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How Does Lease Cash Work On Cars?

Lease cash is a manufacturer incentive for leasing a new car, truck, or SUV. Like a rebate, it can help lower your cost on a vehicle. However, incentives for buying and leasing are often quite different and advertised lease deals may not always be transparent about what the discount is for leasing the car you're shopping for.

If you know where to look, some cars can be better to lease than buy. For example, the Hyundai Elantra Hybrid currently offers up to $2,500 in lease cash but no rebate for purchasing. Thanks to strong lease incentives from Hyundai Motor Finance (HMF), the car sometimes ranks among the cheapest cars you can lease.

Automakers have different names for lease cash. Here are some examples:

  • Captive Lease Cash (Honda, Acura)
  • NMAC Lease Cash (Nissan)
  • Red Carpet Lease Cash, or RCL Cash (Ford)
  • TFS Lease Subvention Cash (Toyota)
  • Incremental Cap Cost Reduction or CCR (Chevy)

As a manufacturer incentive, this should be a discount you don't have to negotiate for. However, it's important to keep in mind that dealers decide how much to sell a car for based on supply & demand. For example, if a car is listed at $25,000, a $1,000 lease cash incentive would effectively lower the price tag to $24,000.

In some cases, lease cash incentives can vary depending on the vehicle trim and lease term. As a result, there may be a "sweet spot" offering the right balance for your situation. Ask your dealer about the options that are available to you. There may even be loyalty discounts and conquest bonuses for switching brands.

The best lease deals can involve a combination of lease cash, a high residual value, and a low money factor. However, spotting the best cars to lease may not be as easy as you think. CarsDirect's experts analyze hundreds of lease deals each month and list the lease cash amounts for most makes & models on our website.

Our website lists lease cash by zip code and is designed to help you make an informed decision. We also compile approximately 300 lease deals that you can sort by payment, the amount due at signing, and effective monthly cost. Manufacturer incentives change monthly and can sometimes vary depending on where you live.

This Month's Top New Car Lease Deals

Alex has been writing about car buying and leasing for over a decade. Originally from San Francisco, Alex has a degree in History from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and has been a lifelong lover of cars. Alex’s work has been featured in publications such as Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, Motor Trend, and more.

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