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2013 and earlier-Subaru Forester Lease Questions



  • Thanks, I'm looking to return my 08' Forester as the lease is up and lease a 2010 Premium X all-weather automatic on a 36 month lease with 10K. The sales tax is 8.625% I would like to put down $1,175 and make 35 payments of $334.43. The sales tax is included in these figures. Is this reasonable?
  • Car_man,

    Can you provide the October Buy Rate and Money Factor for 2010 Premium:

    12k 36 months
    12k 42 months

    Appreciate your assistance.
  • I use a good lease calculator at using the MF and Residuals posted here. I'm going in next week and getting a 2010 Premium X all-weather: 10K mi, 36 mo. 6% tax, $3300 down.........$215/mo. I'm pretty sure I can get this down closer to $200/mo by negotiating the Cap Cost down to where it should be.
  • If you are putting down $3300 why not just buy it. You can get 3.9% for 60 months. You should never put money down on a lease as it defeats the entire purpose of leasing. Having said that, $215 a month on a Premium seems very high if you are putting down $3300. I had a quote on a Premium with zero down for $318 w/ tax.
  • Nope, $215/mo was right in line. Specific were MSRP 25500, Cap 24000, 3300 down to reduce cap cost. MF of .00210, Residual 16331. Tax 6%. Calculator shows 199 plus 12 tax/mo. Without the down to reduce the cap (zero down), it would be around 300/mo. Just a personal preference - 3300 down upfront, or +100/mo for the 36 months.

    Purchase even worse. 24000 - 3300 down = 20700. 5 yrs at 3.9% puts it close to $400/mo....not worth it to me.
  • Whatever calculator you are using is wrong. 2010 Subaru Forester 2.5X Premium with 10,000 miles residual is 62% and money factor is .00210. If your cap cost (sale price) is $24,000 and you put down $3300. Net cap would be $21,295 including $595 acquisition fee. Residual is $15,810. Monthly payment would be $236 including tax. The problem is you need to negotiate more off the sale price.

    You should never put down money on a lease. Even if you think it lowers your payment by $100 it is still not a good idea. If your car is stolen or totalled in an accident a month into your lease, you are out $3300. Put that money in a savings acount and pay your $100 higher lease payment with it. It's less of a risk.
  • I just received a quote of $398/month with zero down.

    Cap cost $25,696
    Acquisition Fee $895
    9% PA Tax
    57% resid

    Should I keep shopping or is this good?
    My credit is A1. Would that affect the money factor?
  • stoopystoopy Posts: 105
    Last I heard it was 62% residual (10K, subtract 1% for 12K and 2% for 15K) and .00210 money factor. Looks like they are taking you for a ride. Acquisiton fee should be $595 not $895. The dealer can adjust any number they want and a shady dealer like the one you are dealing with will probably adjust them all. If you have over 700 FICO you should be at Tier 0 or 1 which is .00210.
  • No problem garybob. The easiest way for me to evaluate this deal would be to take a look at the selling price that it is based upon in relation to either its full MSRP or its dealer invoice price. Let me know what these numbers are and I'm sure that either myself or another knowledgeable community member will tell you what they think.

    Prices Paid: Buying & Leasing Experiences Forum
  • Here you go mezztro113. Subaru's current buy rate lease money factor and residual value for a 36 month lease of a 2010 Forester Premium with 12,000 miles per year are .00175 and 59%, respectively.

    The numbers for an otherwise identical 42 month lease are .00180 and 54%.

    Prices Paid: Buying & Leasing Experiences Forum
  • I had a couple of questions. I was wondering if I could get a current residual and money rate quote for a Forester Limited. MSRP of 27,549 and cap cost of $24,332. State of Oregon with no sales tax.

    I'm looking at leasing for 42 months with a 10k or 12k limit.

    Also, is money factor variable due to credit score? Is there anywhere I can find this info if I know my credit score?
  • Just leased a 2010 Forester Limited w/ PZEZ, Auto Dim Mirror Compass, Luggage Compartment cover, Rear bumper cover, Splash Guard Kit.

    Purchase price--$24,832

    36 month, 12k lease, $595 acquisition fee, $50 document fee, $272 DMV fees, no down payment, no sales tax (Oregon).

    Price out the door was first month payment and DMV fees.

    Total payment per month: $348.68

    Pretty pleased with this deal.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That price is amazing. It's hard to get a regular Limited under $25, much less a PZEV, which invoices $308 higher.

