Polestar 2, this comes out to $399/month for 36 months with $5,539 due at signing
Buying a car is tricky in today’s market, and even leasing can feel like three-dimensional chess these days. Although 2022 isn’t the best time in history to buy or lease a car, some shoppers don’t have a choice. It doesn’t help that the average new car payment is a bank-draining $650 a month in 2022. Fortunately, leasing provides a window of opportunity for those who don’t mind what is essentially a long-term rental. These are the best car lease deals in 2022. All examples assume a 5% down payment at signing.
The plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version of the Mitsubishi Outlander sells for an average MSRP of $40,356 depending on the trim. If leasing is an option, you can get into this versatile SUV for $412 per month with an allowance of 12,000 miles a year. How does a plug-in hybrid work? The Outlander can drive 24 miles on pure electricity (which is much cheaper than gas), and then can drive another 300 miles as a regular hybrid system with the help of a combustion engine. It’s kind of the best of both worlds, especially for a lease.
2022 Hyundai Kona EV
The Kona EV made our CarEdge list of the five best electric cars you can get for under $50,000. The Hyundai Kona EV has an average MSRP of about $40,000, and you can lease one for just $401 a month. The Kona is a great alternative for those considering the Chevy Bolt. Plus, it comes with Hyundai’s unbeatable 10 year, 100,000 mile battery and electric powertrain warranty. This front-wheel drive subcompact crossover gets 258 miles on the charge, exceptional range for a budget EV. Some owners get over 275 miles on a single charge.
2022 Toyota Tundra 4WD
If you can find one that’s not marked up, the 2022 Toyota Tundra 4WD is $51,400 at MSRP. If you’re open to leasing, you can sign up for $525 a month for 36 months and 36,000 miles. That’s $125 less per month than today’s average monthly finance payment. The downside? The Tacoma gets 14 miles per gallon when gas prices are well over $4 per gallon.
2022 Toyota Tacoma
Last year, the Toyota Tacoma won Best Buy of the Year award from Kelly Blue Book in the mid-size truck category, and now you can lease a 2022 model for under $400 a month. If you buy, the 2022 Tacoma has an average MSRP of $36,300. If you lease, monthly payments are as low as $361.
2021 Honda Civic Type R
With an MSRP of $41,900, it’s a pleasant surprise that you can get into a Civic Type R lease for just $410 a month. Over 300 horsepower propels this budget racer to 60 mph in just 5.3 seconds. The challenge is finding one on a dealer lot.
2021 Chevrolet Bolt
Pre-facelift, the 2021 Chevy Bolt was the least ‘sexy’ electric vehicle on the market. It may look bland, have slow charging, and be subject to one of the most scrutinized recalls in recent memory, but you can lease one for cheap. The 2021 Chevrolet Bolt sells for $38,567 (average MSRP across trim levels), but you can lease one for $367.63 a month. Just make sure that you have proof from the dealer that your Bolt has already had the recall fix. Learn more about the Chevy Bolt recall and vehicle specs here.
2022 Chevrolet Bolt
The 2022 model year gets a refreshed, modernized front fascia and improved interior. Sadly, driving range figures for the 2022 year remain the same. At least it doesn’t look like a cheap appliance anymore. Here’s the great news: the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt has a lower MSRP than the 2021 model. GM electric vehicles no longer qualify for the federal EV tax credit, so GM must have felt compelled to keep pricing competitive. Whether you go for a 2021 or 2022 Bolt, ensure that the car has had all of the mandatory fire-related recall fixes completed.
The Bolt EUV is the slightly larger new sibling to the regular Chevy Bolt EV. The EUV sells for $36,245, but you can lease one for just $341 per month. Range is 247 miles, but charging isn’t that great. Learn more about the Bolt here.
2022 Kia Niro EV
The 2022 Kia Niro EV has an average MSRP of $43,500, but it can be all yours (for 36 months) for just $395 with a lease. There’s generous lease support for the Niro for a few reasons. The Kia Niro is about to receive a major upgrade in 2022, and it’s being overshadowed by the new Kia EV6 electric crossover. The Niro can make it 239 miles on a charge, and charging from 0-80% takes about one hour at a DC fast charger. However, if you plug it in at home, it should work just fine for those who drive less than 50 miles a day.
