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Hey all,

New to the thread, looking to get back into the Ram game with a leftover 2015 1500 bighorn. Anybody recently lease one? Looking for some ammo before I head in and deal with the scammers! Months, miles, payments, money down? Any info is good info!

THANKS IN ADVANCE!!!
 

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Hey all,

New to the thread, looking to get back into the Ram game with a leftover 2015 1500 bighorn. Anybody recently lease one? Looking for some ammo before I head in and deal with the scammers! Months, miles, payments, money down? Any info is good info!

THANKS IN ADVANCE!!!
I've done six truck leases since 1997, all F150's until this year. I feel I know my way around this particular block...

I did a lease back in the first week of July. I wanted a V6, not the hemi, not the diesel, and I wanted either Granite or Max. Steel Metallic. I also wanted Luxury Group, Comfort Group, Remote start, and back-up camera.

This was the starting point. I went to three dealers. Dealers were at $389/mo., $384/mo., and $429/mo. for trucks with the equipment I needed. The tough part was finding a V6 in those two colors I wanted.

They always, always ask you to name a price. Always name a lowball price. This becomes your flag planted in their showroom floor that they will attempt to conquer. I said $339 a month (trying to keep a straight face). They came back at $379 and $369.

"But I have two months left on my F150 lease."
"We'll make the last two payments for you."
"I don't know. I need to shop around."

At this point they don't take you seriously and they let you go without a fight. I always say something like "I WILL be leasing a new truck before my current lease ends. I am a serious customer." Time is your friend. Use it. Don't call them back, wait for them to call you back. They will typically say they found another vehicle that meets your criteria, and would you like to come in and see/drive/learn about it? Once you agree they figure they own you. Don't let them.

When you go back in say something like, "I really want to do a deal TODAY." The magic words, 'deal' and 'today' have been uttered. Then your strategy is to keep on bringing up objections as to why you don't want to do their deal while they keep throwing more perks at you.

Here's what I ended up with:

2015 Ram Bighorn 1500
V6 Pentastar/8 speed trans
Premium cloth buckets with full-length floor console
Luxury Group
Comfort Group
Remote Start and Security Group
Anti spin differential
Chrome Body Side molding
UConnect 8.4A
9 Amplified Speaker System with Sub Woofer (the Alpine system)
ParkView rear back-up camera
Spray in bedliner

The total sticker came to $45,200. I got the bedliner, audio system, body molding and anti-spin differential that wasn't on my "must have" list.

36 months, 10,000 miles per year
Minimum down which was taxes and license, came to $1,036.00
They make my last two payments on my F150.
They make my first payment on the Ram.
They throw in chrome step bars. (This was the last thing--"Hey throw in the step bars and you've got a deal.")
They throw in five free oil changes.
There is no security deposit.
There is no lease termination fee.
They add on as many miles to the odometer on the paperwork to bring it to the maximum allowed by the leasing company. In my case they brought it up from 269 miles to 494 miles. So 225 "free" miles. (Truck was from out of state.)

$365/month.

They cut me a check for $800 to cover the last two months of my F150 lease. I thought they would pay Ford Credit but they paid me.

[My F150 was $397/month. I priced out new F150's with the twin turbo V6 and the aluminum body and the best I could do was $530/month.]

Hints and Tips
1. Never, never put any money down. That is, don't pay down the capitalized cost of the vehicle. Why should you pay $2,400 down and then pay $300 a month for 24 months when you can put $0 down and then pay $400 month for 24 months? Keep that $2,400. By the end of the lease the overall amount of money in the deal is the same but you didn't have to fork over $2,400 up front.

Now, you may have a used vehicle you could trade in on the lease to lower the capitalized cost and thus lower your monthly payment. Usually the dealer will not give you a fair price on your trade in, but sometimes it's worth it to avoid the hassle of selling your vehicle by yourself.

