Why Won't Dealers Honor The Lease Price?

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Senior Pricing Analyst

As CarsDirect’s resident pricing analyst, Alex offers must-know analyses of pricing & incentives to those looking to buy or lease a car. His consumer-oriented coverage of the latest trends and breaking news has been featured by The Wall Street Journal, Fox Business, Motor Trend, Automobile Magazine, and more.

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, Senior Pricing Analyst - August 16, 2021

It may be common for manufacturers to advertise lease deals, but not every dealer may be able to honor the price you see on TV and online. In addition to the simple fact that dealers set their own prices, manufacturer lease deals often have built-in assumptions that may not be obvious to the average consumer.

Manufacturer vs. dealer lease prices. Manufacturers typically advertise lease prices tailored to a given area. However, these lease prices may not reflect real-world demand. For example, Toyota's Corolla lease deal in San Francisco doesn't factor in how an inventory shortage is resulting in dealer markups of up to $6,000.

As a result, the price you see advertised may not be one that you can easily obtain. The only way to know for sure is to check new car prices near you. Dealers may have lease specials of their own, but they may be different from what the brand is advertising. Be sure to comparison shop to get the best deal possible.

Leases with built-in incentives. Manufacturers sometimes include incentives that not everyone may be eligible for. For example, this month's Chevy Silverado lease deal includes a $1,500 discount for coming from another lease (GM or otherwise). If you don't qualify, that may translate to an instant $1,500 price increase.

Different lease configurations. If your dealer won't honor the advertised lease price, it could be because the vehicle isn't in stock or is hard to find. While it's possible for there to be all sorts of differences in price, truck buyers may be especially susceptible to significant variances in configuration.

For example, Chevy's advertised lease on the Silverado is currently listed at $309 for 36 months with $4,269 due at signing. However, that's based on an MSRP of $45,855 for the 2WD LT Crew Cab, 5.3L V8, and All-Star Edition Package. But what are the odds of actually finding a matching vehicle near you?

Here in Los Angeles, Chevy's own website says the cheapest Silverado with a V8 and All-Star Package has an MSRP of just over $48,000 and is almost 100 miles away. In Toyota's case, the automaker actually stopped advertising lease deals over a month ago based on dealer feedback amid the inventory shortage.

Actual lease prices vs. examples. The fact is that manufacturer lease examples are literally just that: examples. In addition to being your best reference for real-world availability, your local dealer will be able to tell you all about what to expect, as well as how taxes, license, and fees may all impact your final price.

This Month's Top Lease Deals

, Senior Pricing Analyst

As CarsDirect’s resident pricing analyst, Alex offers must-know analyses of pricing & incentives to those looking to buy or lease a car. His consumer-oriented coverage of the latest trends and breaking news has been featured by The Wall Street Journal, Fox Business, Motor Trend, Automobile Magazine, and more.

Follow On: Twitter

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