Audi A3 premium plus

Hi all,

This lease was from 2 years ago but curious of your input since it was my first lease and wishing I would have researched more. I think the RV being meh and not much off MSRP hurt me.

2018 Audi A3 premium plus with technology package, audi care.

MSRP: 44k
Selling price: 41,493 (after Audi care & roadside assistance)
Down pmt: 3k (learned not to do this again)
MF: not listed in lease agreement but I calculated it at .00104
36/7.5 lease
RV: 53%
Monthly: 499 before tax. 550 after tax

It’s absolutely terrible and it doesn’t matter.

Paying $23k to lease a $44k compact for 22.5k miles is no bueno. Over $1/mi.

Thanks. I figured. Live and learn. If you were set on getting that car what would you aim for? Push down the selling price and aim for what monthly?

Most of us prefer to not aim for a monthly ever. Work the details of the deal to find out what your monthly is for your deal based on the lease programs that apply to you. Directly comparing monthly payments without knowing if all the details are the same can be misleading.

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Welcome. As you point out upfront research is the foundation of a great deal. Plus, heed @mllcb42 words - don’t let your monthly payment be your driving force. Your monthly payment is simply a function of the critical input variables that drive a lease calculation.

For most people, the critical components of a good deal are straightforward. You need to understand and manipulate the following: a. solid-to-great discount off MSRP, b. methodically stack manufacturer/dealer incentives, c. buy rate MF, d. customary fees/taxes, e. minimal DAS and f. no garbage add-ons. Some high school math is involved, so invest time to grasp the lease calculation/calculator. The leasing process can appear formidable. But, master it’s critical components and you can negotiate a great deal. Don’t get too good at it, your friends will drag you on their next 6-hour dealership adventure.

Here is a roadmap on how you get there:

  1. First, you spend 20+ minutes on the “leasing 101” and “calculator” sections of this forum and discover or brush-up on leasing fundamentals. Hackrs share their insights in shorthand so to get the most out of their feedback know how the leasing game is played. Calculator tip: To get the most useful feedback on your deal from the hackrs make sure you know how to reflect 3 key variables in the calculator: A. Pre-Incentive Selling Price (calc input = Selling Price, please master pre-incentive SP), B. direct-to-consumer incentives (calc input = Taxed Incentives), and C. direct-to-dealer incentives (calc input = Untaxed Incentives).

  2. Second, you spend 5 minutes on (see link below) to request the current MF, RV and incentives available for your specific vehicle and region. You post a customized version of the following question and wait for a response (usually less than one business day): “Dealer zip code 98765. 36/10k. 2021 330i xDrive. Please share the latest MF, RV and incentives. Plus any loyalty, conquest or college cash available?” Note: you need to provide a dealer zip code where you plan to negotiate the deal plus year, make, model, and drive.

  1. The buy rate MF is the lowest interest rate available from the lender. You must qualify for tier 1 credit. During your negotiation determine if the dealer is calculating your payment using the buy rate. To add profit, a common practice among dealers is to “mark-up” the MF. Your homework from step 1 will explain how to counter MF mark-ups. Make your offer at the buy rate. If the dealer insists the deal must be done with a markup simply adjust you selling price offer down to compensate for the MF markup.

  2. Now this is a critical step. Understand and share your selling price BEFORE incentives. What people on here refer to as the pre-incentive selling price. Hackr feedback on this critical variable is what you seek - clearly identify your pre-incentive discount to make it easy for the hackrs to share their viewpoint on your situation. Best case - before you reach out to dealers - do your research on this forum and ask the hackrs: “Based on my homework, I plan to target a pre-incentive discount of X-Y% in the SoCal market. Can I be more aggressive? Will I need to settle for less?” I will be explicit - the single most important variable you will negotiate is your pre-incentive discount from MSRP. The rest of the monthly lease calculation - RV, buy rate MF, acquisition fee - is non-negotiable with the lender. Incentives are set by the mfg - just make sure you get them all.

  3. Use the search function on this forum to discover relevant deal posts (i.e. comps) so you can gauge the range of possible pre-incentive discounts for your situation. This step can NOT be skipped. As you review “Signed” and “Deal Help” postings you will put your working lease knowledge to the test and gain confidence in quickly identifying “good-bad” deals. This exercise will steady your nerves as you engage in your actual negotiations. “Under pressure, you sink to your level of training” (Badass Navy Seal).

  4. Go get a competitive quote - and you don’t even need to leave this forum. Your first “dealer” quote can come from one of the brokers/dealers on this site. Brokers/dealers post their current deals every few weeks: monthly, DAS, MF, RV, incentives, MSDs. If you like the numbers, you are driving a new car in a few days. If you want to invest energy to get a more aggressive deal, you know what to shoot for.

  5. Find all available incentives (step 2 Edmunds plus mfg websites), know the standard fees/taxes in your state, research how to structure DAS, avoid buying down cap cost and just say no to garbage add-ons.

  6. Ninja hackr move: Use MSDs to save on interest cost. See step 1 to discover their benefits.

It’s best to have a solid understanding of what deal is possible in your market and in the current environment BEFORE you engage with dealers. With an outline of a great deal in hand, work your way down a list of dealers until you get it - or close to it. If you crave an aggressive deal you will hear “no” 90% of the time; respectfully move on to the next dealer until you run out of energy or time. Pull the trigger … and enjoy your new car with the confidence that you played the game well. Or, reach out to the many reputable brokers/dealers on this site and start driving your new car in a matter of days.

Happy hunting.


@dtk101 How did you do?

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I leased this car about 2.5 years ago. I did terribly haha. But I am looking at my next lease. I’m assuming any lease buy out is never a good option since the dealer just makes you pay one way or another right? Ie it’s as if your old pmt is rolled into new one.

Sounds like you are still doing your homework on your next one.

Most would counsel against a buy-out unless you have a compelling reason. Don’t rush into this market - the game is tilted in the dealers favor at the moment. In normal times, lessees wield the power of “no” and move onto the next dealer. The tables have turned. Today, dealers say “no” unless a lessee is willing to pay up a bit. Good for them. Dealers normally have to indulge grinders - today they smile and say no thank you.

Good to know. That’s kind of the impression I’ve gotten. Volvo offered me “$2k positive equity” on my A3 buyout, but essentially no discount off MSRP so I passed. I don’t have a compelling enough reason at this point so I’ll most likely stay put. Thanks again for the insight.

No discount off Volvo MSRP. Odd. My guess, the Volvo dealer over-valued your trade and made it up on the new car.

IF you do have equity in your current car. Carvana/Vroom etc are chasing after used cars. There is a company on here saying they will beat C/V offers. So if you can get out of you current car on the plus side, Costco’s has a lease program on Audi. 10% pre-incentive. Food for thought. Good luck either way.

I am still reading chapter 1 of your response. 10 more to go …

Chapter 1 has been re-written. I forget a few things so I added them in. Available on Amazon soon. Your signed copy is on the way

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Agreed on Volvo comment - not getting anything from them currently. They also have very little incentives out there.

Definitely don’t have equity in the A3 (since it was a bad deal from the beginning :frowning: ). Payoff is ~$27k before tax (~$29k with tax). They’re selling for maybe 26-28k online and my best offer from any of those sites was about $24k. Thanks for the Costco tip - i have inquired about it at my closest dealership and they said they’re aren’t participating due to inventory levels, but something i’ll keep in mind for other locations.