  • just got an internet price on an x with auto trans-
    msrp $22,190
    internet-$20,990 including dest. fee
    anyone have an idea of what a 36 month lease should cost me with 12,000 miles per year? would like to roll taxes and fees into the lease so no money down. i am in the burbs of chicago-credit score of 770
    just got my lease quote-$420 with $0 down-way too high
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Sounds high, they were advertising a $259 lease a short while ago, though I'm sure that had a big down payment.
  • Hi adamha21. Subaru's current money factor and residual value for a 42-month lease of a 2010 Forester Limited with 12,000 miles per year are .00180 and 52%, respectively. The residual value for a lease with only 10,000 miles per year is 1% higher.

    I don't believe that Chase's (that's who Subaru runs its captive lease program through) current lease program varies by credit tier. If I'm not mistaken, it uses a sort of pass / fail system where either a consumer qualifies for its lease program or they don't. However, I am not 100% positive about this.

    Prices Paid: Buying & Leasing Experiences Forum
  • Hi Car Man.

    I'm not too familiar with the current MF/Residual for a 2010 Forester XT Ltd.
    I was quoted 27,000, around 700 below invoice.
    Any Idea on what a pre-tax, monthly payment would be for 12k/36, 0 down?

    Thanks kindly. Happy Holidays!
  • Hi all,

    I am sort of confused with the lease residuals being posted here, they seem to be all over the board. Some say 59% while others are quoting 52-53%, is this due to the model Forrester each is looking at?

    I’m currently looking for the residuals and money factors for the 2010 2.5X Premium and the 2.5X Limited (10k/36month), if someone could please provide these numbers I would very much appreciate it.

    Thanks in advance,
  • raduderadude Posts: 50
    Subaru finally posted their specials for January. Looks like for a base Forester 2.5 the residual is 53% and the money factor is .00125 (if my calculations are correct). Better numbers than December.

    BTW, historically what is the best month to lease a Forester (lowest money factor and highest residual). My current lease is over at the end of March.
  • nickr1nickr1 Posts: 51
    My dealer quoted purchase price of $26,100 (have to take it with license bracket, rear bumper cover, all weather mats because they all come that way, or so he says).

    On top of that is ny sales tax $2,122, Doc fee $75, waste tire $12,50, Ins. $10, registration $180. Actual total dive off is $28,331.

    he said nothing about destination or acquisition fees, is he leaving this out by mistake or intention?

    Is it possible to get a lower price in NY because this seems extremely high to me?

    Then, if I now ask for the lease cost, 12K a year miles, 36 months, what do you think he is likely to offer?

    My guess is about $2,500 down, $400 per month for 36 months, which I think for this car is very high. But is there a way to anticipate this by calculation or can the dealer fudge the numbers any way he wants and therefore overcharge in his favor.

    By the way, why is everyone's price and lease deal all over the place? Is the primary factor in a lease deal the dealer's greed, and or the dealer's motivation to sell, therefore it's geographic and if you live in an area where these cars sell there is no good lease deal? Also, why isn't the lease deal on Subaru's site clear with down payment and all costs factored to the model and spec you want? Is that low lease price just a come on?
  • raduderadude Posts: 50
    Dealers always try to play with the numbers to get the most profit (contrary to what they may tell you). Since a lease calculation is not as transparent as a finance, a lot of customers get taken for a ride. Your best defense is to do your homework and understand how leases work. Here is a good article that will help you:

    link title

    As far as the numbers you provided - bad deal.

    First of all on a lease you do not pay tax on the whole purchase, just on the lease payment itself (though the negotiated price is really good, about 3K below MSRP). most likely the dealer is trying to convince you that you are getting a lower price than you actually are and then offsetting it by charging a bogus tax on the whole price.

    I did a quick calculation using an online lease calculator and using the numbers you provided:

    MSRP $29,100
    Negotiated Price $26,100
    MoneyFactor 0.00125 (based on current Subaru specials listed on their site)
    Residual value 52%(based on previous posts for 12K lease)
    Downpayment $2,500
    NY Tax 8%

    Monthly payment $337

    I would strongly advise against putting money down on a lease (especially as much as $2,500). If your vehicle is totaled in an accident the insurance company will pay for the loss but any money you used for down payment is lost.

    Using the same numbers as above and assuming you put 0 down, you monthly payment comes up to $416.

