An Anticipated Unexpected Twist

It’s a sad day in the Auto Leasing World today. I have been asked to remove lease rates off the website. In an effort to comply with the kind folks who have made it possible for us to cut some awesome deals over the last few years, I will be removing the lease rate information for most (not all) brands off my blog. This also means that I WILL NOT BE GETTING ANYMORE LEASE RATES GOING FORWARD (except for the ones I get via other sources).

It’s pretty clear that this blog has resonated at some level with certain people in the auto business and they are extremely displeased that folks like me have cut into their bottom-line. I bet someone, somewhere, put my blog on their meeting agenda. It’s both sad and flattering at the same time if you ask me. To be fair, I think we all knew this was coming. When we chip away at a business’ profit margin, you will usually get a reaction out of them (I would know, I work at a sales driven organization). It sucks for us consumers because we are being thrown back into the dark ages of auto leasing, were dealers do their best to pin us against the wall and force us to negotiate payments based on what “we can afford”, instead of what the car should “really cost”.

What does this all mean to you? It means that if you are like me and love leasing cars, we will need to work even closer to keep our lifestyle going. I will like to spend this month to figure out ways to continue our way of life. I welcome your thoughts and comments. Please post them here if you have something to share.

I thank you for the many years of support you have given me. This is not the end, just a detour.


72 thoughts on “An Anticipated Unexpected Twist

  1. How is this possible? A lease rate is not confidential material. Tell me if I am wrong, but if you call a lender, do they not give out what the rates are?

    This is a travesty.

    G- don’t give in to the MAN. FIGHT THE POWER!!!!!

    • Thanks for the feedback Chris. I agree with you. A lease rates themselves aren’t and shouldn’t be confidential. But I think there is more to this. My guess is that “my source” was put in a situation were being directly linked to a site that shares “profit generating” information to the public would put them in a legal bind should the “powers that be (captive banks)” came crashing down upon them. I guess the risks would then outweigh the rewards (referrals in this case). I get it. In my business, as an employee, if I leaked our “costs” to a 3rd party that then shared it with the masses, I’d be fired. However, there is nothing to stop word of mouth. Like you said. If you, called a dealer and obtained the rates for a 2014 M5, then shared it with this site. What’s the dealer to do? Not exactly illegal, right? We may be onto something here folks…

  2. I was gonna suggest that you post “lease feedback” every month instead of “lease rates”, you can then offer some thoughts on how good the deals seem to be for people in the given month, and we (the follower) might add our thoughts or actual experiences.

    Many of your followers are smart enough to negotiate well even without exact RV and MF.

    Let’s face it, leasing a car is still a person to person initiated transaction so if we are armed with numbers OR only armed with trends and ideas, we can soldier on.


    • Thanks soy. You bring up a good point. There is definitely more to this site that just the lease rates. Although, that is the main draw obviously. A new focus could definitely be shifted to finding ways to help facilitate that “one-to-one” negotiation by providing trends, ideas and tools. Good stuff. Please keep it coming!

  3. Lease feedback would be great. What would also be great is if we can shift the MF and residuals to a crowd-source model. G simply hosts the data and possibly vets it, but the data comes from customer’s deals or shopping around. If a few salespeople would like to contribute anonymously, let them do it, but let G vet them first.

    Data quality is an issue because there’s no “truth” as we’re used to. Variety is also an issue, I dont know how well rounded it will be. We may end up with only one manufacturer or many.

    • I actually like this idea a lot Ron. There is definitely a downside to this, but it will be more of a “community” based approach, which I like. This is a realist solution that is worth a closer look. Thanks Ron.

      • Thanks for the comments G! is a good small scale example to implement collection and display of crowd-sourced data.

        It’s a site to track upgrade statistics and probabilities for United’s frequent fliers.

        • Very cool. I’m going to dig deeper into this! Thanks again! Let me know if you have other examples.

          • Let me know if you need help deciphering the UA lingo. I fly A LOT and use diditclear all the time. The really cool part is that the database authenticates to Google, Yahoo, etc. so its safe and easy to use.

          • GasBuddy the another that I use frequently. Yelp is one too, but that one is a bit far fetched.