2021 BMW i3
Why is the 2021 BMW i3 such a phenomenal deal in 2022? It was recently discontinued, but it’s still a great option if you’re looking for an affordable, low-emissions way to get around town. Keep in mind that it’s no Tesla. The i3 gets 200 miles of range, 153 of which are on pure electricity. Not to be confused with the new BMW iX3, the 2021 i3 has an optional range extender (on the BMW i3 REX version). All trims considered, the 2021 BMW i3 has an average MSRP of $48,970 while supplies last.
If you’re looking for an all or mostly-electric bargain lease, you can lease the 2021 BMW i3 for $425/month. That’s well under the budget-friendly 10% threshold for a smart lease.
Have questions or comments about the best car lease deals in 2022? Or maybe you’d simply love to connect with fellow car buyers and auto enthusiasts? Check out the CarEdge Community at caredge.kinsta.cloud!
Buying a new car is rarely a wise financial decision. Truthfully, cars are depreciating assets (unless there’s a chip shortage and car prices appreciate). That means from the moment you drive off the lot with your shiny new wheels, you’re actually losing money.
For some car buyers, leasing is a great way around depreciation. However, leasing isn’t for everyone. For many consumers, it’s worth asking the question “what does it mean to lease a car?”. In this guide to leasing a car, we’ll explain all there is to know about leasing, and how to shop smart in 2023.
What Is a Car Lease?
The last time a car commercial grabbed your attention with an attractive lease deal, it probably included a whirlwind of rates, payments and terms crammed into thirty seconds. What exactly is a car lease? An auto lease is a long term rental agreement for a vehicle that is subject to specific terms and conditions. The lease terms are agreed upon by the customer and dealership (or automaker in the case of Tesla, Rivian and Lucid), and a third-party leasing company who actually takes ownership of the vehicle (and then leases it to you).
These four factors determine the total cost of the lease, and in turn the monthly payment. Let’s talk about the details.
Instead of negotiating an out-the-door price (which is the price of the vehicle plus all taxes and fees), you negotiate the capitalized cost (also referred to as the “cap cost”) of the lease. The cap cost is the amount that the leasing company is paying for the vehicle. This will include:
The negotiated selling price
Some of these charges are negotiable. For example, you don’t need nitrogen-inflated tires or security etching that you didn’t ask for billed on your lease agreement. For every $1,000 in additional cap cost, that will roughly translate to $27 a month in payment on a 36 month lease. Take a long, hard look at the itemized invoice before signing anything! Here’s a guide to which dealer fees are legit, and which you can negotiate.
Residuals are a percentage of the MSRP as set by the leasing company, and they are not negotiable. The residual value is the vehicle’s projected value at the end of the lease term. When you lease, you pay for the amount of depreciation that will occur over the course of the lease term.
For example, if the residual on a 36 month lease is .75 (or 75%), your lease will include payment that covers the 25% expected loss in value over the course of 36 months.
Residual values are not negotiable and they are set by the leasing company based on allotted annual miles to be driven. Specifically, 7,500, 10,000, 12,000 or 15,000 are the standard mileage amounts that are normally offered.
Dealers cannot modify or adjust the residual percentages other than for additional annual miles allowed to be driven. Check out an example of how residual values fit into leasing here. The residual value is disclosed on the lease as the amount that you can purchase the vehicle for at lease end.
The Money Factor
The money factor is set by the lender and can be marked up to the consumer, much like on a car loan. When a buyer finances a car, the dealer works with a number of lenders behind the scenes to get an attractive rate. However, that’s not the rate that the salesperson closing the deal will quote. Dealers markup loans, and pocket the difference. Fascinating and distressing, right? Here are all the ways that dealers make money when selling you a car.
With a car lease, dealers make money by marking up the money factor on a lease. The lender charges the dealer a money factor of say, .00125, and the dealer marks it up 50, 75 or even 100 basis points. The difference between the buy rate (what the lender charges the dealer) and the marked up rate (what you’re quoted) is additional backend profit on the lease for the dealer.
You should always try to negotiate the money factor to the buy rate or as close to the buy rate as you can get!
Taxes in most states are added to the total price of the lease. NY, NJ, MN, OH, and GA charge sales tax upfront on the total amount of the lease payments. VA, MD, and TX charge sales tax on the total selling price of the vehicle (the cap cost). In all other states, sales tax is simply factored into your monthly payment.
Sales tax is not negotiable, but it does vary from state to state.
Who Owns the Car In a Lease?
Simply put, the leasing company owns the vehicle that you are leasing from them. In most cases that will either be that brand’s captive lender or an outside bank. The vehicle will be registered in both the leasing company’s name and your name as the lessee. You will be responsible for registration renewals, maintenance and all insurance.