2. Never, never do a lease longer than 36 months. I say this because most vehicles bumper-to-bumper warranty run out after 36 months. If you do a 39 month or 42 month lease you will be liable for repairs if anything happens to the vehicle past 36 months. Dealers like to do 39 and 42 month leases because it lowers your monthly payment.

3. Use the deals they advertise in the paper and online as a rough starting point. Never go in there and do a deal with the published terms. Never. Use the down payment amount they are asking for in the ads and divide it out into the lease term to get the $0 out of pocket amount. (Following the advice in #1, above.) Example: Ad says 36 month lease, $2,999 down, $329/month. Well, that's $2,999/36 or $83.30 more per month with no down payment. So, $412.30 per month. Think of this as the number that is higher than any number you will ever pay. I got to the point where I had memorized these amounts. For this deal I would probably have my opening offer be $350 a month, nothing down.

4. If you are currently leasing ask them to make the final payment(s) on your current lease. For my Ram lease I didn't think they would do this because I was leasing a Ford, but they did it (and paid me directly). In the biz this is called "pull ahead programs", and typically they will go a maximum of 3 payments to "pull you ahead" to their vehicle.

5. Always frame the deal in dollars per month. "But I don't really want the spray-in bedliner or the 9 speaker premium sound system. That's $775 which translates to $21.52 a month more. I suppose I could live that truck if I got that equipment thrown into the deal at my (lower) price."

6. Time your shopping so you will be ready to sign lease papers at the very end of the month. Two reasons--the dealer wants to book a deal in the current month, they have incentives and bonus programs so they might bend a bit more on price, but more importantly if you wait until the end you can say, "I don't know. The lease programs might change tomorrow. If they change and get better I'd want to do a deal tomorrow. If they change and get worse I should have done the deal today. How about getting the papers drawn up but leaving the date blank. I'll come in tomorrow and decide if I want this month's deal or next month's deal. After the new programs come out we can fill in date that works best for me." I've done this in several of my leases. They might want you to put something down to assure you will come in tomorrow. "OK, here's a check for $25. When I come in tomorrow and fill in the desired date on the paperwork we'll rip up this check. If I don't come in tomorrow and do the deal you can cash the check."

6a. Make sure you ask about all rebates and incentives on the vehicle you are looking at. These rebates and incentives will be deducted from the "cost" of the vehicle, thus lowering your monthly payment.

7. Do not pay a security deposit. Typically $300 for the life of the lease. Unless you have young kids and/or are rough on your vehicle that's throwing money away. Again, $300/36 months is $8.33/month saved.

8. Do not pay a lease termination fee. I don't mean the fee you would pay if terminated the lease early, I mean the fee they sneak into the contract where they get $300 when you turn in the vehicle. Just because.

9. Stick to your guns. If you say, "My budget is $375 a month", stick with it. Don't let new truck fever get a hold of you. Resist that devil. Remember #5 but in reverse--Salesman says he can do the deal at $389/month, that's only $14 more." No, it's $504 more (over 36 months.)

10. Use one of their sales tactics on them. "Oh yeah, one more thing. I'd do the deal if you throw in some step bars and some free oil changes."

11. Have them add on a couple hundred miles on the paperwork. So even though you are getting the vehicle with say, 11 miles on it, have them put down 356 miles or somesuch. It's free miles a small insurance policy against going over the mileage limit.

12. Learn the jargon.
Residual Value -- The residual value is a percentage of the sticker price. Say a vehicle has a sticker of $40,000 and a buyout price at lease end of $25,000. That is a residual of 62.5%. Monthly programs key in on the residual.

"Pull ahead lease"--when the dealer will pay off the remaining payments on your lease to get you into their vehicle TODAY. These payments can be offered through Ram or through the dealer. Either way, they don't directly affect your monthly payment, but it is definitely money you will keep in your pocket.

"Do a deal" -- salesperson's favorite words.

Wow, this got kind of long. Hope it helps.
 

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Great info PowrRam.