            One needs to consider that the sample size of this will be much smaller than the examples I provided. People simply eat out, fly, and buy gas more often than they lease cars. Crowd-sourced real estate is something that’s gaining traction and has similar volume as car leasing, you might want to look into that.

          • I definitely didn’t think of GasBuddy. That’s a great example. Yelp is a bit more mainstream, but still a great example. Thanks for the example Ron. If you know of any good application developers, please let me know.

  4. wow…this is unbelievable.

    Could you possibly start a member’s only site and charge $5-10 bucks a year???

    I don’t know anyone would NOT join or sign-up….I NEED MF’s and residuals!!!! Its almost become a hobby of mine to work up leases every month.

    This site has saved me a TON in the last couple of years…this information needs to be made public and easily accessible in one location.

    • That would be tough to do Doug. It’s not that I am unwilling to share. It’s more like my source has essentially declined to provide numbers to me to pass on to everyone. A fee for this information is not going to solve anything in this case. I’m on the same boat as you. This is a hobby of mine as well and as a matter of fact, I’m sort of in the market for another lease in the next 3 months. Talk about bad timing.

  5. They did this to Tarry on Lease Compare a couple years back. I guess the only surprise is it took them a while to catch up with you. Sucks, but there you go.

    With regard to the poster who bemoaned the loss of “public” information: While the buy rate MF is set by the finance arm (e.g. BMWFS), remember that individual dealers are allowed to mark that up on any given transaction. IIRC BMWFS allows dealers to mark up by 0.00015, so a 0.00125 buy rate can be marked up to 0.00140.

    Leasing is such a black art, that only a savvy few consumers would even realize this. So one way of looking at this is that manufacturers have painted a bulls-eye on their most knowledgeable enthusiasts.

    Thanks, G for the valuable service you’ve provided. Good luck with your future endeavors.

    • Thanks Jason. I enjoy leasing too much to simply just abandon it. I think folks have been pitching in some good ideas on how to transform this site. I’m a firm believer in innovation. Going back to the dark ages simply won’t do. Technology and innovation has changed the way people do business. I think it’s time the leasing business went through some renovation. πŸ™‚

  6. Lease feedback would be great. Users would have the ability to post their quotes by the dealerships region and location, and take the best rate to negotiate. Also, I agree with Doug perhaps a member’s fee in order to provide exclusivity.

    • I like the feedback for sure, however, the member fee thing won’t solve any problems. No broker/dealer is willing to share that information for a few bucks a month/year, specially if they can make more by keeping folks in the dark.

  7. Here is what I recommend:

    Have a Post for every manufacture on Facebook.

    We will connect with you through Facebook Business Page.

    • Thanks for the comment James. Unfortunately without information to post, it doesn’t matter if its here or on Facebook.

  8. See you all over on Edmunds Townhall-Talk forum. The same information can be found there, crowd-sourced and fresh.

    • Not sure you been there recently but it’s not the same: the “host” who provided the info for years is MIA these last months and the current mods often don’t reply or say they don’t have the mf’s, at least for some of the recent requests. Looks like the powers-that-be are coming down hard on all such providers.

      • Good point B. Here is a little known fact…I was once approached by a major automotive magazine and asked to provide them with numbers. For obvious reasons, I declined. However, one has to wonder if a major auto magazine with many partnerships can’t land this type of data, I’m sure there are some really powerful forces at play.

    • I am not sold on Edmunds being “crowd-sourced” and fresh. As you eluded, I’m all over Edmunds too. Type my URL and you’ll see my blog pop up all over the place. Take my blog out of the equation and the HOSTS will probably have their hands full. Assuming they are still active on a daily basis.

  9. Thats too bad. But your site is still a great resource, keep up the good work. Perhaps you can start a new topic every month.. For example, “Best Lease Deals for November”… So maybe you wait for users to post actual MF and residual values, but you can still get the rates behind the scenes and use them to blog about which cars have aggressive programs that month.
    The calculator is still very handy even when you do not have the specific rates.
    Thanks for being a great resource.

