Need a reality check

Folks, I need a reality check.
Last time I leased was last year in April. Shoutout to AutoNinjas.
Right now I’m in search of a commuter car (any of these in a base trim Kia Forte, Nissan Sentra, Toyota Corolla, Hyundai Elantra) for 36mo/10k. Am I out of reality thinking that a lease for any of those with $0 drive-off should be not more than $320-$340?

I drove today through a number of dealers locally (Tampa Bay area) and only 1 was adequate enough to give me a straight-up quote with no BS fees but it was a shocker. $521 for Elantra SEL trim (they didn’t have any other in stock). Another dealer, Century KIA, went from $305 as advertised on Kia website to $577 with all their “Advanced Package” fees.

What is a fair monthly payment for the type of car I mentioned? Have I lost the track of the market and everything has gone up that much lately?


Those advertisements are always missing thousands in taxes and fees

You should be able to do a sentra/altima for a great price, especially on a one pay

Sacha Baron Cohen Yes GIF by Amazon Prime Video


What would be a fair price for base trims Sentra / Altima for $0 DAS and 36/10 terms?

Can’t argue with Borat. So is it more around $380-$400 for that type of car?

1 Like

I have no idea, but looking at this from @Clutch , your payment might be alright


This looks like a pretty good deal. I’ll check with Clutch. Thanks a lot for the hint, Harry.

1 Like

Most of the best Nissan deals are for 18-mo and best if you can do a 1-pay & MSDs.

1 Like

Thanks! I would be open to considering a one-pay scenario but want to understand the MSD better. Are they fully refundable at the end of the lease term or are there any subtractions involved in it?

  1. MSD stands for “Multiple Security Deposit.”
  2. It is a payment made by a lessee at the beginning of a lease term to reduce the lessor’s risk.
  3. MSDs can result in lower lease payments for the lessee.
  4. Making MSDs can demonstrate financial responsibility and help lessees with lower credit scores qualify for a lease.
  5. MSDs are refundable at the end of the lease if all obligations are fulfilled.
1 Like

There seem to be some misconceptions around what leasing is and who benefits from leasing.

The people who benefited most from leasing were those who were going to drive brand new BMWs, Mercedes, etc anyway and found leasing as a way to lower their TCO (total cost of ownership).

They could do so because they had the cash to put down MSD, had loyalty from prior ownership, or had corp/fleet from working at a select list of companies, knew about OL codes and had bought CCA membership, etc etc.

And it made sense because ALL the 4 variables (discount, incentive, RV and MF) lined up to make lease payments way cheaper than ownership. Even repetitive leases were cheaper than repetitive 5+ year ownership over time.

That saving has rarely really existed outside of luxury cars. Leasing 5 Corollas or 10 Altimas over 15 years would be a massive waste of money over financing and trading 3 brand new Corollas over the same time frame.

Do some quick math: (total lease cost of an 18m Altima lease + any applicable broker and shipping fees) x 10.


I can do Kia under 400. But you’ll
Have to pickup in the northeast. Prob better to buy these small sedans then lease.


That was really interesting to learn a bit more about how the leases started. Thanks!

I agree owning is a better financial decision than leasing if keeping a car for a long period of time. In your example it will probably be 2 cars over the course of 15 years as they can last 7-8 years, I think without any major problems.
I’ll also look into financing options.
Thanks again for the info.

Thanks for the response. And you are right, just as max_g, about buying it. Will look into that.

1 Like

Toyota, Honda and Subaru have OEM extended warranties that can go as far as 125k total miles or 8 years whichever comes first.

Looking thru the brand-specific forums is often a great way to find the dealers with best pricing on these products sold over phone or online.

1 Like

I’d like to add that just going for the “base model” of any car doesn’t necessarily guarantee a lower payment. It’s quite common that the more upmarket trims tend to be the “sweet spot” where RV in particular is best. Sometimes there are even incentives that don’t apply to those lower trim cars. The Grand Cherokee is a good example of this at the moment. It doesn’t make sense that the larger, more capable and more expensive model of that car has a lower payment, but here we are.


Since you’re in fla have you considered a Tacoma? I can do under 300/mo on them. 30k msrp.

Thanks for the input. I did notice that just recently as I was looking at some lease spreadsheets here as well. Now I know why.

Thanks a lot for the offer. I’ll dm you then.

This topic was automatically closed 60 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.