It’s also possible that the leasing company financed the vehicle that they bought from the dealer. In that case, the financial institution would possess the title until the leasing company pays it off.
Do Auto Leases Require a Down Payment?
No, but If you want to lower your monthly payment, consider making a down payment on your lease. In a car lease, the down payment is called a capitalized cost reduction, or cap cost reduction. These up front payments are optional, but they can help make leasing more affordable by lowering the monthly payments. The payment is lower because the cap cost reduction has lowered the cost of the vehicle to the lender.
Any advertised lease payment typically requires a specified amount of cash down. For example, an advertised lease monthly payment may include $3000 cash down plus the first payment, acquisition fee, tax, title, registration and dealer fees.
Remember as a rule of thumb, for every $1000 in cap cost reduction on a 36 month lease your monthly payment will be reduced about $27.
Shoppers with bad credit may be required to make a security deposit, which is returned once the car is returned at the end of the lease.
Why I Put Zero Down On My Leases
I put zero down on my leases and when I say zero, I mean not even a penny. Cash down on a lease just reduces the cost of the vehicle to the lease company and if the vehicle were ever declared a total loss, that money that you had put down is lost forever. A lease down payment is not covered by your auto insurance. They only cover the value of the vehicle, not the value of the cash that you put down.
Whatever money you are thinking about putting down, deposit it into a separate investment account and draw from it monthly when you are making your lease payments. This way your money is still making money each month until you need to draw from it.
Do I Pay Interest On a Lease?
Yes, your lease’s monthly payment includes interest, this is the money factor.
You can’t shop around for a better interest rate when it comes to a lease without shopping for a different car altogether. You won’t see an interest rate on your contract when leasing a car, but you can request this information from the dealer or leasing company. The total amount of interest paid on a car lease depends on the length of the lease term and even the type of vehicle. If you lease a model that is likely to depreciate faster, the leasing company is more likely to charge higher interest to ensure that loss in value (the residual) is accounted for.
One way to lower your interest rate (Money Factor) on a lease is by placing Multiple Security Deposits if the lender provides the option. Each MSDS equals one monthly payment and will reduce your MF by a percentage point determined by the lender. There is a limit on how many MSDS you can apply, but the savings can be significant in some cases.
Can I Pay For a Car Lease Up Front?
Yes, in most cases customers can pay for a lease up front. Paying for an entire lease at the time of signing is called a one-pay, or single-pay lease. Some lenders will discount interest costs if you pay for the whole lease up front. Make sure to find out if there is any benefit to you before you commit to paying for a car lease up front.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Leasing a Car?
When you lease, you transfer to the lender (bank) the risk of accelerated depreciation, diminished value due to damage/accident, and unexpected repair expense.
Most leases include GAP insurance in the monthly payment. GAP insurance helps pay off your loan if the car is stolen or totaled in an accident.
Having the most modern platform, technology, and safety features
You will always be under the bumper-to-bumper warranty, simplifying your ownership experience.
No long-term commitment. It’s easy to exit some leases and get into another type of vehicle if your lifestyle or needs change.
You have options: turn-in, sell, transfer, buyout, or extend the lease if you need more time finding a replacement.
In some cases, the net total ownership cost is less than financing a purchase. Many shoppers find that leasing requires less cash outflow versus financing the same class of vehicle.
Your depreciation is fixed so you can pocket any positive equity if the forecasted Residual Value is underestimated by the bank – as those who leased in 2019 experienced due to the appreciation of used car prices today.
The car isn’t yours.
It’s a long-term rental: It is a long term rental and other than the use of the vehicle you have nothing to show for the money that you have spent.
Residuals can work against the consumer: In a normal market, Residuals are typically higher than the vehicle’s fair market value at lease end which means if you buy out your lease at the end you will more than likely be paying too much.
You’ll never pay it off unless you buy: It is a lease, so it is not yours to pay off. Your only obligation is to make the total payments as stipulated in your lease contract.
Few vehicles will lease well.
Lease program support (incentives, subsidized money factors, inflated residuals) will vary by manufacturer, model, and trim, limiting the selection of vehicles with an attractive lease payment. OEMs and their captive lending arms will choose specific models to support to offer low lease payments making them more competitive and gain market share. Newly released models or special trims, for example, will lack lease support making their lease costlier.
Fees and costs.
If your leased vehicle has wear and tear beyond the limits set by the lending company (large scrapes, worn tires, broken windshield, etc.), you will be charged for repairs. Some lenders are known for billing excessive reconditioning fees.
