More Pickup Buyers Choose to Lease

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As truckmakers offer more premium trim packages and more exclusive features, new-truck customers are discovering that it's easier to find a lease option that's right for them.

The full-size pickup truck segment is typically not a hotbed for lease deals (that's usually the territory of luxury cars) because traditional truck buyers have been skeptical of nitpicky end-of-lease charges and mileage restrictions. After all, pickups are meant to be used as tools so why would you subject yourself to being penalized for using and abusing your pickup at the end of the lease?

According to Automotive News, that attitude seems to be changing a bit as more buyers gravitate to and qualify for more expensive and feature-packed pickup trucks with attractive lease deals. The problem is that truckmakers and dealerships typically make most of their money with lease deals on the back end with the sale of the vehicle after it returns off lease.

Whether this upward trend in full-size pickup-truck leasing continues will largely depend on how fast resale values climb or stabilize and how much risk manufacturers want to take with aggressive lease deals.

All we know is that according to the data charts from Automotive News, the Nissan Titan is in desperate need of the Titan XD to get to market so it can begin to address its dismal resale numbers, leasing percentages and average transaction price. image by Mark Williams



Most pickups are used as commuter vehicles, at least that's what I see everyday driving to work.
I drive a car everyday, my truck stays parked till i need it for towing the boat, or camper, or hauling wood. Thus, I will probalby never buy a new truck as I don't like the loaded up models. Vinyl seats and floor for mine please.

Looking at the Automotive News article I was really surprised that Ford has by far the highest transaction price. I would have thought with there number of fleet sales they would be lowest.
This would be a nice chart for to show on a regular basis.

People need to quit buying these trucks and then the price would come down. There is absolutely no reason for a half ton or any truck for that matter to cost 60000$. Its insane

40-70K is just too much for a truck. it'd be okay if payments were cheaper but not many people wanna buy a truck that cost as much as a house...

@dan - I watched a new Top Gear episode where they did a segment with a Raptor and a Chevy HD diesel.
It was pointed out that pickups actually represent a good deal considering the level of luxury and performance. They mentioned all you could get in Europe for the price of a mid-level trim V8 4x4 pickup was an econobox 4 dr diesel car.
Price is relative to trim level. Base level trucks can be found and purchased at a reasonable price with full bling trucks at the luxury car end of the spectrum.

Leasing is a sign of the times along with subprime loans and extremely long loan lengths. A story was covered on TTAC where it was found that out of the major cities in the USA only one was found to have residents wealthy enough to afford a traditional 20% down 48 month loan on a 32k vehicle.

Despite what politicians say, the economies of USA and Canada are still not out of t he woods. Canadian citizens have a debt/income ratio higher than that of pre-bust 2008 USA.

@NothernMN - I found those tables to be informative. PUTC should adopt a similar format. Residual value and transaction price is a valuable piece of information for buyers.

I am not surprised that the Tundra had the best residuals with Titan the poorest.

Leases are perfect for business owners and their accountants.

A lease is just like any other operating expense.
A purchase is treated like a capital expense.

The lease is nice and neat. The multi year accounting of a vehicle write off makes it less neat.

For any business that way exceeds the terms of the lease mileage the lease could be less attractive but it would still be a deductible opex item.

@RAM So, you LIKE paying taxes?


My employer pays me a monthly allowance for my truck, so I can't lease and write that off on my taxes cause my employer is paying for my truck!


I need a truck that looks good.

I found those tables to be informative. PUTC should adopt a similar format. Good looks and transaction price is a valuable piece of information for buyers.

I am not surprised that the Ram had the best transaction prices and best looks with Toyota the poorest transaction prices and poorest looks.

In reality, the guys who come on here and say they would never lease, or that leasing is dumb, or is just for broke people have NO idea how it even works.
So when the whole economy tanked back in 2008, your job was over, or in doubt; and you had a 2 year old truck which was losing value faster than they could reprint the used value guides.
Would you rather be locked into 4 to 5 more years of $600 payments OR 1 more year of $475 payments?