17k off 2015 Big Horns in Minnesota. Heck of a deal.
There is a dealer here in Minneapolis that is very aggressive with Ram truck pricing. I won't say the dealer's name but "King of Ram" is a clue. Actually, the adjusted capitalized cost was $33,000, so it wasn't $17K off.

In order to find a V6 in my colors all three dealers located the exact same one, same VIN, from a dealer in Wisconsin. So I was directly comparing the same vehicle across three dealerships. In fact, the dealer that was at $429/month was the last one I went to, sort of a final check to see if I was getting a good deal, and when I looked shocked at their price they wanted to know why. When I showed them my offer sheet from the other dealer with vehicle with same VIN they couldn't believe it.

[I should have put "Obtain copies of the window sticker showing VIN in my write up". Most dealers websites have a link you can click that will show you the sticker price which lists the VIN. Or conversely, if you know the VIN you can see the sticker price.]
 

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Amazing PowerRam!

Thanks so much for the info!
You're welcome. If you've never leased it can be a bit intimidating. I didn't really feel comfortable until my third go-around. Remember these people do this every day. We only get to do it once every two or three years. I've also negotiated two leases for my wife's vehicles.

The last one I was so tired of shopping I called a dealer in St. Paul, asked for the sales manager, made sure he was the sales manager, then said, "I'm looking at stock #XXXXX and I'll come over there today and do a deal for $270 a month (which was $29/month less than anyone else) if I can get this, and this, and this, etc. I guess he figured I knew what I was talking about and was serious. He said "OK".
 

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That is some great info, thanks PowrRam! I have never leased as I do not understand it and was always worried about them charging you for damage (dings and scratches, I didn't know how anal they would be) and if you had to have all your maint. done at the dealership or could you do oil changes yourself for example as long as you kept the receipts?

So if a truck had a sticker of $51k but they would sale it for $43k out the door, would out the door price be the same as the capitalized cost?

Thanks again for letting us pick your brain.
 

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Fantastic post PowrRam :smileup:

One thing nice about a lease is you have options instead of obligations !
 

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That is some great info, thanks PowrRam! I have never leased as I do not understand it and was always worried about them charging you for damage (dings and scratches, I didn't know how anal they would be) and if you had to have all your maint. done at the dealership or could you do oil changes yourself for example as long as you kept the receipts?
As far as damage goes, if a ding or a nick in the paint can fit inside an area approximately the size of a half-dollar they don't bill you for it. They send you a hard plastic card with wear guides on it. (I've attached an image of Ally's "Wear Square".)

You can do all your own maintenance, just follow their schedule and keep all your receipts.

When your lease is ending you phone the leasing company and they send out an independent inspector to look over your vehicle. They look for paint dings and scratches, worn tires, upholstery tears, etc. They take photos and write up a report. I've never had anything charged to me at the end of a lease so that's why I recommend to look for and REMOVE any security deposit in your lease contract. Also, when you are signing the papers they try to up sell you on a protection plan. I always decline that.



So if a truck had a sticker of $51k but they would sale it for $43k out the door, would out the door price be the same as the capitalized cost?
Good question. It sort of works that way. The gross capitalized cost is something that you never really know because it's figured backwards from your monthly payment and dealer incentives, factory rebates, trade-ins, cash down, etc. and the residual percent. Since you negotiate a monthly payment they fiddle with the numbers to make it "work out" so they calculate the gross capitalized cost. On the contract it says "Gross Capitalized Cost" is the agreed upon value of the vehicle, but we never actually agreed on a value of the vehicle, just the value of 36 monthly payments. In your example, you could say the gross capitalized cost is the sale price of the vehicle BUT who goes into a dealer and says, "I see you've got that $51,000 Ram 1500 on sale for $43,000. I'll take it." No, you always negotiate.


Thanks again for letting us pick your brain.
No problem. Just trying to help.
 

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I should add a couple of things.