    • Thanks Steevo. As I think things through, I still feel that many of the “topics” will still require that I have access to numbers in order to calculate deals and such. Will be tough without that data. In any case, having everyone voice their opinion is really getting my creative juices flowing so I do have a few things up my sleeve. πŸ™‚

  10. Is Infiniti one that won’t be back on the website? I’m so close to closing on a Q50 S and just waiting in the money factor to drop a bit more.

    • Sorry PLP. Its likely only Honda and Volvo will continue. But many of the highly sought after brands will be place on hold until a new source become available.

      • Thanks for replying G. It’s a real shame what the auto industry is doing to you and its consumers, trying to keep everyone “in the dark”. I really liked and frequent this website a lot, and appreciate all the help you have given us. Hopefully int he near future you can find your way around this and keep providing this wonderful and generous service.

        • Thanks PLP. I wish I had switched over to a different model sooner though. I’d rather be proactive than reactive. But at this point, it doesn’t matter. People will lease cars well beyond my lifetime, so something needs to be in place for folks like as. The tough part is that nothing is for free, so there will be some heavy investment on my part should I pursue a new solution to keep things rolling.

  11. Jeez….I saw this post and it made me sick, G. I have always loved your site and benefited from it many times.

    This is such a disappointment. I thought your sources were the fleet dealers like Best Buy, World Wide, etc. Are these the people that forced you to take the rates down?

    If so, I am really surprised because I have been leasing all my cars from Best Buy the past few years, mainly because I saw they supported this site.

    Personally, I think the “lease feedback” will be a difficult concept to make work. Most people who are getting the really good deals will have little incentive to post. The majority of posters will be those people that are getting ripped off by the dealer and will be asking “Is this a good deal”.

    Whatever we decide I will be support, so please let me know if I can assist in any way.

    • Thanks Mark. I wouldn’t say “force”, more like “kindly” asked. I haven’t been given any details, so I can’t say what’s happening with Best Buy. I was really surprised too. Anyway, thanks for your feedback and support. There are a few ideas that have been suggested that I like so we will see where this takes us.

  12. Hey G!

    I’m very upset about this! I am in the market as well to for a new lease coming up! I’m on your site all the time too! Always providing such vital and useful information on leasing! I have one suggestion….maybe have people join you on a monthly email you send out to people on the lease rates? each month everyone has to reply to you with what manufacturers they are looking to get rates on and then at the beginning of each month you email them what they request? Then follow again with asking towards the end of that month? And continue each month like that?? Let me know your thoughts G! πŸ™‚

    • Thanks for the suggestion Andrew. I do think whatever the new method is, it needs to be self-regulated, with incentives in place so I can focus more of my time in improving the service. The email concept isn’t bad, but it may need to be a different method instead of email. Something quicker and less tedious. I like where you are going with this tho. Thanks!

      • No problem G! Maybe a private forum? invite only? Do an initial invite with people who always are on your site, then have like window periods in the future say every few months where you give current members +1 invite codes for potential future members??

        • I am considering a more private site. But that’s currently up in the air. My main worry is that by limiting users will also limit contribution from different sources. I don’t want to alienate anyone at the moment since we are trying to get things rebooted. Good suggestion though. Thanks for the feedback!

  13. This is lame. I love this site and use it to lease my cars and also help friends too. The car industry is biting the hand that feeds them. I am only comfortable leasing when I know the resisual and MF. If I am not comfortable with leasing my cars, then I will simply not do it.

    Shame on the auto business. Once again they damage their image.

    • I agree Phil. It’s a shame they would be so secretive about this stuff. They are so open about financing terms on their websites and commercials, but when it comes to leasing, it’s like a secret society. I fail to see the difference between financing a purchase and a lease because at the end of the day, they are both loans.

      • I think the dealer makes much of it’s lease $ on the back end when they can sell a CPO car for over 60% RV. Perhaps they see you as a threat to that back end profit. I personally find that short sided since I would credit the rise in CPO prices in the increased leasing market, but it’s my guess none the less.

        A THOUGHT… you may be able to get info out of sales reps since they all tell me that their livlihood comes from their used car sales, and in a way I think reducung the leasing market hurts the used market.


