Lease hacking in the Midwest (CO) - suggestions, experiences, tips/tricks?

Hey first post and first time leasing!

I live in CO and I know the deals out here aren’t as sweet as say SoCal due to less competition between dealers. I am looking to lease and am currently all across the board in terms of what I’m looking for (suv/truck/sedan).

Right now I am needing suggestions on what cars/deals to check out that might be possible in the area since it seems like hacking out here is a bit harder to do. I am also feeling a bit overwhelmed so I think a few experiences, suggestions, and market ideas can help narrow me down a bit. Apologies if this is too generic, but I’m mainly just looking for general ideas of what to keep an eye out out for. I’m looking to keep my lease payments under $450/mo $0 down (obviously) and am generally open to most types of term lengths (from 24 months 48 mo). If anyone has leased out here or has a general idea of the market, please share!

I want to give an idea of what I’m looking at, but given that I can go any direction at this point, I am all over the board with Mercedes, BMW, 4Runners, Trucks, SUV’s, etc. I would say a few things that are important to me are:
-performance (wether off-road in the CO mountains or carving canyon streets)
-deal value

Just looking for suggestions, but I can post more details if needed!

There really isn’t anything unique about the CO market that would make different vehicles lease better there than other places. You may find that it’s harder to get as large as a dealer discount, but what leases well everywhere else is going to be the same thing to target in CO. You may just have to scale your monthly a bit.

Also, keep in mind that there are lots of brokers that will ship to you in CO, so you can take advantage of pricing from out of the region, as long as you don’t mind the extra expense of shipping.


If you are offroading in the mountains sedans will be out of the question.

Have you checked recent Tacoma deals posted in the forum?

Yeah, I wouldn’t take a sedan off roading and I typically just ride along with one of my buds when camping so it’s not crucial I have my own ride. I am just trying to decide if I want something quick and cozy for my 9-5 commute (I generally get a lot of open highway in my commute) or something that I can take camping on the weekends and because I’d be happy going either direction, I think it’ll come down to the car and deals I can grab.

And I have! I actually have a few bookmarked, but they’re not CO local so I was a bit curious on how I could stack that up. I saw a few one-time payments in the 5-6k range for a 24mo/12k which sounded sweet, but I think a 4Runner might be more up my ally so I’m keeping an eye out.

On the other end of the scale, I’ve seen a few BMW M340i or Alfa Romeo deals that I would love to find local to me. Perhaps I should just have a few of those numbers in mind, circle around to a few dealers, and bring the deals I find back here for consideration.

Awesome, I appreciate it! Yeah I guess I was keeping those dealer discounts in mind but like you said I may just have to scale a bit on the monthly.

Welcome. You can develop and sharpen your leasing skills here. Since you are targeting something in the $450/month $0 DAS ballpark pick your favorite introductory BMW, dive into this forum and learn how to put together a good lease deal. Sedan - 330i xDrive. SUV - X3 xDrive (higher than your ballpark, but a good learning example of how to hack your way into a vehicle outside your starting budget. Hint: learn about Fart cars and cost out an X3 demo). Why BMW? 2 reasons. First, this site has a lot of BMW deal information. Second, your probably going to consider one. Even if you don’t go down the BMW path, using a 330i or X3 will give you a real car to learn how leases work (in your $$ ballpark).

For most people, the critical components of a good deal are straightforward: a. solid-to-great discount off MSRP, b. methodically stacked incentives available from the manufacturer/dealer, c. buy rate MF, d. customary fees/taxes, e. minimize DAS and f. time invested to grasp lease calculation/calculator.

Here is a roadmap on how you get there:

  1. First, you spend 30+ minutes on the “leasing 101” and “calculator” sections of this forum and discover or brush-up on the fundamentals of leasing. Hackrs share their insights in shorthand so to get the most out of their feedback know how the leasing game is played.

  2. Second, you spend 10 minutes and go to to request the current money factor (MF), residual value (RV) and incentives available for your specific vehicle AND region of the country. You should post a customized version of the following question and wait for a response (usually less than one business day): “Dealer zip code 12345. 36/10k. 2021 330i xDrive. Can I please get 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 you need to provide year, make, model, and drive.

  3. Determine if the dealer is running the deal at the “buy rate” MF. The buy rate is the lowest interest rate available from the lending company. Dealers are permitted to “mark-up” the money factor. Your homework from step 1 will explain how to counter MF mark-ups.

  4. Now this is a critical step. Understand and tell the hackrs your selling price BEFORE incentives (target or actual deal). What people on here refer to as the pre-incentive selling price. Feedback on this critical variable is what you seek - clearly identify your pre-incentive discount in order 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 CO market. Can I be more aggressive? Do I need to be prepared to settle for less?”