    Always ask the dealer for the money factor and the residual value. They should give you that information if you ask. Then using those numbers you can do your own quick calculation.

    Always look for the lowest possible money factor and the highest possible residual value.

    If that dealer doesn't bend there is always another one around the corner. Just keep shopping - you'll get a good deal.
  • nickr1nickr1 Posts: 51
    Thanks, that's very helpful.

    The down payment and tax thing is always up to the dealer on a lease, isn't? They can say "you HAVE to put this much down and there are no other options", can't they? Zero down doesn't really exist in ny does it? In, addition, you pay virtually the same amount with 0 down in the end, after 36 months it comes out to about the same, the accident "total the car worry" is a minor point I think. Not that I want to put money down, I don't, but what bothers me is dealers who insist on money down.

    So here is my question, can I insist on no money down and get it?

    With the spec and price of the car I told you I was quoted, can the lease price for 36 months if I get 0 down differ from dealer to dealer?

    If it doesn't differ then why shop around? if it does differ doesn't that mean that some dealers are rip off artists?
  • raduderadude Posts: 50
    The monthly payment will always differ from dealer to dealer. First of all it will depend on the negotiated price (always negotiate the selling price for a lease and try to get as close to invoice as possible - in you case invoice is about $25,000). Also the dealers will try to use a higher Money Factor (any extra points they use goes towards their profit). The residual is usually set by the lease company so that's a constant.

    As far as the money down - the dealer is probably insisting on it to make the monthly payment look smaller (within your 'comfort zone'). With the price you have been quoted, if they try and break that $2,500 down payment into monthly payments - it will probably be close to $490 a month - BAD DEAL.

    The lease approval is very simple. If your credit score is above a certain mark (probably above 700), you are approved and the terms are the same regardless if your score is 705 or 780. There is no requirement for you to have to put money down. So the dealer insisting in you having to put so much money down is BS. $500 is the most I would put down on a lease.

    As far as my previous post I used the MSRP for a 2.5XT Limited and I think you are looking at the 2.5X Limited. So he numbers will be a bit different but the idea is the same.

    There is a post on November 27 by adamha21. His numbers are fairly close to yours. With 0 down he got a price of $350 with no tax in Oregon. If you get anything close to his deal, with 0 down your target monthly payment should be about $380 (including NY tax). That would be a GOOD DEAL for you.
  • raduderadude Posts: 50
    One More thing. The current lease special offered by Subaru is for 42 months (that's a better deal than the 36 month lease they are offering you). In this case you target monthly payment for a 42 month lease should be around $365 with 0 down.
  • nickr1nickr1 Posts: 51
    Thanks for your help.

    Here's the offer I got: 2010 2.5X Limited Forrester, auto, no options, 36 mnth, 12K

    MSRP: $27,000
    Invoice: $25,995
    MF: .00175
    Residual: 56%
    Down: $2,000 (ny tax $1,000, Bank Fee: $595, 1st month $372, plus DMV cost
    Monthly: $372

    They are calling this zero down. But the irony is, my total to them for the first year will be $539 a month when you factor in the down payment, or $6,464 total for the year. I don't know, that sounds like a lot of money to me for this car.
  • raduderadude Posts: 50
    Now you are getting a bit closer, but you can still push it even further.

    With the numbers you provided it sounds about right. The payment comes up to $372 a month. If you break your down payment by 36 months ($55 a month) the your overall cost will be $427 a month.

    Here is what you can still work on:

    If it's a true base 2.5X Limited, it's MSRP is $25.995 and not the invoice (check subaru's website for that). You have to also add the destination charge which is roughly about $700. So a base 2.5x Limited will be listed for $26,700. It's quite possible that the vehicle you are looking at has a few extras that bring the price to $27,000. The invoice price is about $1,400 lower - so in your case about $25,600.

    If you want the best deal available for this vehicle go with the 42 month lease offered by subaru. It has a lower MF and your monthly payment, assuming you put the same $2,000 down will be $333

    Even better, you can shave another $10 a month if you negotiate the price even lower to the true invoice of $25,600 (you monthly payment will be $323). Now that starts to sound like a decent deal.

    Just keep pushing them, they should eventually give in. For the dealer is better to sell even below invoice then not sell at all (but they will not give in easily).