Or you just change your mind tomorrow on that 2 year old vehicle you are paying on. Its much easier to get out of a lease with about a year left than 4 -6 years of loan payments putting you way 'upside down" on equity.

Leasing can be good for many regular folks besides business owners

Thats because nobody can afford them anymore and we have fostered a culture where people are incapable of living within their means. So they lease an expensive shiny truck to keep up with the Joneses.

Leases are one of the most financially iresponsibe decisions you can make, especially when you can barely afford it. You are paying the car-maker for the depreciation of their asset, while you walk around on eggshells payingattention to every single ding, scratch and mile driven. Then once it has depreciated you give it back to them for essentially less than what it is actually worth because you have been paying them interest, in near pristine condition so that all they do is armor-all the seats, wax it, and sell it a few weeks later for an incredible deal to someone who was willing to wait and spend their money more wisely, and both of them pocket your money in the process.

Yeah real smart... its not surprising in the era of instant communication and Facebook and increasing levels of entitlement and narcissism that people are more and more wrapping themselves around the axle financially to have nicer things than their friends.

Do the manufacturers lose a sale when the vehicle is returned.
Just sayin

Tom#3 - a monthly allowance from a fictitious employer on a truck that is exists in ether and has the offroad abilities of a KTM EXC.

What year make and model?
What kind of rear diff is in your truck?
How does it behave in mud and snow?
How does traction/stability control work in mud/snow?
What tires are on your truck?
How many miles on your truck?

Memo to Ram:

Detroit does not care HOW you finance the purchase of a car: Cash, credit or lease. It's a transaction their dealers and bankers handle.

Unless your firm is buying hundreds of cars or trucks at a pop, to them it's all the same. They build it--you buy it.

Makes no difference. Big publicly traded global companies like GM live life 90 days at a time.

You want to make accountants at GM nervous? Tell them that the Dollar is going to be stronger against the Yen or the Euro for the next quarter or two.

End of Lease returns that aren't due for several years? That's like a decade in GM's world.

The idea of trying to manage a tax deduction for auto depreciation over multiple years on your taxes, that it's somehow better than lease financing--good luck with that.

Trying to monetize an operating expense beyond a single year makes your tax return more complex.

Nobody EVER gets an IRS audit over a lease payment for equipment. You got a receipt for that? No sweat.

Arrangements to spread depreciation on a single item like a truck or car over multiple tax returns is a red flag to Internal Revenue.

But, hey, that's what HR Block is for, right? Good luck with that.


So, just so I understand. Are you saying that financing a car you can't afford is ok, but leasing one you can't afford is irresponsible?

@Papa Jim.... No but generally a lease payment gets you more car per dollar spent so people can get a nicer car generally for the same monthly payment when leasing.

So are you telling me that it's a good idea to give someone a cash down payment and then pay them interest every month for the period of time when a vehicle loses the most value and then you just give it back to them so they can sell it and pocket the difference?

I guess that makes sense if you are constantly changing cars every few years and always have to have the newest and bestest. Most people would be better served buying what they can afford and financing as little of it as possible. My comment was to point out that people who used to just borrow 98% of the value of a car can't now because cars and especially trucks are so dang expensive. But God help me if I am caught dead in anything less than a Platinum trim level so instead of owning a lower trim model or gasp! Buying a used car that has already gone through the biggest part of its depreciation. Then I finance less and the car starts paying me back sooner.

Also @Papa Jim... I am saying neither financing a car you can't afford nor leasing is a good idea, I was pointing out that more and more people are leasing because their maximum monthly payment can no longer get them the car they want unless they put more cash down which they don't have. So they lease because it gets then that nicer car they wanted. That doesn't mean that is better though.

@Devilsadvocate Understand.

So you're saying that my dad was right. Stick the money in the bank till you can afford what you want and then buy it.