If you incorrectly estimate your mileage, you will overpay for depreciation. Underestimating your miles and overages (~0.30/mi.) can add up quickly.
If you decide to turn in your lease, you will have to pay a disposition fee ($300-$595) unless the lender offers to waive it.
While most lease contracts include a GAP waiver, they require elevated liability coverages, increasing your insurance premiums.
Yes you can, some lease companies pass along the EV tax credit to the consumer by lowering the capitalized cost by the EV credit amount. For example, you can lease a Hyundai Kona EV for $357 per month for 36 months with the first payment due at signing. Or, you can lease a Nissan Leaf S for $368 per month for 36 months with the first payment due at signing. Thinking luxury? Lease a Tesla Model 3 for $449 per month for 36 months with $5,644 due at signing.
Leasing an electric car may be a great option to consider since battery technology improves every year. When your lease is up, you’ll be stepping into a whole new world of next-generation EVs. Here are 6 affordable electric cars in 2023.
How Can I Save Money Leasing a Car?
Negotiate what you can
The cap cost and money factor are negotiable. You should always try to negotiate the money factor as close to the buy rate as you can get!
Shop around for deals, be flexible
By shopping for specific models with more automaker or dealer lease support, you’re likely to get a better deal all around. Lease support varies by automaker, model, trim and vehicle inventory. You’ll probably want to stay away from new models and premium trims, which are costlier to lease.
What happens at the end of my car lease?
Deciding what to do at the end of a car lease depends mostly on how you feel about the car. Of course, your financial situation and inclinations also come into play.
These are your options at the end of a car lease:
Return the car
Buy the car
Sell the car (if allowed)
Move into a new lease
Which option is a good fit for you? If you love the vehicle and can afford to finance or buy it outright, you can keep a vehicle with a good service history at a set price (from the residual on your lease contract).
If you no longer need a vehicle, leasing allows you to simply return the car and keys at the end of the lease term. Remember, leasing is just like a long-term rental.
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One of the most common questions we get asked at CarEdge is, “What’s better right now, buying vs. leasing a car?” In 2022, with car prices going crazy, this question has become even more important to answer. In this article we’ll answer a few of the most common questions when it comes to buying vs. leasing a car. You’ll learn things like:
Is it cheaper to buy or lease a car?
What are the advantages of leasing versus buying?
What car should I lease?
Let’s dive in.
Buying vs. leasing a car in 2022
Depending on who you talk to, leasing is either the best thing since sliced bread, or a foolish financial mistake. Many people misunderstand what leasing is; it’s simply a contract between you and a third party company that allows you to rent an asset for a set period of time with pre-negotiated terms and conditions. It’s nothing more and nothing lease less.
When you lease a vehicle there are four important factors that make up your monthly payment:
When you lease a vehicle you do not purchase it, instead you are renting it. Instead of negotiating an out-the-door price (which is the price of the vehicle plus all taxes and fees), you negotiate the capitalized cost (also referred to as the “cap cost”) of the lease. The cap cost is the amount that is being financed with a lease. This will include:
The cap cost plays a major role in your monthly lease payment. As a rule of thumb, for every $1,000 in additional cap cost, that will roughly translate to $20 a month in payment on a 36 month lease. So if the salesperson won’t budge on their $2,000 paint and fabric protection package, that will end up costing you about $40 a month for three years. Ouch. With a lease you always negotiate the cap cost.
Get the most when you sell your car.
Compare and choose multiple offers in minutes:
The residual value is the pre-set value that the leasing company says a vehicle will be worth at the end of the lease term. Residual values are represented as percentages of a vehicle’s MSRP, not the negotiated capitalized cost.
For example, in this car deal you can see that the dealer provided Maurice with three different residual values for three different lease term lengths.
When you lease, you pay for the amount of depreciation that will occur over the course of the lease term. In Maurice’s case if he leased for 24 months the residual value is 68%, which means he will have paid for 32% of the vehicle’s depreciation from MSRP.
👉 Residual values are not negotiable and they are set by the leasing company. Dealer’s cannot modify residual values.
The money factor is the interest rate on a lease. Instead of paying an APR on a loan, you pay a money factor on the lease. Money factors are typically expressed in decimals which can be confusing. Don’t fret. Ask the salesperson for the money factor and then multiply it by 2400, that’s the interest rate you are paying on the lease.
Why do you pay interest on the lease? Because the leasing company is financing the purchase of the vehicle from the dealer. They then turn around and lease the vehicle they just bought to you. To make money they charge the dealer an interest rate (the money factor) to cover their cost of financing the purchase of the vehicle. That then gets passed on to you, the customer.