If you do a 36 month lease when you turn in the vehicle you might get charged for excessive wear and tear on tire tread depth (Hemi owners, I'm looking at you!). If you do a 24 month lease you probably won't wear out the tires. But this is just another negotiating point. Tell the dealer when working on your next leased vehicle, "I think I'm going to get nicked for excessive tire wear with my current lease vehicle, can you make an adjustment on price for this?" They usually have someone inspect your tires and then tell you yes or no.

I do 36 month leases because 24 months go by fast. Even though you put nothing down you still might need to pay license and taxes up front. So you're looking at $800 to $1000 out of pocket every 24 months. I'd rather pay $1,000 out of pocket every 36 months.

The best lease is what they call a "True Zero Down" lease (also sometimes called "sign and drive"). That means dealer pays your vehicle's taxes and license and first month's payment. NOTHING comes out of your pocket. You will see a lot of imports have "true zero down" leases. If you can do true zero down 36 month lease and then in 33 months do a 3 month pull ahead lease with true zero down you could be driving a new vehicle every 33 months for only the negotiated monthly payment amount.

With a 24 month lease you typically have to pay for four oil changes, four tire rotations, and a set of wiper blades.
 

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Great info, thanks again. The to buy example was where I was currently at with the dealer as I was thinking about financing instead of leasing. I was just curious as to how it translates. I guess the key with leasing is the monthly payment.

I have an 08 Hemi right now still on it's original tires and only 35k on the odometer so I think I will be ok eating tires. :) I did have fun playing a bit when I first got it though, but that pedal sucks down some gas. My main concern was normal wear and tear and how they factored that in. You have put my mind at ease.

I will consider a lease for sure now as there should be a lot of changes coming in the next 3 years. The true zero down/sign and drive sounds like the way to go if leasing. Man all this knowledge, can you just negotiate w/ the dealer for me and I will pay you a percentage? haha :) The only part I hate about a new truck is dealing with the sales reps.
 

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Great info, thanks again. The to buy example was where I was currently at with the dealer as I was thinking about financing instead of leasing. I was just curious as to how it translates. I guess the key with leasing is the monthly payment.

I have an 08 Hemi right now still on it's original tires and only 35k on the odometer so I think I will be ok eating tires. :) I did have fun playing a bit when I first got it though, but that pedal sucks down some gas. My main concern was normal wear and tear and how they factored that in. You have put my mind at ease.

I will consider a lease for sure now as there should be a lot of changes coming in the next 3 years. The true zero down/sign and drive sounds like the way to go if leasing. Man all this knowledge, can you just negotiate w/ the dealer for me and I will pay you a percentage? haha :) The only part I hate about a new truck is dealing with the sales reps.
I only deal with the internet salesman or the contact from the credit union. No hard sell and less runaround. These guys know repeat business is good. The finance guy is the one to be careful with.
 

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I will consider a lease for sure now as there should be a lot of changes coming in the next 3 years. The true zero down/sign and drive sounds like the way to go if leasing. Man all this knowledge, can you just negotiate w/ the dealer for me and I will pay you a percentage? haha :) The only part I hate about a new truck is dealing with the sales reps.
Leasing is definitely the way to keep up with technological changes. However, your '08 has only 35K miles. Even a 10,000 mile per year lease would be too much for you. If you lease you want to get as close as you can to the allotted miles, without going over. After all that's basically what you are doing--buying miles. Well, buying depreciation, which is measured in miles.

I've done leases where I had a lot of unused miles left over, which really sucks, I seriously considered buying the vehicle at lease end and then selling it because a three year old truck with 30,000 miles on it is a low mileage vehicle. I wonder if you could get a 8,000 mile per year lease?