        • πŸ™‚ I wish I had that much clout. But I think as annoying it may be for folks like myself to be posting stuff like this, my impact probably isn’t big enough for them to go into negotiation mode with me. But yeah, the CPO market is growing and there’s a lot of profit there because of leasing. Leasing is becoming a big thing and we are all part of this growing movement.

  14. A belated thanks for your generous help in the past. In this modern age it is truly amazing that financial info for a major purchase is being withheld from consumers, Perhaps we need to start approaching our representatives to make this transparent. In the lease deals I have done in the past few deacades (probably 10 cars) I always used this data to make a ‘ fair’ offer to a dealer saving both of us time and money, Having the rates made this possible to ‘cut to the chase’. Not knowing the rates will actually make me a more aggressive shopper perhaps playing dealers against each other, etc.Otherwise how will we truly know the viability of our transaction? Overall, I think the industry has miscalculated by holding back this information.

    • I thought about the same thing. There are times were I feel that this is bigger than what we think it is and enlisting some helps wouldn’t be such a bad idea. After all, what are public servants for is not to help us, right? In my case, I use rates to get a ballpark figure as to where my payments should be. Like you said, it really helps cut to the chase. I do understand why the industry does what they do though. There’s just a lot of money to be made by sticking to the old ways.

  15. G, thanks for the years of service, I used the site on my last lease (the white passat on the wall) and entertained myself nearly endlessly seeing what it would cost to lease an advertised car. From the postings above i guess “carman” at edmunds has gone quiet recently (or is that you?) Hopefully you can find a new source or we can start sharing what we find out in our ventures to try to brighten up the darkening world of leasing.

    Thanks again,


    • Thanks Mike. Glad you managed to get a lot of use out of the site. I entertain myself with the “possibilities” on a monthly basis. Always fun to dream. To be honest, when I started the blog, I didn’t think I could afford a G37 until I actually dug into the numbers and found a way to work it out. So I think having these numbers does benefit some brands that typically feel “unattainable”.
      I haven’t ventured into Edmunds much lately since I was getting my own numbers elsewhere, so I don’t know what became of CarMan. I can safely tell you that I’m not him. πŸ™‚

  16. G,

    The writing may have been on the wall, but it’s sad to see it actually happen. Sometimes when things are too good to be true, they just are. Sucks that dealers will go back to taking advantage of uninformed shoppers that don’t have access to public information. Banks and financial institutions post their loan rates publicly, but for some reason dealers want to hide the MF and residuals.

    This site alone has helped me numerous times, and I appreciate all your years of work. With your information and online lease calculators, it allows me to get a true estimate on what I should be paying. Sometimes it can be frustrating, since dealers will sometimes markup monthly payments by $50-$100!

    Whichever path you choose, I will still be checking this site regularly and I hope you can come to an agreement with your sources. Good luck to you and this site.

    • Thanks Robby. Dealers have very little control on the MF. They can either give you the base rate or pad it. Its tough to shop a lease rate around to because not a lot of banks deal with leases. The same isn’t the case with a straight finance. Hiding the MF makes sense because I have actually declined leasing certain cars because their MF was just way too high. Dealers presented with really high MF are pretty help less in trying to make that sale. That happened to me when I was looking at the Nissan Pathfinder last Dec.
      In any case, I appreciate your continuous support. I will continue finding ways to keep going regardless.

  17. Echoing everyone else, this has been a great source for negotiating leases. Should this data not come back, there are a few options to at least ballpark a fair lease. For example, Acura posts it’s sale price, capital cost, and residual values for its lease “deals”. Can definitely back into a close MF from that data. Another option is to call the internet sales departments, and ask. If they don’t provide it, hang up and call the next.

    Definitely a lot more work, but savvy consumers will still do okay.

    • Thanks for the suggestion David. To echo knight427’s comment below. I think a reverse calculator could be done for sure, but there would still be some integrity issues. I think the “crowd” approach is probably best, but I do worry about the majority of folks not wanting to pitch in to make this work. Plus data integrity will always be a concern. Still, this isn’t the end by any means, I think most of us are armed with the proper skills to navigate through leases without too much hassle, which is great.

  18. G, I realize that it would be a lot of trouble for every make and model, but in many cases the MF canbe imputed off of offers on the manufacturer site. For example:

    It tells you MSRP, acquisition fee, cash down, RV (59% in this case), number of payments, rebates, monthly payment … Seems easy to solve backwards for the MF.

