How To Understand Car Dealers' Lease Ads

Car dealers have confusing advertisements, and their lease ads are the most confusing. How can you run a $0 down ad, and I still need to give you money to get to that payment? What's all that fine print mean? We breakdown 3 actual dealer lease ads from their website. To keep things simpler, all 3 ads come from dealerships in Florida. We explain exactly how much you would have to give the dealer in each ad and exactly how much your lease payment would be. 

This first thing to know is that each of the advertised payments are what's called the "base payment." When you lease a new car, most states charge some sales tax upfront and some on each payment. That means to calculate what your actual payment will be, you must multiply the advertised payment by your state's sales tax rate.

Here we go...

Example #1 - 2017 Mercedes Benz CLA 250 for $329/mo

Mercedes Benz Lease Ad

Basics --

  • Lease Term - 36 months
  • Miles per year - 10,000 miles

Payment --

  • Base Payment - $329.00
  • Monthly Sales Tax - $23.03
  • Actual Monthly Payment - $352.03

Money Down --

  • Capitalized Cost Reduction - $2,499.00
  • 1st Month's Payment - $352.03
  • Dealer Fee - $797.70
  • Acquisition Fee - $795.00
  • Tag & Title Fees - $219.40
  • Sales Tax - $103.90
  • Total Due At Signing - $4,767.03

Example #2 - 2017 Acura ILX for $199/mo

Acura Lease Ad

Basics --

  • Lease Term - 36 months
  • Miles per year - 7,500 miles

Payment --

  • Base Payment - $199.00
  • Monthly Sales Tax - $13.93
  • Actual Monthly Payment - $212.93

Money Down --

  • Capitalized Cost Reduction - $2,499.00
  • 1st Month's Payment - $212.93
  • Dealer Fee - $797.70
  • Tag & Title Fees - $200.00
  • Sales Tax - $230.00
  • Total Due At Signing - $3,939.63

*This lease assumes you qualify for Acura's Loyalty or Conquest Rebate of $750. To qualify for this incentive, you must own a 2007 or newer Acura, Audi, BMW, Buick, Cadillac, Lexus, Honda, Hyundai Genesis, Infiniti, Jaguar, Lincoln, Mercedes-Benz, Mini, Nissan, Subaru, Toyota, Volvo or Volkswagen.


Example #3 - 2017 BMW 320 SEDAN for $349/mo, or 430 COUPE Series for $499/mo

BMW Lease Ad

Basics --

  • Lease Term - 36 months
  • Miles per year - 10,000 miles

Payment --

  • Base Payment - $349.00
  • Monthly Sales Tax - $24.43
  • Actual Monthly Payment - $373.43

Money Down --

  • Capitalized Cost Reduction - $2,750.00
  • 1st Month's Payment - $373.43
  • Dealer Fee - $599.00
  • Acquisition Fee - $925.00
  • Tag & Title Fees - $540.50
  • Sales Tax - $234.43
  • Total Due At Signing - $5,422.36