Car-lease incentives: what you need to know Advertiser Disclosure Advertiser Disclosure We are an independent, advertising-supported comparison service. Our aim is to assist you make smarter financial decisions by offering interactive financial calculators and tools as well as publishing honest and original content. We also allow you to conduct your own research and analyze information for free and help you make sound financial decisions. Bankrate has partnerships with issuers, including but not restricted to, American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi and Discover. How We Earn Money The offers that appear on this site are from companies who pay us. This compensation may impact how and when products appear on this site, including, for example, the order in which they be listed within the categories of listing and other categories, unless prohibited by law. Our mortgage home equity, mortgage and other home lending products. This compensation, however, does have no impact on the information we provide, or the reviews that appear on this website. We do not contain the vast array of companies or financial offerings that could be available to you. Westend61/Getty Images

4 min read. Published October 27, 2022

Anna Baluch Anna Baluch Written by Contributing writer Anna Baluch is a former Bankrate contributing writer. She is a freelance personal finance writer from Cleveland who writes about mortgages, debts as well as student loans and personal loans along with auto loans. Written by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor Rhys has been editing and writing for Bankrate since the end of 2021. They are committed to helping readers gain the confidence to control their finances with clear, well-researched information that breaks down complicated subjects into digestible pieces. The Bankrate promise

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This compensation could influence the manner, place and in what order products are listed and categories, unless it is prohibited by law for our mortgage home equity, mortgage and other home loan products. Other factors, such as our own website rules and whether or not a product is available in your area or at your self-selected credit score range can also impact how and where products appear on this site. Although we try to offer an array of offers, Bankrate does not include information about every financial or credit item or product. If you’re considering leasing a car, there are some important aspects to know about incentives that may be offered. Car lease incentives aren’t like the incentives you receive when you buy a new car. It is essential to know the ins and outs of these perks to ensure that you have the best price when leasing a vehicle. What are car-lease incentives? Car-lease incentive programs are that automakers offer to encourage customers to lease a car. Car-lease incentives are frequently advertised by automakers and may advertise these on their websites as well as through advertisements, radio and direct mail advertisements. The goal of car-lease incentives is to make leasing a particular kind of vehicle less expensive and more appealing. Three types of car lease incentives before heading to the dealership, there are three common types of car-lease incentives to keep in mind. 1. Cash-back rebates in the leasing of a car are similar to those provided when you purchase a vehicle. The rebate, which is a flat amount and is decided by the manufacturer and applied to the total cost for leasing the car — thus lowering your costs. The amount of the rebate will differ based on the lease term you choose. The rebate’s restrictions are clearly stated on the website of the automaker, typically under the “fine print” of the offers section. 2. Subsidized interest rates A subsidized rate involves the auto manufacturer providing a lower rate to customers with good credit who make use of the automaker’s lending arm, such as Ford Credit or Toyota Financial Services. It’s often called an “lease deal” to a specific . You’ll need to evaluate the rate of interest with loans you can obtain on your own through another lender to see which is better. Review all the details of the lease terms to make sure you have a fair comparison. 3. Subsidized residual value Residual values — and subsidized residual values are significant elements of the price you pay to lease a car. The residual value of a car as determined by the leasing company is an estimation of what the vehicle will be worth once the lease ends. This is important since the price you pay for the lease is the difference between the cost of the car at the beginning in the lease as well as its value when it is the expiration of the lease. If a car’s value is $25,000 at the time of the beginning of a lease, for example, and its residual value is $10k, your cost to lease the vehicle is $15,000the cost of which is divided into monthly lease installments. As an incentive, automakers or leasing companies may subsidize leases in order to lower your payments. The majority of automakers offer an interest rate that is subsidized or a subsidized residual value for a car, but not both. These details aren’t obvious but you might have to ask. The benefits of car lease incentives If you’re able to secure a car lease incentive, you may benefit in a variety of ways. Lower payments You may have lower monthly payments which can help you to free up cash and allow you to pay less to drive the car you want. Lower payments are possible through the “lease deal” that the automaker will offer which can keep interest rates at a low or through the cash rebate as down payment. Cash in hand receive the automaker’s check or apply the money toward the total amount that the lease will cost. The bank’s extra cash is always a benefit in the case of vehicle financing. However, be aware of any restrictions that might be in place. For instance, you might require the finance company for your car manufacturer to benefit from this incentive. Better car for less You might drive home with a car that has everything you need at a price you can afford. In the event that you’ve been wanting to drive a specific car but don’t have the money to buy it, an incentive could help you take it on for while. The secret to leaving with a fantastic car for lower costs is the residual value that is subsidized. It helps keep your monthly payments low, while keeping the value of your vehicle high. What should you be aware of While car lease incentives offer quite a few perks there still are two main possible drawbacks when signing on a substantial cash refund. Additional mileage charges It is essential to study the fine print when it comes to the amount of cash you receive. In many cases, you may be charged costly costs for exceeding the limits of mileage. Each dealer is different and this could cost between 15 and 25 cents per mile. Think about the miles you clock daily — and whether you have any upcoming trips — before deciding on a cash rebate. Balloon payment The automaker may also require a balloon installment, which is a bigger one-time payment that is due at the end period of lease. If your budget won’t allow you to make this payment and you’re in a bad position. Be aware: If you come across incentives for leasing cars that sound too good to be true, . Check with your state. Although car lease incentives have some notable benefits, they do have one major disadvantage: Some states tax car incentives and rebates. If you’re in a state that does, you may have to pay taxes on the full cost of the car prior to the incentive is applied. It’s not a problem about this if you live in one of the states that don’t tax incentives: Alaska



Rhode Island



New Hampshire














The bottom line Before you jump at any car-lease incentive read the fine print. Be sure to understand how lease cash rebates as well as subsidized interest rates and residual value affect the cost of your expenses. Be aware of the negatives of incentives such as fines for exceeding the mileage limit and the hefty one-time balloon payments. Most importantly, consider all lease terms and whether a lease is appropriate for your financial situation before you sign the contract. Learn more


Written by the writer who contributed to the article Anna Baluch is a former Bankrate contributor. She is a freelance personal finance writer from Cleveland who loves writing about mortgages, debts as well as student loans as well as personal loans as well as auto finance. The article was edited by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor Rhys has been writing and editing for Bankrate since the end of 2021. They are committed to helping readers gain confidence to control their finances by providing concise, well-researched and well-documented facts that break down complex topics into manageable bites.

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