    Thus proving this is not confidential, just requires some finance knowledge to discover.

    • I thought about doing that right about the time I discovered RWG. But I see a possible solution here. RWG can set up a backwards calculator so users can easily compute the MF from advertised lease deals. Ideally you would be able to submit your calculation and the data would flow to a database so other users wouldn’t have to compute what you did.

      Data integrity would be the main problem, especially from novice users.

      I also just want to thank G for all his hard work. I have not leased yet, I just got really interested in the possibilities once I was empowered with information. If the deals end up being successful in re-instituting the “dark ages” I just won’t ever bother leasing and will probably stick to buying gently used vehicles.

      • Thanks for the suggestion knight. It’s been great having you helping out the community while my little one has been taking up all my time. I think I will try this as well as other suggestions the other members suggested. In retrospect, the current model was not sustainable anyway. I was looking to change things up, but things happened a tad sooner than I expected. Regardless, good suggestion. I hope you stick around. πŸ™‚

    • Agreed. This type of data isn’t confidential at all. We don’t sign a non-disclosure agreement when we call dealers and ask for lease rates, right? There are many ways for dealerships to make a buck and making things as confusing as possible is a sure-fire way to make that extra “buck”. I’m definitely think you and knight427’s suggestion is worth pursuing. Thanks for the feedback.

  19. That is a bummer that you had to take the rates down. The BMW dealer I deal with is always kind enough to share the rates with me openly along with invoice pricing. Going forward we jsut need to share info between each other on a private forum sectiont hat you can possibly create that requires logina dn have a disclaimer put in to make sure that you are nto ont he hook anymore.

    • Thanks for the suggestion Frank. I took down the last 3 months more so because I didn’t want the brokers to get into any sort of legal problem. They willing shared that information with me. Its not like I stole anything or did anything illegal to obtain it. I think what you suggest can be achieved. I will be revamping the site in the coming months and figure out a way to hold us over until I have a more advanced/permanent solution in place. I’m going to be shopping for a new ride come Nov/Dec so I will also be making some inquiries. Should have some data to share for sure.

  20. Wow this is crazy like everything else they always try to make thing more difficult G please keep us informed if you decide to make a private forum to discuss deals to help us stay informed I was getting excited for my next lease to get a good deal but now it’s going to be more difficult without some of your guidance. Again I’m up to sign up for a membership this site has open my eyes to so many things I never knew before about leasing if there anything we could do G let is know -___-

    • thanks for the support Julio. You guys have been great. Really thankful that everyone’s enjoy the site all these years. Not going down without a fight, that’s for sure! πŸ™‚

  21. Hi G – Never actually commented on the blog, but this blog was responsible for helping 4 people (myself included) get great deals on their respective cars. It’s a sad day indeed. I wonder if it could be advantageous to have some volume auto dealers directly sponsor the blog. Most of those guys will be willing to not only sell at invoice (or possibly below) and be transparent with the numbers because they base their income off of mfr kick backs and need to hit volume for their business model to work.

    For those who don’t know, often car dealerships have “step stone” programs (that are NOT public, or even listed on edmunds as dealer cash) from the mfr in which if a dealership sells 50 bmws this month they get $xxxx bonus per car, if they sell 100 bmws this month they get $xxxx+ more per car for example. That’s how many dealers can sell cars below invoice and not take a bath. Believe me, it ain’t dealer holdback and backend sales (extended warranty etc) completely propping up dealer profit.

    • Thanks for the feedback Paul. Really happy to hear you get a lot out of the site all this time. I think you may be onto something with these volume dealers. I find that posting referral information like I did for sponsor was probably not something I should have done. Although under the circumstances, that’s actually what they wanted (the referral and exposure). It seems to have come back to bite them in the butt and has adversely impacted our ability to get numbers. Probably not going to do that again if I get a dealer to agree to share some numbers.

  22. Just a though….how does trueCar get dealers and manufacturers to participate with them?…perhaps the same concept can be applyed here?