I used to hate doing the negotiating but now I enjoy it. It's kind of a game for me. One of the fun things I do is to see how far into the process the salesperson will get until they launch their qualifying question, "So if I can get you a price you're happy with can we do a deal today?" You will always hear this. Always. Your answer should be, "Maybe" or "we'll see". Or the open-ended version, "Where do I have to be on price to get you to drive home that truck today?" Your answer should be, "I can't just lease a truck from the first dealer I visit. I have to shop around. But I WILL be leasing a truck very soon." Your task as a customer is to give them objections to the sale that they can't overcome. Sales is all about overcoming the customer's objections, usually by lowering the price. "I need to shop around at another dealer" is an iron clad excuse, no way for them to respond to it. Besides you really do need more data, more information on pricing.

Another thing I like to have fun with is looking for the "assumption close" question--"Do you want that truck in True Blue Pearl or Maximum Steel Metallic?" Their idea is to get you to look past the sale and visualize the truck in your mind as if it was already yours. If you answer "True Blue Pearl" the salesperson knows he's got you on the line and just needs to set the hook. Your answer should be, "I don't know" or "I don't know, Granite Crystal is also nice." A variation on this is, "Why don't you take it for a test drive, take it home, show the wife and see what she says?" But the ultimate is, "Take it home overnight. Get to know the vehicle." Wow, talk about a visualization cue--it's staying in your garage overnight! If you do that their goal is to get you to feel guilty for daring to return it.

You do want to get a feel for the deal so you want to leave the dealership with some sort of price quotation. Eventually, you're going to have to name a price. Whatever you do, start out ridiculously low. Say the published price is $2,999 down, $329/month, 36 months, 10,000 miles/year. Remove the $2,999 from the equation by dividing it by 36 months. That's $83.30 more per month with no down payment or $412.30 per month. Now take 20% off of this amount. You will say "I don't want to pay anything down so how about nothing down and $340 a month?" I think you know the drill from here, "Let me run that past my boss." Of course they won't go for your offer, but --important-- ask them for a quote sheet. They should give you a dated one on their letterhead. Be very, very suspicious of sales reps that will write a price and terms down on a plain piece of paper.

Well, I've rambled on again....
 

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Your posts are the best. Very informative and a good read. I've been working with various dealers since the beginning of the month. I basically said "I'm looking for a great deal, here are the options I am looking for, what it your best OTD price?" I didn't mention color or trim level, just the bare items I wanted that would qualify as an upgrade from my current truck. I don't have to buy now, I just wanted to see what was out there. If I came across a deal I could not pass up, I would buy.

The leasing option puts a new spin on things as you said, you can keep the payments low and have a new truck every three years. You are right about my low mileage, that is one reason why I also shy away from leases and just buy in the past.

Again, thanks so much! I'm sure your posts will help a lot of members. And to the OP, thanks for starting this thread. :)
 

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Just read over this thread -- wow, there are some great tips in here.

I'm on the verge of starting this leasing process, but will also require me to trade in my vehicle. I am thinking that it might be wise for me to wait until the end to tell them my private party sell deal fell thru and I will need to trade it in, and at least work it to a KBB trade in value.
 

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Just read over this thread -- wow, there are some great tips in here.

I'm on the verge of starting this leasing process, but will also require me to trade in my vehicle. I am thinking that it might be wise for me to wait until the end to tell them my private party sell deal fell thru and I will need to trade it in, and at least work it to a KBB trade in value.
Yes, it's better to keep any trade-in out of the negotiations. You can work the best deal without the trade and then say, "OK, supposing I were to trade in my current vehicle? What's my monthly payment now?" Since you already have a number that doesn't include your trade anything after that is just a math problem of reducing the monthly payment by the agreed upon trade in value divided by the number of months in the lease.

There's an awesome opportunity coming up at the end of December. Christmas is on a Friday this year, so dealers will be open Sat. the 26th. Nobody will want to be working that day, plus it's end of the month time, also end of the year time, when sales goals are trying to be met. If you walk into the dealer early that Saturday morning and at some point you answer yes to their mandatory qualifying question, i.e., "If we can agree on a number, would you like to take this truck home today?" you will have an advantage since they will be eager to make a deal and you have five days until the end of the month to haggle.
 
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