Lease - $0 due at signing meaning?

I’m thinking about leasing a new car (for work commute only) as my current car is falling apart. Trying to find the cheapest lease possible and I see that Volkswagen has a special lease for $149 for their Jetta with $0 due at signing.

What does this really mean? Do I need to pay anything more than $149? When I return the car, do they nickel and dime for scratches and dings?

Are there any gotchas?

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We’d have to see the terms of the lease to know what you will pay.


“0-down” means “if you have really good credit, otherwise get your wallet out.”

You get around 15,000 miles per year. If you drive more than that, you will be charged.

You will be charged for damage unless your contract excludes minor damage.

You will pay more for a lease than you would pay to just buy a car. Remember, at the end of the lease, you will have no car and nothing to trade in to get a car with.

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The only way to find out for sure is to visit the dealer and try to get a copy of the lease deal.
My guess is that there’ll be serious restrictions on the use of the vehicle. But it’s only a guess.

@XAML The answers you received on your April 2015 thread pretty much still apply . Do a web search for lease pros and cons.

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Yes and yes. Read the fine print yourself but you will need to pay tax and license fees up front. Could be a thousand or two depending on your state. Damage beyond “normal wear and tear” can be assessed at the end, plus any excess mileage charges. Excess wear and tear can include a tire unevenly worn, a chip in the windshield, a ding, upholstery tear, etc.

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$0 down and low payment leases typically have low mileage allowances. I would expect 10,000 or 12,000 miles, maximum, per year. Leases are negotiable. You have to negotiate the base price that the lease is calculated on as well as “the money factor” which is essentially the interest rate. A well negotiated lease results in a low payment AND a low residual at the end of the lease (in case you want to buy the car). An uninformed leasing customer is going to get chewed up and spit out by the leasing dealer.

My daughter is driving a 2016 Mazda 3 that I leased brand new. I negotiated extremely hard and got 15,000 miles per year for $146 per month and a $9,300 residual at the end of 39 months. If she takes good care of it, the car will be a steal at that price at the end of the lease. I can tell that is NOT where we started when the dealer made his first offer.


$15k for the mazda seems cheap. i think a civic is closer to 20k? but i do not know what mazda resale. seems to me they are low. like hyundai.

With $0 down, that is a great deal.

To be fair, it was a leftover (brand new) 2016 and the 2017’s had been on the floor for 3 months. The factory threw in $3,000 to move it and I made the dealer sweat to earn my business. And the sales manager likes me (and my appetite for fully loaded cars when I buy them for myself).

Well our 0 down lease was 0$ out of pocket, if we had put $2800 ir would have lowered the payments with $2900 down, calculated it out, figured for $175 total difference, I decided to keep the cash, and skip the money down. 12,000 miles per year, no problem, If we look to buy it out we can upgrade the warranty. Will see how the model holds up for others.

So as others have said, all you have is an ad for something to drag you in the dealership. Get online, read the terms, e-mail dealers for specific cars on their lots and get a full quote with downpayment, monthly payment, miles, residual, tax, etc.

An elderly friend of mine gave her car away because her children told her not to drive any more. She changed he mind and a local Honda dealer was advertising a 3 year lease with $o due at signing for $209 a month on a new Civic EX automatic and they delivered exactly that. She did not pay the 8.75% sales tax, the two year registration and plate fee, The $75 NY dealer document fee, no bank fee and there was no lease ending fee plus they waived the first payment. I had driven her to the dealership an was sitting next to her the whole time. now obviously, all those fees were paid , but the were paid out of the 35 ($209) payments.

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Usually, how much are the damages at the end of the lease? Does the dealer offers insurance for those damages? I mean, I have no idea about this, as I have planned to have my first time lease this year.

what do you mean damages? damages as the pain you feel at lease end by paying “end of lease” termination fee? usually mercedes has a lease or loan “origination” fee of $795. just more money out of your pocket. now if you mean you might have to pay for “nicks” or scrapes to your lease car? its your car. you are responsible for fixing damages. the leasing company has a tech who inspects the car and will issue a report on found damages. the dealer is a middle man. they work thru the leasing dept of manufacturer.

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I soured on leasing some years ago. Maybe things have changed. But I leased ten cars at work for $100 a month for a year. When we turned them in we got hit with all kinds of excess wear and tear charges amounting to somewhere around $1000. I went to court on it and lost. It’s tempting because of the low monthly cost but I guess I’d just rather pay the cost of the car up front and let any damages be paid for on my terms when I trade.

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Our last lease we had the option of paying $5 a month for a no problem lease turn in for minor scuffs, scrapes and dents. The car had been rear ended, and repaired, $3 grand +, but no charges after turning it in. Our new lease did not have the damage insurance, so we will see in 2020 if we do not buy it out. And as stated previously not even a penny out of pocket.

Hi am about to turn in my leased car but it has scratches all over it’s body, you guys have any idea how much it will cost so I can prepare for it before returning it.

We can’t see it and don’t know who you are going to use for repair. The only way to know is have a body shop estimate .

Thanks I was just wondering if there’s anyone who has the same issue as mine, BTW I own a 2017 Honda Accord Sedan.

My understanding was if we did not take the insurance they would pre inspect the car before turn in and give you the option of repairing damages, and pay the costs of repairs yourself, at maybe a lesser cost than the dealer price. Paintless dent repair can do wonderful things at a reasonable price. I would hope they are fairly forgiving. :weary:

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