    Good luck, let me know how it goes.
  • nickr1nickr1 Posts: 51
    Thanks, tremendous help.
  • Hi Jason. Let's see if we can clear things up for you. Here' is the latest on Subaru's official lease program.

    Its current money factor and residual value for a 36 month lease of a 2010 Forester 2.5X Premium with 10,000 miles per year are .00175 and 59%, respectively.

    The numbers for an otherwise identical lease of a Forester 2.5X Limited are .00175 and 57%.

    Good luck and let us know if you have any other questions.

    Prices Paid: Buying & Leasing Experiences Forum
  • raduderadude Posts: 50

    Can you please confirm the current lease numbers for a 42/10,000 lease on a 2.5x Premium with auto and weather package and a base 2.5x with auto.

  • I received the following lease quotes for the 2 models mentioned in the Title:

    2010 Forester 2.5X Premium 4AT
    MSRP - $25,759
    Invoice - $24,031
    Sale Price - $23,200
    36 month lease
    15K miles per year
    $2500 down
    $299/month including tax

    2010 Forester 2.5X Limited 4AT
    MSRP - $27,893
    Invoice - $25,936
    Sale Price - $23,600
    36 month lease
    15K miles per year
    $4000 down
    $299/month including tax

    Obviously I am not going to throw down $4000 up front for all the reasons everyone mentions = RISK of losing that $ if something happens to the car. I'm not going to throw down $2500 either. I think my max is $2000 and i know that's not the best option but I want to keep the monthly payment under $300. Can anyone comment on my numbers and let me know what you think about the deal and what else I need to ask the dealer (or tell the dealer), and what else I can do to drive down the down payment to $2000 or less while keeping the monthly payment including tax under $300? I am in California. I appreciate all constructive comments!
  • raduderadude Posts: 50

    Are you sure your numbers for the second vehicle - 2010 Forester 2.5X Limited 4AT vehicle are correct? Is sale price really $23,600? With those numbers (assuming that out of the $4,000 - $1,000 covers acquisition and motor vehicles) the monthly payment comes up to about $229 (I used 8.25% sales tax).

    The first number sounds about right. That's with a MF of 0.00175 and a 57% residual.
  • radude,

    So the lease quote for the first vehicle sounds right? Or at least reasonable?

    Regarding the second vehicle - that was my mistake. Sale price should be $25,000. Also, I only want to put $2000 down max, not $4000. What do you see the monthly at with that change of sale price and down payment?

    Also, for both vehicle quotes - what should I demand, or request, with a down payment of $2000? That it includes first month and all applicable up front fees? Such as DMV fees, document fees, and acquisition fees? Might sound crazy but I want to know what is reasonable to get from the dealer.

    Thanks for your help, I definitely appreciate it. Want to lease one of these but don't want to get jerked around. I'm not omniscient when it comes to these leases.
  • raduderadude Posts: 50

    I ran the numbers for the 2.5X Limited and here is what I got:

    2010 Forester 2.5X Limited 4AT
    MSRP - $27,893
    Sale Price - $25,000
    36 month lease
    15K miles per year
    $2,000 down
    MF 0.00175
    Residual 55%
    $344/month including 8.25% tax

    Out of $2,000 that you are putting down about $1,300 will cover your fees and first month payment (unless you are returning Subaru customer, in which case the first month's payment is waived). So technically about $700 is going towards the actual lease.

    To calculate that I used last months numbers, provided in an earlier post by Car_Man. I assume the numbers stayed the same for February.

    The residual is higher (better) for the 2010 Forester 2.5X Premium 4AT and here is what we get if you put $2,000 down:

    2010 Forester 2.5X Premium 4AT
    MSRP - $25,759
    Invoice - $24,031
    Sale Price - $23,200
    36 month lease
    15K miles per year
    $2,000 down
    MF 0.00175
    Residual 57%
    $305/month including 8.25% tax

    Good luck!
  • radude - thanks for your help.
  • Need some advice regarding lease for 2010 premium. I'm new to the leasing thing, so I may not have enough data below to evaluate these offers. Would appreciate any advice. (The 'offered price' is practically same as MSRP --are they kidding? I should be able to get that down further with more negotiating.)

