The Acquisition Fee

Just closely look at your lease contract and you will see a special line item called ‘Acquisition Fee.’ It is charged by the bank for covering the cost of initiating the car lease.

In most cases, the leasing company makes the Acquisition Fee available to the dealer with a markup. So, if it is a $795 fee mentioned in the leasing contract, it only represents $395 of the cost applied from the bank. The remaining $400 is applied by the dealer as profit.

A dealer will always prefer not to discuss the Acquisition Fee at all. To protect yourself, ask what the bank’s Acquisition Fee is along with the markup on that fee. This will give a leverage to negotiate the final price of the lease.

In most cases, the Acquisition Fee is added to the CAP cost and you will see it as ‘Gross Capitalized Cost’ in your lease contract. This amount includes the cost of the vehicle with Acquisition Fee added. However, it is not always itemized since it is a hidden fee. Some leasing companies ask their customers to pay Acquisition Fee in cash up front and in that case, the fee is itemized in the lease contract.

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