We used to say that you should only finance an asset that appreciates in value, but the housing bust showed how wrong that can be.

Since 99 percent of cars/trucks depreciate, financing vehicles would only be smart if the dollars you're paying back next year cost you less than they did this year. Or, if you'll be worth more next year than you are now.

Our government in Washington's been saying that for a long time--look how well THAT worked. Of course they don't go to jail for printing money...

RAM, if I could understand what you're trying to say I might actually agree with you, but your writing let's you down.

You also closed your mind to the discussion before listening to any other point of view. Good luck with that.

Having a closed mind is the closest thing you can have to being dead and still be sucking air.

Having an open mind doesn't make you smart, or right. But you'll sure feel like you're alive. Beats the heck out of the alternative.

I agree with lou. You can get a reasonably priced pickup these days, or you can get a super luxo truck for a pretty good price too when you consider all the luxury and capability they have now. Heated steering wheels, massaging seats, blind spot monitors, beautiful leather seats, 360 degree cameras, automatic parallel parking, twin panel moonroofs, led lighting, multiple infotainment screens, and the ability to tow huge loads. Now go price an suv with those options and compare prices.

I also agree with those that think leasing is a terrible thing to do financially speaking. I would never under any circumstances consider leasing a vehicle. Usually not good financially to get a loan to buy a vehicle either. You can save a lot money by saving up and then paying cash.

If you take your savings and pay cash you have an opportunity cost or what some people call "opportunity lost." If pay cash you automatically lose the opportunity to invest that money somewhere else. If you borrow at 2% to buy a truck, but instead you pay cash, your opportunity lost is what you could have earned by investing that money, minus the 2% interest. If you could get 12% return on your money in a mutual fund your opportunity cost would be 10%. You would be losing an opportunity to make 10% on your money. In this case the greater savings or profit would be from getting a loan to buy the truck and investing your money. Every financial decision has an opportunity cost and calculating it will tell you the right decision.

Lou BC

I have asked PUTC to invite you and me to the next off-road testing they are doing.
Just think! We can be buddies, we can hang out together.
Wouldn't that be fun?
I would LOVE to destroy one of their test trucks by off-roading it!


Investing means you pay a broker coming and going. You also pay capital gains tax on the earnings.

You make it sound simple. Investors who succeed work hard at what they do. Those who fail could fill a stadium, those who win consistently do because it's hard work and requires know how.

the study and hard work required to win at investing is a cost, pure and simple. Like paying dues.

Good luck with that.

@Trent, Big Al

I am in favor of people having the freedom to screw up. If that means my truck or house is seized or forfeited due to late payments, so be it. I'd rather have the freedom to make that choice for myself and my family.

If in my judgment getting a new F150 on a 72 month loan is the right path, that's my decision. I'll accept the lumps if it doesn't work out.

Same with something like guns. You have more to fear from some politician or judge who wants to steal your freedom than you do some schmuck who keeps a pistol under the pillow in case of burglars.

Re: automakers and decline. The US dollar has recently gained ground to such an extent (temporarily) that Detroit will have a hard time selling product abroad. Australia went through a similar issue and their carmakers are now gone.

I don't predict that to happen here soon, but eventually the US will cease to be a world leader in automaking.

Turkey, Brazil, Mexico, Thailand, Korea, China will eventually eclipse the US and Europe in this kind of mfg.

Papa Jim, Relax. At 15% for most people (20% for top tax bracketeers), the capital gains taxes are still much lower than regular income taxes. And there are worse things than having to pay taxes/fees because you made money.

Me personally I would take a low interest loan on the truck and throw a big chunk of that $40k into a variety of activities that make money all day long. A car loan is cheap money. I know only like paying cash is appealing to some people, you have that choice. It's a great choice if that's all you have to do with your money. But I like staying fully invested and getting ahead in the end more.


