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For those who prefer to drive new cars year after year, leasing is the way to go. If you enjoy leasing cars and want to get the best deal possible, however, you should focus on acquiring a lease with no money down. Contrary to popular belief, zero down lease deals aren’t reserved solely for those who have impeccable credit histories. If you play your cards right, you should be able to find a lease for your desired car that requires no “drive-off fee,” as lease down payments are typically known. To do that, extra research and comparison shopping are required. In the end, though, the extra work will pay off well when you drive off in a newly leased vehicle without having to make a down payment.

 About Drive-Off Fees

Dealerships typically depict drive-off fees as a way to keep the cost of monthly payments as low as possible. Most lease deals require at least $1,000 to be paid at signing–and that’s in addition to taxes and many other miscellaneous fees. When spread out over the course of 36 months, which is the usual length of a lease, $1,000 doesn’t do a lot to reduce the cost of monthly payments. Therefore, why pay it at all?

Select a Car and Decide on Lease Terms

carsBefore you can seriously look for zero-down lease deals, you should decide which vehicle you’d like to lease and what kind of lease terms you want. Ideally, zero in on one make and model. Otherwise, limit yourself to two or three vehicles, or you will spend far too much time comparing offers.

You should also decide on the lease terms that you want, as you can include this information when requesting quotes for zero-down leases. It’s generally best to stick with a standard three-year lease, as this means that the car will be completely covered under warranty until it’s time to trade it back in. The dealership may tell you to consider a longer lease to get lower monthly payments, but the trade-off just isn’t worth it.

Another thing to consider is the mileage allotment for the lease deals that you consider. Standard leases include 12,000 miles per year, but many people drive far more than that in a single year. Some leases offer allotments of 15,000 and even 18,000 miles, which helps. You can also usually buy additional miles up front for far cheaper than the overage fees would cost.

Make the Most of Your Quote

carpriceIn addition to including detailed information about your requirements for the lease, including the make and model, the lease length and the mileage allotment, your quote should request a worksheet that breaks down all of the fees and costs that go along with your lease. It’s especially important to review this information carefully when considering a zero-down lease deal, as many dealerships try to recoup the drive-off fee by nickel-and-diming buyers through various hidden fees. If a dealership is unwilling to provide such a breakdown, take your business elsewhere.

Compare Deals

Since you’re strictly looking for zero-down lease deals, the best quotes that you receive should at least allow you to start your lease without forking over a bunch of money. You will still have to pay taxes and other fees, but there’s no getting around them. Review each quote that you receive, and see which one has the best deal. You may be able to play one dealership off of another by sharing information about the quotes that you’ve received. At any rate, finding zero-down lease deals doesn’t have to be difficult. By keeping these points in mind, you’re way more likely to get a zero-down lease that suits your budget and needs.