    Received these quotes from dealer for 2010 2.5 X Premium wi All Weather package

    2010 Forester 2.5X Premium 4AT
    MSRP - $25,560
    Price offered by dealer - $24,658
    36 month lease
    15K miles per year
    Total due at signing $1700
    Residual 14,535 (59%)

    2010 Forester 2.5X Premium 4AT
    MSRP - $25,560
    Price offered by dealer - $24,658
    36 month lease
    15K miles per year
    Total due at signing 5814
    Residual 14,535 (59%)

  • raduderadude Posts: 50

    I ran the numbers you provided above and here is what I got:

    2010 Forester 2.5X Premium 4AT
    MSRP - $25,560
    Price offered by dealer - $24,658
    36 month lease
    15K miles per year
    Total due at signing $1700
    Residual 14,535 (57%)

    Not sure what state you are in so I used 7% tax.

    As far as your seconds choice - it makes no sense to put almost $6,000 down on a lease, but if you do it - the price comes to about $230.

    I would advise going with their 42 month lease. The numbers a little better and you get a lower monthly payment.
    Just to give you an example, 2 weeks ago I leased a 2010 2.5 X Premium with All Weather package. The MSRP was $25,306. With 0 down, I got a 42 month lease 10K miles a year for $345 a month.

    If you go with 15K/year the payment will be about $355 (and that's with 0 down).
  • Radude - thanks for that review.

    Got another set of numbers from a different dealer, this time for the 42 month program. Here, it's for the base 2.5X (so it's not a real comparison to the Premium cited above.) Now they have a couple of 2.5X that they are trying to push, so even though I'd prefer the Premium, I might go with the base for the sake of saving some $$. (Too bad that a base doesn't come with tinted glass and also can't get the all weather package on it).

    2010 Forester 2.5X 4AT
    MSRP - $22,800 (according to the dealer's documents)
    Dealer invoice - $21,808 (according to the dealer's documents)
    Price offered by dealer - $21,808
    42 month lease
    12 K miles per year
    Total due at signing $3549
    258.86 1st month payment
    872.69 tax (7% --- NJ)
    389.00 (Plates and title)
    1595.00 down payment
    45.00 DMV (registration)
    389.00 Document fee (looks like a dupe of the 'plates and title' fee to me)

    Money factor is .0014
    Residual 52%
    $258.86 per month

    Would appreciate your take on this one as well.

    A couple of questions -
    Why 42?
    Any idea why is Subaru doing a 42 month program? I've got a concern about ending the lease with no base warranty. If significant repair come up after 36 months, then I have to eat that repair. Now I've heard that Foresters can put on 100K without major issues, so maybe this is not that big a deal.

    The moving target of dealer invoice
    If I pull an invoice price from other sources (like the number doesn't match what the dealer claims is their invoice. Obviously they can fake up any documents that they show to me, but is there a bona-fide way to get a dealer invoice that can hold up during negotiations?

    Once again, thanks for your expertise.

  • raduderadude Posts: 50

    I am in New Jersey too, what part of Jersey are you in (maybe I can recommend you a dealership).

    As far as the deal above - NO DEAL. Take for example the deal I got a few weeks ago for a 2010 Forester 2.5X Premium with 4AT and Weather Package (MSRP $25,306), with 0 down I am paying $345 a month. If we take the same exact conditions and add a $3,550 down payment and change it to a 12K a year lease (which decreases the residual by 1%) we get a payment of $253 a month. That is lower than what you are being offered for a base model.

    My advise, go with the Premium. You get a higher residual (so the monthly payment is not much higher) and there is a lot of value packed in those extra $3K. I was initially thinking of going with the base to save some cash, but now I'm glad I opted for the premium version.

    Also some notes on the numbers you provided in your post. You do not pay the tax upfront, it is factored into your monthly payment.

    If you are a returning Subaru customer your the first month and your acquisition fee are waived.

    The $389 document fee is probably a duplicate of the Plates and Title.

    The Subaru always has multiple leasing programs. And the numbers will vary month by month. It just happens that this month the 42 month lease has the best numbers. Also extending the lease duration is a simple way to decrease the monthly payment, making the lease more attractive to the potential buyer.

    As far as the warranty goes, I have leased 4 Subarus so far and I am yet to take one for any warranty service. Plus you will only be 6 months outside the full coverage (obviously you still have the power train warranty in place).

