Question: should I put more money down to lower my lease payment?

Is it possible to lease a car and have a $0.00 (zero dollar) monthly payment if I make a significant down payment? I am trying to lease a car and pay no more than $100.00 a month for 36 months, what kind of down payment should I offer them?

We have been lied to by the car industry so many times – and this includes the idea that we need to put money down on a new car lease.

This is not true at all.

In fact, putting money down on a lease poses a couple of liabilities. I talked about it in my post about one-pay leases

For example, if we total our new car (especially in the beginning of our lease), the insurance company raids our down payment to pay off the claim.

The same is true with theft. If our car is stolen, kiss our down payment goodbye.


Insurance companies pay the actual market value of a vehicle if it is stolen or totaled – even if we have GAP insurance.

Even worse:

In most states, we pay tax on a down payment. (Yet, if we roll a down payment into a monthly payment, we still pay taxes – but it is paid off over the term of the lease).

And at the risk of sounding like a broken record:

Financial professionals remind us to rent depreciating liabilities and invest in appreciating assets. The benefit of leasing a new car is we can get into it with $0 cash down. And we can use our cash for things that go up in value (like investments).

Now, I get the psychology behind looking to lower our monthly lease cost. A $225 monthly lease payment with $3,000 down seems cheaper than a $300 monthly lease payment with $0 cash down. But the reality is it is almost the exact same cost in the end.

Of course, we can keep our down payment in our bank account and use a part of it each month to make the monthly payment.

Never forget we can negotiate a car lease exactly like we can negotiate a car loan. And that includes getting a dealer to negotiate away that expensive down payment…

My clients always get $0 cash down leases. Always.