First Time Leasing - Need Some Advice

Long time lurker, first time poster. I’m getting ready for a bi-coastal move (NY to CA) and with that, my first car lease. I have been reading here on the forums and gaining some valuable advice but I wanted to start a topic and hopefully have some assistance from the community.

I`ll be moving to the 95401 area on September 1st but hoping to secure a lease beforehand, signing and paying electronically and asking the dealer to keep the car on the lot for a few weeks pending pickup – is that a ridiculous assumption or would most dealers be happy to park the car somewhere on the lot once a deal has been signed-off? I understand the risk im taking by not test-driving; am I too naive?

My ideal lease would be a:

  • 2020 Kia Forte, GT-Line, Gravity Grey.
  • Preferably the GT-Line Premium Package, but I can live without it.
  • Kia has a National Incentive atm for $139/month, $2661 Down on a 24/12 lease. It expires on 8/3/2020 so I would like to sign by then and pickup on Sep 1st.

I have contacted several dealers in the area, I don’t know if this is typical for the business or it’s just me but I’m generally getting a bad vibe from most of them. I feel they are trying to upsell me or they are not being completely transparent and I have to fish out details. Currently there’s an offer on the table that includes the national incentive for a non-premium package GT-Line but they are asking for an additional $839 in taxes, fees, insurance, etc bringing the total DAS to 3500. Does this make sense?

I would appreciate any advise related to the specific vehicle/lease but also any information that more seasoned members can share with me about the general Leasing experience.

Thank you very much!!!


As someone who moved into CA: if I were in your situation I would just wait and lease when I arrived in CA. To deal with vin scan/smog/poa/payment and tax changes before the first payment would need to be a lot less than I could get it in CA.

This is a stretch. IIRC (someone will correct me) I think NY is a state where they would want you to drive it off the lot (and back). Once you take possession, it’s your liability it it gets damaged on their lot but they won’t want to get wrapped up in that- unless shipping your car is part of the deal for them.

This is also sort if an Audi/BMW/MB/Lexus/Volvo sort of ask for a Kia (more a comment on customer service abilities than brand status). I’m sure a cook at a McDonalds somewhere makes a mean sous vide beef at home, but it’s not what I’d expect walking in the door.

It makes sense from the standpoint of what they want - much higher than my customary $0 DAS. I’d suggest rereading the 101 articles and thinking critically about putting any money down.

Good luck.

Thank you so much for your input.
Im sorry if I didn’t clarify, I’m not looking to lease the car from NYC and drive to CA but rather lease from a CA dealership and take delivery upon arrival on Sep 1st, just trying to wrap up paperwork before then so I can have a car upon arrival. I felt the few extra weeks of time I have beforehand will help not to have my back against the wall and without a car for a long period of time after my move to CA.

I also understand what you’re saying that a more personalized or curteous service comes at the price-point and when leasing a $22k car vs a $65k car will definitely have some disadvantages in terms of customer service :).

I`ll check out the 101 as suggested, thank you again for your reply!

Got it. Yeah I’d work the deal by email/phone in August and have them send you papers to sign by end of month. They book the deal in Aug, you pickup Sep 1st. Still not super common but not unusual. I don’t think you need to get into that with the sales person until all the numbers are final.

It is also still possible to walk in and lease a car the same day but definitely don’t recommend it.

FWIW I’ve commented multiple times how nice the Forte I had as a rental was, it’s a nice car.

Some brands are better equipped for special requests. Having you sign ahead and pickup a few days later isn’t that odd/special.

  1. You can test drive the car in NY so you don’t have to take a “risk”.
  2. If you are a long time lurker you must have read that advertised deals are not the best deals and members here get better deals. Also it’s normal that the dealers are asking for more money DAS because taxes and fees are not included in those ads.
  3. It’s not “ridiculous” for you to ask them to keep the car for couple of weeks after you sign the paperwork. Just mention this in the beginning of the conversation instead of a last minute addition.
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Forget any OEM ads you’ve seen, they’re worthless