    • TrueCar was put under pressure by dealers (or maybe even manufacturers) over the past 5 years I’ve been following leases. They used to show dealer cost for a few years but were forced to take that off. It is still a valuable resource because it keeps analytics on how much a particular model sold for in the past month or so, but it is definitely not what it used to be. I cannot use that concept here because that would mean no lease rates for you guys. I would have to operate within their rules and that means feeding you down payment and monthly payment info at best.

  23. Something interesting about residual rates that I fell onto accidentally. My Audi came with Audi Care which is included service on the vehicle. Two different dealers quoted me different residuals, 1% apart. I knew MF could be padded, but thought residuals were consistent. Turns out the Audi Care added 1% to the residual which the dealer that I wanted to get the car from was unaware of. When they looked into it, the F&I Manager confirmed and ultimately caused my payment to be lower. Whether the dealer would have made that 1% as profit or if it was truly an oversight — I don’t know.

  24. Regarding the loss of information, truly disappointing. I came across your site during my search a couple months ago for my last lease. I could see how valuable your efforts have been to so many. I like the idea of consumers posting their MF/Residual rates from deals they received or possibly were offered (I’m hesitant on “offered” information because I’m not sure whether they could include low ball rates and hence be inaccurate. Perhaps 2 categories: 1 for actually received and 1 for offered deal with the first of course being more reliable). Good luck on your continued efforts.

    • Thanks for the feedback LF. I think that’s probably the best route. My only worry is what will drive folks to want to share. But I do like your method of MF/RES verification. Thanks for the suggestion!

    • And Infiniti?

      G, your site has been amazing and I’ve leased 3 cars using information and knowledge gained from your time and effort. Thank you and let’s find a way to keep this thing going.

      • Thanks Jon. I’ll have to see how things go. To keep things going I will need to find another source to provide info. So far, as you pointed out Honda you can pretty much find. Volvo I have Rman who provides info every so often.

  25. Only in America. Elsewhere in the world, things cost what they cost, take it or leave it, and nobody has time to waste on haggling. The U.S. is about maximizing profits, not relationships.

    With that, my current Benz lease has a clause in the contract that I cannot disclose the specifics of my deal to anyone. That could make me liable for breach of contract. Pretty lame.

    With that, I got a brand new C350, loaded, at $42k ($10k of MSRP), residual at about $34k, and a 36/mo term with an MF of .00375.

  26. G,

    I fully support what you’ve been doing over the years.
    There needs to be more transparency in the leasing world. As far as I know, you’re the only one who has been publishing this sort of information.
    We need to promote consumer awareness somehow.
    I envision a thepiratebay torrent-type monthly rate sheets being shared around the internet with anonymous sources/dealers, etc.

  27. G – you’ve provided a great and needed service. I thank you for helping me and others over the years. Hopefully, another source will become available or a community will coalesce to fill the voice.


  28. I say f them. If the stealer ships didn’t try to bankrupt u every time u lease a car there would be no need for this site. Because of this site I knew what I should pay and didn’t get screwed when I bought my car a year ago. I was looking at Infiniti g37x premium, they came out with 415$ 12k 24 mo. I knew this was too much and should have been around 350$ at most.

  29. G- Many of the manufacturer websites lists lease specials/deals, which I have backed out to come up with the residual value and money factors- using your calculator. Most of the fine print of the lease details list the calculated monthly payment, MSRP, the payoff at lease end to purchase, and the dealer contribution.

    If you were able to assign maybe 1 person to 1 manufacturer, and have them troll their assigned manufacturer’s website each month, you could possibly have a vast listing of RES and MF. And the MF on the manufacturer’s website I assume do not include the dealer mark-up (do they?).

    I would be willing to take on at least one manufacturer website per month.

    • Hi Chris. Thanks for staying positive and willing to contribute. I just might take you up on that. I will be posting an announcement soon regarding the direction I am planning to take the site in the coming months. I hope to make you and those who want to help a part of that process. Thanks!

  30. Truly a sad situation. Sorry to hear that you have had the pressure put on you. Part of me wonders how much this is actually just a scare tactic. Feels wrong, oh so wrong. I appreciate your years of work and hope that we can find a private place to share insights/MF’s/Deals – because – closing the door is not an option.

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