Money factors can and will be marked up. That means the leasing company may charge the dealer .00125 (3%) for the lease, and the dealer will turn around and tell you the money factor is actually .00175 (4.2%). That’s a sizable difference in rate, and represents a large profit center for dealers on a lease.
👉 You can and should negotiate the money factor on a lease.
Most states charge sales tax on each lease payment, some states do not. NY, NJ, MN, OH, GA for example charge sales tax upfront on the total amount of the lease payments. VA, MD, TX charge sales tax on the total selling price of the vehicle (the cap cost). In all other states, sales tax is simply factored into your monthly payment.
Sales tax is not negotiable.
Okay, so those are the mechanics of leasing, but that doesn’t answer the question, “What’s better right now, buying vs. leasing a car?” We’ll answer that below.
Is it cheaper to buy or lease a car?
As we discussed above, there are four factors that impact how “good” a lease deal is. So far in 2022 we’ve seen two phenomena that make leasing less attractive than in prior years:
Residual values are low
Money factors are high
Since you can’t negotiate the residual value, there are some vehicles that are truly “unleasable” right now. Imagine leasing a Hyundai Kona EV for 36 months and paying for 50% of the vehicle’s depreciation. No thank you!
In most cases right now it is cheaper to buy instead of lease. That being said, there are still some advantages to leasing.
What are the advantages of leasing versus buying?
Proponents of leasing love to tout the benefits of not owning a car. When you lease there are three primary benefits:
You’ll have no negative equity at the end of the lease term
You’ll always be in a new car
If you want to buy your leased car at the end, you know the exact price you’ll pay, and you know how the car’s been driven and its maintenance and repair history
Since a lease is simply a rental, you’ll have no negative equity at the end of the term. Plus, with a lease you are committed for 3 years and then you can switch into something new. And, if you do chose to buy your lease car you know the vehicle history and shouldn’t have any concerns.
These are benefits of leasing no matter how good or bad the lease deal was.
What car should I lease?
So what cars actually lease well right now in 2022? If you’re seriously weighing buying vs. leasing a car, you should consider these vehicle’s as lease options:
Average Payment (12,000 miles)
CIVIC TYPE R
NIRO PLUG-IN HYBRID
I need help with my car lease
Do you still have questions on buying vs. leasing a car? Get help from CarEdge’s team of car buying coaches. Click here to join CarEdge and get connected with a car lease expert who can help you navigate your deal. Here are some additional resources on car leases as well:
New vehicle inventory levels have plummeted. The ongoing semiconductor shortage has caused automakers to cut production. Drive around town and you’ll see your local car dealership likely doesn’t have much inventory on their lot, and if they do, it’s likely used vehicles, not new.
More and more dealerships are turning towards “factory orders“. Generally speaking, this is a good thing, as it allows the customer to get exactly what they want. The issue is, as far as we can tell from our community of thousands of savvy shoppers, those people who placed orders are getting the runaround.
“Your car will be built next week and shipped to us soon,” is a common phrase we’re hearing, and then sadly weeks go by without an update. Automakers are simply struggling to do what they’re supposed to do best; make cars.
To put into perspective how dire the current new vehicle inventory situation is, we’re going to compare the current market days supply and inventory levels of a few of the major automakers to their prior levels in 2019. Let’s dive in.
Ford Inventory Levels
Ford has made headlines for many reasons in 2021. Their current inventory levels are one of those reasons. In September of 2019, Ford had 621,000 new vehicles in inventory across the United States. At current sales rates, that represented an 82 day supply of inventory on their dealer lots. Today, as of September 2021, Ford has 210,800 units of inventory in the market.
Toyota was initially hailed as one of the automakers who would be able to mitigate the effects of the chip shortage and retain their production capacity. That was until Toyota announced a 40% decrease in production in October as a result of supply-chain issues.
In 2019 Toyota had 444,000 units of inventory in the market, at a 50 days supply. Today, Toyota has 135,200 units of inventory in the market, at an 18 days supply. Staggering.
If you’re looking to buy a car in 2021 the price you are going to pay will be higher than in prior years. We recommend you do not buy a vehicle right now unless you absolutely need to. If you do need a new set of wheels we encourage you to consider leasing instead of financing. More on that here.
Because of the shortage of new vehicles, used cars have appreciated in value as well. If you are going to buy a used vehicle, be sure to get it pre-purchase inspected.