    The invoice discrepancy - I noticed the same thing. Different dealers produced different invoice numbers for me and they were always higher than what's reported by or The numbers are also different from dealer to dealer... they may be fake, I don't know.
  • Thanks once again. I'm in Essex County (northern NJ). Nearest dealers to me are Wayne Subaru and Lomans Subaru (Parsippany)...the sources for the deals that were in my posts. If you can recommend another dealer, that would be great.
  • jms49jms49 Posts: 4
    Of those two, I'd go with Wayne Subaru. Nice staff, and that's where I get my Forester serviced.
  • raduderadude Posts: 50

    I got a pretty good offer from Chris (Internet Sales Consultant) at Wayne Subaru. Still the best deal was offered by Julia at Lynnes Subaru in Bloomfield. If you go there, tell her that Radu recommended you and that you are looking for a similar deal.
  • Ran the gantlet at three dealers today. Waiting for a quote from Julia at Lynnes.
  • If you are going to lease for 42 months why not just buy the Forester? Subaru is offering 2.9% for 1-63 month terms. You could buy that Forester on a 60 month loan for $362 per month with $1595 down. For $103 more I would rather own it.

    Of course I don't think the sale price you are getting is really that great either. Seems like there is some room in there still.
  • raduderadude Posts: 50
    edited February 2010

    I thought the whole point of a lease vs finance is to save an additional $100 a month?
  • Well, the goal here is to set up for a relatively low monthly payment. Lease does that better than purchase. And I was able to get a better offer from two other dealers.
  • raduderadude Posts: 50
    What is the best offer you got?
  • Hi radude. Here's the information that you're looking for. Subaru's current money factor and residual value for a 42 month lease of a 2010 Forester 2.5x Premium with 10,000 miles per year are .00165 and 54%, respectively.

    The numbers for an otherwise identical lease of a base model are .00140 and 50%.

    Prices Paid: Buying & Leasing Experiences Forum
  • stoopystoopy Posts: 105
    The point is to save money on a monthly payment vs buying but also to have a shorter term than buying. What's the point of leasing for 42 months? You are 6 months out of warranty at the end and have to probably put new tires, brakes, etc.

    Might as well buy it at 60 months. After 60 months you will ovwn it and have a Subaru worth probably about $10,000 if you kept it in excellent condition.
  • raduderadude Posts: 50

    I may have to disagree with you (respectably, of course).

    First off, leasing will only make sense under certain scenarios:
    - You don't drive a lot (10k -12k miles a year - that's usually the sweet spot for a lease)
    - You like getting a brand new car every 3-4 years
    - You are on a tight budget and need to keep your monthly payment as low as possible.

    The point you made about being out of warranty for 6 months does not really work in this particular debate. When financing a car you are also out of warranty and for a much longer period. And if you really want that piece of mind that leasing offers, you can extend your bumper to bumper coverage to cover the additional 6 months - it will cost you a mere $5 a month more (I was offered this option at my last lease).

    Tires and brakes:

    On these types of car they both usually last until at least 45 - 50 K (unless you drive like a maniac). With a 42 month lease you will probably be around 35 - 42 K and should not have to replace any of those. When financing, on the other hand, you will definitely need to replace both tires and brakes (so you figure an additional $1,000 to add to the bill).

    Now let run some numbers (will take for example our previous scenario a $350 lease vs a $450 finance payment). With a saving of $100 a month after 42 months you would have saved $4,200. When financing you would keep the car for another 18 months x $450 that's an additional $8,100. Add the additional $1,000 for brakes and tires and you end up with an additional investment of $13,300 (and that is without any other maintenance you will probably have to do when out of warranty). The car will only be worth about $10,000 and that's if you sell it on your own (good luck getting that for a trade in).

    All that said, it does not mean the leasing is always better that financing the car. It depends greatly on all the factors involved. Under the right circumstances though a lease will make more sense.

    Finance will work better in the long run if you prefer to keep your cars for a while (7 - 8 years at least) and if you get a really good rate on it (preferably 0%).
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I was with you until you wrote this part:

    You are on a tight budget and need to keep your monthly payment as low as possible

    Only in the very near-term.

    For instance, I bought a 98 Forester and kept it for 9 years. So even if you're making slightly higher payments for the first 5 years, you'd have no payments at all for the next 4 years. Even after all that time, I still got $5550 for it when I sold it. Nearly 3 times the downpayment recovered 9 years later.

    At the end of the lease you'd have to come to the table with yet another down payment. You're constantly behind.

    In the long term, if your budget matters at all, the buy-and-keep strategy will win. You just have to budget a little for repairs.
This discussion has been closed.