2018 Audi Q5 Premium + Lease Questions/Opinion - Chicago proper

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*First post, so please excuse any mis-steps or missing info
Left the dealer today after about 2 hours of negotiating for a 2018 Q5 P+ with this:

MSRP: 51955
Sale Price: 44000
Down: $3k
Mo Payment: $575

I’ve been searching the forum and the advice on that a “good” lease price for a Q5 P+ are ALL over the place - I’ve seen people recommending $450 all the way up to $685. However, it’s rare to find any advice for this model/trim for a car that will be registered in Chicago proper, since we have some crazy taxes.

Further confusing me and making it harder to compare apples to apples is the fact that the deal quoted to me above wasn’t based on a true lease, but an Audi Premier Purchase - which is treated closer to a purchase for the used value of the car with a balloon payment at the end (used to get around the extra Chicago lease use tax.)

Anybody familiar with Audi and Chicago’s bulls***t taxes able to help give me a little guidance about what an actual great deal price is that I should be shooting for on a lease (premier purchase, whatever) on this car? I’d love to stick around $2-3k out the door and $550/mo if at all possible. It’s into 2019 now and inventory searches show there’s a ton of 2018 Q5 P+ still on the lots, so I feel like I should be able to go pretty hard at them if I have all the right info and tactics.

Thanks in advance!

I’ve responded to you email but I want to leave this here for other users that may find this!

If you are living in Chicago proper (city of Chicago) and are offered a balloon payment instead of a standard lease by any of the luxury brands DO NOT TAKE IT

Balloon options are great for exotics but an awful idea for makes such as Audi, Mercedes Benz, BMW, etc since the vehicle does not have a guaranteed value at the end of your balloon (unlike a lease) and you may be on the hook for the remaining balance!


Owner’s Choice gives you an option to hand over the keys with the dispo fee + excessive damage/mileage charges (if applicable), or so I thought. Audi’s program isn’t the same?

Not from understanding and feel free to correct me if I’m wrong (I’m wrong sometimes :stuck_out_tongue:)

But the way balloon payment/leases/owners choice works is that the balloon needs to be paid at the end of the balloon term and the balloon payment at the end is usually more than what the car is worth. So youre usually paying more money out of pocket at that time.

The balloon payment needs to be paid in cash or via a new car loan!

You know its a bad idea even when dealerships tell you not to do them lol (a lot of them tell me to avoid them like the plague)

Also new drinking game: take a shot each time you read balloon in my post

You might be right. The info I saw was from a GA website, but the official BMW notes don’t indicate anything about dropping it off like a lease. I know GMAC used to have SmartBuy, which was a balloon finance option, and that allowed you to drop the car off like a lease, so I assumed this was similar. Guess not.

GA BMW dealer:
Please remember this must be approved by the credit department as it has a direct effect on the customer’s monthly payment. When the final payment (the balloon) is due on an Owners Choice contract, the customer has the following options:

  1. Turn in the vehicle and pay $350 disposition fee and any wear/tear or over mileage charges.
  2. Payoff the Balloon.
  3. Refinance the balloon.
  4. Pay the final payment and obtain a clear title.

The OwnersChoice use the same contract as a conventional finance agreement. Each of our retail agreements is designed to incorporate and disclose the required payment schedule, excess mileage charges, allowable mileage and termination fee charges.

Subject to credit approval if applicable, and other requirements. State laws may vary. The final scheduled payment due under a BMW OwnersChoice balloon financing retail installment contract is a balloon payment and is substantially larger than each of the other prior scheduled payments. BMW OwnersChoice balloon financing is a retail installment sales contract with a balloon payment. BMW OwnersChoice balloon financing is available to Illinois, Texas, and Georgia residents only. Financing provided to well-qualified customers financing their purchase of BMW vehicles from participating BMW Centers with assignment to BMW Financial Services NA, LLC or BMW Bank of North America. Final balloon payment amount depends on creditworthiness, contract terms, and estimated future market value of the financed vehicle at the end of the BMW OwnersChoice contract term. Changes may have been made to the financing program since the development of this website. Programs may change without notice. Please see your BMW Center for details.

Yup if the value of the vehicle is the same as the balloon then you can drop it off just like a lease, but usually thats not the case!

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Apologies for the long-winded post, but found this posted by a dealer (not in IL, fyi, but would assume the terms are nationwide since it’s the same lender?) Unless I’m mis-reading some crucial wording, it seems to imply that I would either buy the car and gain the equity or turn it in and be done (minus some lease-esque fees):
Audi Premier Purchase

A Premier Purchase provides Audi clients the ownership benefits of a traditional fixed rate auto loan combined with the short term commitment and lower payments normally associated with leasing.

Payments consist of a number of monthly payments (the term) and a final or balloon payment (the residual value). The final or balloon payment is made only if the client intends to keep the car past the original term. If the client intends to return the car, the final balloon payment is not made and the car is “sold back” to Audi Financial Services or its assignees.

Audi’s Premier Purchase is a closed ended obligation. This means the residual value is not dependent on market conditions at the end of the term. This is of significant advantage to the client as all the risk of future value reverts back to Audi while any gain in equity can still be retained by the client. For example:

Scenario 1) Market value of the car is greater than final balloon payment - Client would elect to purchase outright or trade the car towards next purchase to capture their equity.

Scenario 2) Market value of the car is less than final balloon payment - Client would elect to sell the car back at the predetermined residual value and effectively turn the car in.

Advantages over traditional auto loans:

• Risk of future value reverts back to Audi

• The option to turn the car in

• Shorter term (24-48 months) allows for more frequent upgrades

• Lower payments enable additional equipment or lowered cost to own

Advantages over leasing:

• No lender $795 Lease acquisition fee

• No $350 turn in or disposition fee

• No security deposit required

• Lowered insurance coverage requirements

• Car is titled to you. You are the owner, not the leasing company

Similarities to leasing:

• Excess mileage charges apply. Always contract for your expected annual mileage to avoid end of term mileage charges. Annual mileage intervals start as low as 7,500 miles per year and are available all the way up to 30,000 miles per year.

• Excess wear & tear charges may apply


Any thoughts on the OP’s last reply in this thread? Currently discussing a similar deal with Audi, also a Chicago resident.

The dealer described the Premiere Purchase to me much like the last post, only benefiting the client. Also said deals like this tend to have better terms in Chicago because while they tax the entire sales price at 9.5%, it’s often lower than all the taxes associated with leasing.

I am inclined to trust/agree with him in this circumstance, as I’ve been dealing with a nearby BMW dealer that seems to be calculating ~24.6% in taxes on top of the base payment! I posted about this in the Ask the Hackrs forum and never received a reply… link to the thread is below.

Would love to hear some recent thoughts on this Audi Premiere Purchase and also on my post (linked above).

Would appreciate the help!

How did this turn out for you guys, what did you decide in the end? I’m also a Chicago resident and thinking of going for a Premier Purchase deal on a Q3 tomorrow