Are too many newbies expecting a unicorn-type deal?

Thanks for the great discussion. I am a new member but following the page for quite a while. I am not in the market (q3 2020 lease ending) but i would bet it’s safe to assume when engaging a broker, for the best possible experience would be for me to pay the broker fee upfront. Even if I can’t get the deal today, a broker would be on the lookout for the right transaction when timing is right. It’s only logical!


Can someone actually document a Unicorn deal? there are many variables as I can see across this entire post.

For me, I leased a 62-65k e class at the end of the 2016 model year, got 15% off MSRP and if I recall like a 59% residual. I paid 9 MSD and had a payment of around 510 (i paid taxes up front but in hindsight would have been cheaper to roll in). My rent charge, and this is my #1 criteria - was like 460 for three years. People get caught up in lower payments but I refuse to pay a high rent charge. So less than 1k is my goal. I tried something similar with a 7 series, but that was a joke. I’t was like 8k of rent charge and that to me is throwing money away. again YMMV.

I don’t think there is any one definition of a unicorn deal - what is a unicorn for one model at one point in time, might be an “ok” or even bad deal on a different, but similarly-priced car, or even the same car a year later. If you spend enough time researching a car, you get a pretty good idea of where the floor is - a unicorn is something below that, I’d imagine.

Also, I think focusing on the rent charge is probably not optimal. Some brands have terrible residuals and rock-bottom MF rates, while others inflate their residuals but have higher MFs to compensate. Given the various factors in play, it seems weird to fixate on any one of them.

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Here’s my unicorn deal for a X2 former press car in Sunset Orange.
It was a clean carfax / disclosure car.


Your #1 criteria, and really only criteria, should be minimizing your total out of pocket cost.

Let’s say you have two $50k MSRP BMWs sitting in front of you, one dealer has marked the mf up to the max, but has offered an extra $1500 in discount. The other has a higher selling price, but buy rate mf, so much lower amount of rent charge. Which one do you take?


Here are some examples, IMO:

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@RSemsedin - Welcome to the forum. Your best bet is to figure out the car you are looking to get once your lease is up. It will make the broker’s life much easier.

My lease is going to be up next year, but I wanted to find ways to even save more $$$ on my next lease (one of the reasons I joined LH).

With leasing/car buying in general, timing is nearly everything. You need to find the right car that has been sitting on a dealer’s lot for a while. Some dealers are more motivated to make deals towards the end of the month, if they are looking to hit their sales numbers.
However, you need to do all the legwork before you start contacting dealers. The Edmunds forum is another great resource if you are looking for info about incentives, the RV and MF for the car/terms of the lease you are looking at.

Whoever came up with the stupid “unicorn” term here should be banned for life from LH. And all grazing LH unicorns should be send to slaughterhouse.


Can we also ban the stupid 1% “rule”?

Here’s the one I gave away :slight_smile:
**WARNING: UNICORN** 2018 BMW M3 Competition Package 92k MSRP $505/month + tax, NO MSDs!

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I propose insta-bans for

  • Unicorn Deals
  • 1% Rules
  • Leasehackr scores
  • Tesla stock price going up

huh? my point is lowest cost too. if you get a low rent charge generally your cost is lower. like that x2 model above. clearly depreciation of 400ish for the total term offsets the 3k rent charge. usually you don’t see only 400ish of depreciation on a 3 year deal.

in a normal scenario, when you are paying 500ish a month, I don’t want to add 100/200more a month in rent charge. That is a marked up MF or a crappy MF.

Here are my two “unicorn deals”

I also had a 12-month loaded Mini Cooper S manual for like $125 a month, but that was a dealer deal that I just jumped on 10 minutes after he posted.

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And then he disappeared forever

Honestly you are the first person who has ever cared about how much of the base payment is depreciation vs rent.

There have been some amazing deals where depreciation was 0 or close to 0. The entire base payment was rent. Nobody cared. Would have been foolish to walk over that.


All hail @loberant

If all things are equal otherwise, yes, that’s true.

However, very rarely are all things equal otherwise.

A lot of the best deals are made up of almost entirely rent charge.

When I calculate a monthly payment on a lease, after taking into account all the variables (pre-incentive sale price, incentives, MF, RV, and fees), if the monthly is in the range I was expecting, then that’s all that matters. I don’t need a score or an imaginary rule to tell me I am getting a good deal.

I am not in the business of nickel-and-diming a dealer, as long as they are transparent and the numbers they provide make sense to me.

The more I read posts from newbies, the more I notice folks are either payment shopping (to each his/her own) or are looking for an unreasonable discount on a car.

EDIT: In the car buying/leasing world, it makes sense to understand how the sausage is made, IMO.


you talking about me? I bet i’ve been a member longer than you probably

Ugh I hate when people ask me or complain about how much interest/rent they’re paying with no intention to buy these out. Who cares! A deal is a deal. Drive it cheap and return it