I think I made a horrible mistake

Got a pretty good deal 2 days ago overall on a 2019 Toyota Highlander lease. $220/mo payment MF Rate is 1.5% got sale price 10% below MSRP for a 36MO 36k mile lease. However I had never been to this site and failed to understand the whole “pay the lowest down payment” thing. I traded in a 16 Hyundai accent, got $6500 credit for it AND put 2000 down in cash. So I essentially put $8500 down… And now I’m freaking out about it getting stolen or totalled in the next 20 or so months and just being out all that money. Should I just buy out the lease right now or are there better options??? Please help I can’t sleep lol

Just ride the lease out carefully and learn from this. You’re at nearly 460 a month effective on a Highlander. That’s actually a pretty okay deal. Wasn’t wise for you to put so much down, but it is what it is.

Learn for next time.

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Could be much worse. Like stinger said, just be careful and learn for next time. The chance of either of those happening isn’t very high and it wouldn’t be a life devastating mistake

Ok thanks I figured the risk of losing all 8.5k might be worth doing something drastic but you are right I’m probably overestimating the odds of a total loss. Especially with all the safety features! Now I can sleep

The odds of a total loss on your car are exceedingly small. This is definitely not something to worry too much about! I believe most insurers will not total a car until damages are at something like 75% of the cars value. So for a new car, this would be pretty severe damage. Overall, I believe the statistics indicate that something like 15 to 20% of cars involved in a collision are totaled, including new and old cars alike (i.e. jalopies included).

So…Drive your car and enjoy it…As noted above, your deal on the model is actually pretty good overall.

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Like others said - just drive and enjoy low monthly payments. I had exactly the same situation on my first lease - 8,500 trade in down for $227/mo on XC70, but on 36 months (I actually even extended it for another 6 months)

Not the worst thing. I bought a Mazda 6 for $4,500, which quickly developed a transmission problem and got me stranded 150 miles away from home, caused me a $600 tow, so a month later I traded it in as a down payment on my first lease at $3,800. I saw the check engine light go on when the sales guy pulled away in it after we signed the papers. Even though I lost a ton of money, it was a very satisfying feeling of relief.

$460 effective good deal??? Depends if SE or LE

My first car lease was back in the early 2000’s. I traded in an 18 month old 2002 Ford Thunderbird (that I owned outright) for the first model year of the CTS-V. My down payment (with the trade-in) was so large that I had no payments for 36 months. I do not recall the numbers for that lease, but I shudder to think of how bad a deal that must have been, not to mention the risk that a new hot rod like the early CTS-V might get stolen or wrapped around a tree.

I survived. in fact, it had a happy ending. One of the rims had a slight leak at highway speeds that the dealer could not find or fix. So, being a lawyer, I managed to lemon law the entire car. They refunded enough of my initial lump-sum lease payment that I was able to buy out right a comparable CTS-V on the used market for less than the refund. Then, a year later GM had an accounting error and issued me a check for $10,000. I guess there is a reason that the old GM went bankrupt.


8 months ago we looked at Highlander XLE with a 42k MSRP. The lowest any local dealer was willing to go for us was an effective payment of 620 a month. So we went to Alfa and picked up a 45k dollar stelvio for 340 a month, instead.

460 a month is pretty good for a Highlander since few Toyota dealerships offer any kind of real deals. The brokers in here like @Cody_Carter do an awesome job of offering amazing deals. The average Toyota dealer doesn’t do that.

It is a XLE. Thanks for all the input, I feel much more at ease now. I felt like we got a decent deal, I mean the sales manager had to come over and play a little hardball before we got it, so glad that paid off.

Overall it’s not bad. Enjoy the vehicle. I tried hacking Highlander XLEs last month. Lowest any dealer in my area would touch was $439 $0das 15k.

Edit, actually was about $600 das.