Boston area, looking for something by this weekend. Complete beginner

So my car (1999 Rav 4 with over 250k miles) is in the shop again. Might be time to let it go. This $700 repair, if I do it, will total around 2k in one year on repairs. Plus the radiator is leaking. It has been for a while, but it’s a timebomb. And I have to get it inspected, and the windshield replaced. Just, at this point, I have to ask myself, am I really saving any money by keeping it?

Trying to get a payment under $200 for sure, $150 would be preferred, around $100 would be wonderful. Especially considering the increase in insurance (about another additional $800 a year), and increase in excise tax - I pay a measly $40 a year right now. Guess the State figures my car is worth about $1,500, which, I’ll sell it to 'em for $1k!

I don’t care what I drive, but something with a back seat. Basic sedan would be great.

I know so very little about leases, and I’m cramming like a procrastinating student before the midterms. I always thought that Wellesley Toyota’s “The Now Way” was probably the easiest best deal I was going to get. Seems to be all up front about any hidden charges.

A Honda dealership near me has some advertised deals, but I don’t know what they would convert to if I did no $ down. (Or something small like 1k I wouldn’t mind loosing in case of bad luck - accident & stolen). Also seems to be riddled with hidden charges.

And ultimately, I am so impressed with how well people here seem to be able to do the deal. I’m absolutely terrible at dealing with dealers. Terrible! I’m going to try to learn what I can here, but I know when it comes to the face to face, ugh, I’m going to just do a bad job. Wish there were such a thing as advocates that could do the deal for you.

Well, if anyone has any advice, insight, or suggestions to dealerships I should check out, it would be so incredibly appreciated. I either have to move onto a lease or have the car repaired by this weekend as I need a car again by next week (I can use the wife’s car til then). Thank you all again.

Weymouth Honda typically has excellent deals to start with, so that’s probably a good place to start if you aren’t looking for anything specific and want minimal negotiating:

The “deals” on the Toyota website you linked aren’t really that great.

On websites that advertise a specific amount down, a quick and dirty way to compare to zero down is by dividing the down payment by the amount of months you will lease for and add the amount to the payment. This doesn’t account for the increase in finance charges, but it’s helpful to ballpark the amount.

Something else to note is that there are still costs you need to pay at lease signing with a zero down lease. You still need to pay the first payment, registration, doc fee, and sometimes the acquisition fee and tax on some rebates. You can roll in all of those costs but it will of course raise your monthly payment.

There are advocates that can help you.
Basic advice. Start with a monthly payment budget at zero down. Look for cars that are cheap and at risk of sticking on a lot. Scion is dumping cars. VW is panicking a little. Or if you look at cars with high residuals like honda civics, that also could work. The base models are cheapest. Use to find your target car and to set a target price. Then call them on the phone. Don’t go to the dealer until you like the deal.

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With a lease your excise tax would quickly jump into several hundreds of dollars. So if you are asking whether a new car will cost leas than hundred a month with all taxes etc etc then no.