**Year, Make, Model, and Trim: 2018 Toyota Tundra SR5 4x4 CrewMax
Saved Numbers on Leasehackr Calculator:
**Selling Price: $42,106 (+ $1200 in accessories)
**Monthly Payment: $315 including taxes (I added wear and tear for $700, which adds $20/mth. That was more for piece of mind because it’s a truck and it will be parked outside where it will have frequent collisions with bouncing balls, etc.)
**Cash Due at Signing: $315
**MSD: 10 ($4000)
**Incentives: SETF - 75% residual and subvened MF 0.0017
**MF:0.0017 (MSD reduced to 0.00080)
I started a quest to find a $250-300 full size pickup truck not long after I leased my wife’s QX60 in May (thanks Quentin @nyclife) . [Even posted in the wishlist thread about it]. I was brand agnostic. Only firm requirements were 4x4, Crew cab and power seats (and not black in color - because it is hot in NC 6 months of the year). I spent a bunch of time researching trims, checking out typical discounting, learning incentive programs (RAM still confuses the crap out of me). I narrowed search down to the F150, 2019 Ram 1500, Nissan Titan and Toyota Tundra (and maybe Silverado/Sierra double cab because @chevysalesgirl says they lease better than crew cab for her brand). I spent much time sitting in different vehicles, drove a few, even started toying with double/extended cab to shave some cost since 90% of the time the backseat will be empty. [I finally came to the conclusion double cab was too small (my shortest child is 5’9) and it would be tight, plus for most manufacturers, the double cab takes a residual hit].
Because of the $3K PCO floating around, I focused my efforts first on the F150. They also had a config with a front bench seat with power drivers seat (which was the holy grail of what I wanted because I hate the cockpit feel of most modern vehicles). Try as I might, the incentives in my region are so bad ($1750 on an XLT), that even with $3000 of free money, $2500 of package discounts, $375/mth was about the floor on an F150 lease and that was an XL, not an XLT - and that would require some work.
Next on the list was the Nissan Titan (actually ruled it out a month ago, but anyway). I had VPP and a USAA cert offering an additional $2k off lease or purchase - so figured I could work a decent discount. It took some work, but finally got a local dealer to sell below invoice and apply the VPP rebate and USAA rebate to the deal - it still ended up at $350 and that was on a model with manual drivers seat. Plus I felt like I was missing out on something because there was no cross brand loyalty from Infiniti to Nissan (at least at the time).
My preferred vehicle was probably the new Ram 1500. Being a new model, I expected pricing to be high - but had seen people buying at 6-7% below invoice before incentives so gave it a bit of a try. None of my local dealers would do more than 10% off before incentives and incentives are crap in my area on the 2019 1500 so lease pricing was coming in the $475-$525 range. I’ll save that model for later.
I at first had ruled out Toyota Tundra because all of the earlier published $300/mth deals were from regions which had big incentives and Autobytel was showing no incentives for my region. But was inquiring and found that SETF had set the 36/12 residuals at 75% for October on 4x4 SR5 Crewmax. Had seen this for USBank and Ally leases, but not from the captive before. Also saw people buying Tundra for up to 17% off MSRP. My head started to spin as to how cheap a lease I could achieve. That was quickly dashed when I found out there is a hidden $2500 dealer cash which cannot be combined with subvened MF/RV. Well even 12% off resulted in only $6k depreciation over 3 years - so a deal should be achievable.
I started negotiating in the traditional way with dealers in my state - can you sell xxx stock # at yy,yyy? Pricing came back fairly aggressive but this was where I found out about the hidden $2500 lease cash. Eventually was able to negotiate an aggressive deal with a dealer 1.5 hrs from my house (posted another thread about it). It was a fairly lightly equipped SR5 with steel wheels. But pricing was aggressive and they offered MSDs. Then I went back to my local dealers (and the dealers who were on the way to this other dealer) and explained the situation - Tomorrow I’m going to lease xxx vehicle at yyy/mth, can you beat it on stock #zzz on your lot. If so I will be there in an hour to sign papers. Got several, “your presence is your negotiating power” messages, but finally a dealer 20 min from my house came back with an offer $15 more per month on the same trim with better packages.
I confirmed that MSDs were available and made an appointment to come in (canceling the original truck). In getting there, I was in for a bit of a surprise in that they were already using internal coupons to buy the rate down to get to the $350/mth payment (instead of further discounting the vehicle) and that me using full MSDs would only bring the monthly down another $10. So my plans to bring a $350/nth lease down to $295 with MSDs were dashed.
I’m glad they were setting this up before they ran credit or anything like that as at that point I declined and was about to walk. Salesman went to finance manager and tried to get down to $300 with full MSDs as that was my target. They came back with $315 and I agreed after a few minutes. [I thought I had hit the lottery as they failed to write and collect the deposit on the paperwork I signed (but did include the lower MF), so all I paid was 1st month. But that was dispelled today when the contract went to audit and they realized their mistake, so I need to resign paperwork.]
A few lessons learned:
- Ford dealers in my area pull the same trick as they do in other locations where they add the destination charge back in, so they can show a larger savings number. Frustrating because they post an MSRP that includes it in the first place.
- Trying to find a Nissan dealer who will sell below invoice and then apply the VPP rebate was a huge challenge.
- Trying to sort through RAM incentives is still a nightmare. [I imagine that’s why carjojo doesn’t try much anymore]
- SETF allows up to 10 MSDs.
- SETF dealers have their own MSD-like coupons to use to lower the rate. They said they cant combine them with me also paying MSDs.
- Finding the actual MSRP on a Tundra was a challenge. I thought mine was what was posted on their website so was using that for calculations. It turns out what they published included accessories, but still didn’t completely match up.
- Toyota likes to put lots or protection packages on their vehicles. These items are on the actual sticker so are part of the MSRP. I’m not sure if that hurts or helps on a lease, because it may allow them to discount more. Mine included a factory paint protection package and some others included some premium oil change package- all part of MSRP.
- My vehicle included 2 accessories - a ceramic tint for $899 and a spray on bedliner for $399. Bedliner cost was $120 less than what Toyota charges for the official one on the sticker. I know the tint is marked up - but not sure how much. Since the lease deal was based on the MSRP, I am considering these throw ins.
- Its too easy to sell a 15 yr old Accord with relatively low mileage. On a vehicle with a trade in value of 1500 and a private party value of 3000, I had people lined up to pay 4000 for it. Makes me wish I asked for more.
- It was much less time consuming to create a time sensitive negotiating situation and negotiate via monthly payment than to go through the price before incentives rigamorole. It helped that incentives are simpler with Toyota so there is less grey area on who qualifies for what.