  5. You should use the search function on this forum to discover deal posts so you can gauge the range of possible pre-incentive discounts from MSRP for your situation. This step can NOT be skipped. As you review “Signed” and “Deal Help” posting you will put your acquired 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 or Archilochus).

  6. Go get a competitive dealer quote - and you don’t even need to leave this forum. Your first competitive “dealer” quote should be from one of the active brokers/dealers on this site. Brokers/dealers post their current deals each month: monthly payment, 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 time and energy to get a more aggressive deal, you know what to shoot for.

  7. Know what incentives are available (step 2 edmunds plus mfg websites), know the standard fees/taxes in your state, research how to structure DAS, avoid buying down cap cost.

  8. Advanced ninja hackr tip: You can save some money if you wisely use MSDs. See step 1 to discover their powers.

It’s best to have a solid understanding of what deal is possible (discount, incentives, buy rate MF, fees) in your market and in the current environment BEFORE you engage with dealers. Know what is possible and work your way down a list of dealers until you get it (or close to it). Or, reach out to the many reputable brokers/dealers on this site and start driving your new car in a matter of days.

Spend as much or as little time on here as you desire. It will pay off.


Well said :+1:

This is an awesome breakdown, I appreciate it!!!

Really like this detailed explanation, I think your sharing should be added to the lease101

No Tacoma deals in CO until at least August or so, inventory is very thin since production shutdown in March. Hard to get something that can off-road and do canyon carving for $450/month. If off-roading is more important then you can look at Gladiator/RAM 1500/Outback. If canyon carving is the priority then probably a 330i is your best bet. The closest thing that can get on to a trail (some ground clearance) and some driving enjoyment/performance would be loaner X3/GLC or maybe a CX-5 Turbo…

One thing to potentially keep in mind, I believe that in Colorado if your lease term is over 36 months that changes the tax payment structure.

But please do some more research, I’m moving from CA to CO shortly and looking for a new car. That stuck out to me when researching the tax differences.

No such thing in CO, tax is based on monthly payment regardless of term

What am I misreading here? Clearly states leases over 36 months are handled differently.

“unless the lessor has received permission from the Department to collect all applicable state and state-administered local sales taxes on all payments made by the lessee pursuant to the lease”

Hey guys!

First time leasing and looking to maybe try and get myself into an Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti Sport if possible or looking for suggestions on other sport/luxury cars to consider, any help is appreciated! I was inspired by this post and was wondering if someone could maybe help me replicate it as close as possible in CO? Also willing to make a day trip (PTO needs to be used!!) so if the surrounding markets are looking better, I’m more than happy to make the drive.

I realize I won’t get anywhere close in incentives being a first time leaser and just missing the grad incentives (2018 may, looks like 2 years from sign date so just missed it), but how possible is it to get <$400/mo in a similar fashion?

In that regard, I’m also open to suggestions! Again, $400/mo is generally what I want to stay under, but what sports/luxury cars do you suggest I also look at? I generally like germans outside of the alpha - I assume a c300 is a stretch. I’ll post a few examples of what I like (old listings, can I see how long they’ve been on the lot with cargurus?).


Your best option is to spend some time reading through the share deals section to see what people have been able to get and plenty of time reading through the leasing 101 section to get as educated as possible on the numbers behind leasing and structuring a deal.

Your best bet would be the 330i loaners at BMW of Denver if you want a rwd-based sport sedan in CO. Lexus IS should be doable as well especially if you can get loyalty through a friend/family member…

TBH, unless you have a trade-in that might provide some sort of tax basis reduction, shopping local in CO is like donating money to the stealerships here. It might feel good to support the local dealerships, but it’s also enabling them to overcharge and not be competitive. If you’re looking for a 4runner, look in the SE region in GA or FL. Even after transport, you’ll save enough to cover TTL which isn’t exactly cheap for a new car in CO.

That said, I think your best bet for a Taco or 4runner deal would be Groove Toyota. They’re great to negotiate with and willing to at least play ball whereas the other dealerships are pretty damn arrogant. Stay away from Autonation Arapahoe and the one in Boulder. Home of the “everyone pays MSRP”. Lol. They both can kiss my ass.

Appreciate it! Yeah I think I’ll look at Groove if I go the toyota route or just shop out of state for a nice alfa or similar sports car. With 2+ weeks of pto and no plans of traveling this year, it’d be a nice excuse to go pick up a fun sports car and carve some highway for a week driving back from socal/fl/ga. I’d just have to account for the milage in my lease terms or pay the overage, but I assume I’d still be beating CO’s market.

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Yeah that’s kind of what I’m seeing but I’m just not a 3 series fan myself. Maybe I’ll see if I can somehow scoop up out of state and take some built up PTO for a road trip