I like your thinking. I was thinking about buying my next truck with cash. But I think I'm going to do a hybrid approach, a fair down payment, X plan, all incentives, a low int loan, and reinvest the rest buying and selling at auctions instead of using the entire cash payment to buy the truck. I can double my money buying and selling so if I had $30,000 to either pay full cash for the truck or invest, it doesn't make sense to sink all of that cash into the truck.

Like paying taxes?

Leases are not the only way to get a write off on taxes. If you have a business, a Section 179 expense fully writes off the truck in the first year. Applies to trucks with with 6' bed or longer. This is one of the reasons I recommend long beds.

The new way to buy your new over priced pickup. If it was not for leases auto and truck sales would be considerably lower.


ad the 15 percent cap gains tax to the other costs associated with investing, plus the risk of loss--which in the case of most equity investment can exceed 100 percent of the original principle.

This doesn't sound like something you've done before.

There are many that say borrow to pay for car and invest the cash you have..........

how many people buying vehicles on payments (lease or loan) that actually has the cash up front?

Not many and if you do have the cash then you aren't the majority.

I've already stated that only one major city in the USA had the populace that could afford a traditional 20% down 48 moth payment schedule on a 32k vehicle.

Do what ever floats your boat but you can't get out of a hole by digging deeper - the deeper you go the hotter it gets.

@Lou_BC truer word are rarely spoken. A very wealthy friend of mine once said "all these people you see driving around in Range Rovers or whatever the newest model of this or the other thing, shopping trips, vacations etc... If you asked them for $1000 and you needed it tomorrow, 90% of them couldn't give it to you because they are hocked up to their eyes in debt and can't spare the cash"

In that culture leasing just gets a little bit nicer car for the monthly payment.

I'll keep buying 2-3 year old lease returns and let these chumps finance the biggest part of the depreciation for me. Then at least if you finance the car it is less likely to be losing value faster than you can pay off the principle.

I think a problem with purchasing a new vehicle is the instruments that are being devised to move vehicles off the lots.

Like I stated if you can't pay down and own a vehicle within 4 years you are spending too much.

Many people struggle to come up with a few hundred additional dollars a month to pay down a vehicle.

I do see the future of the auto industry slowing down, not because of economic reasons, but people have been over extending themselves.

This is where regulatory controls should force financial institutions to generate sustainable debt.

As papajim stated he wants freedom to do as he wishes. What happens when someone goes bankrupt? Where does the money come from to offset the bad and unpayed debt? It comes from others. The "others" are the ones who lose freedom to pay for someone else. Selfish. So why should others pay for someone's freedom?

This is a selfish approach to freedom. People should be held accountable as well as the financiers of debt.

I see both sides of this argument. If you drive a lot leasing is not worth it with the mileage penalties. On the other hand if you don't drive much and want a new vehicle every few years then leasing might be a better deal than buying and taking a beating when it comes time to trade. Ideally it is better to hold on to your vehicle a long time and not have a payment especially if you get the full useful life out of your vehicle and don't care about the residual value. If you don't want to mess with getting rid of an old vehicle and want something new then maybe leasing is for you. Leasing is a way of getting someone in a more expensive vehicle than and it is easier to sell a vehicle that is more expensive especially if the leasing payments are within that person's income. Is this an ideal situation? Maybe not because it is a way to sell more expensive vehicles without having to aggressively discount them. I can't blame the manufacturers and the dealers for promoting leasing because it moves product, but buyer beware know what you are getting into and don't be upset when you pay for the depreciation because you are getting a new vehicle without owning it. For some leasing is a perfect option, again it depends on how much mileage you put on a vehicle and how long you plan to keep it.


Did you actually read my comments? They hold up just fine.

I don't care if you finance, pay cash or lease--the best way to save on a new truck is to make sure your salesman really needs that deal today, or this weekend.

Better yet, make sure the Sales Manager really needs that deal. Sometimes a dealer's sales team only needs an extra $20k this week to get over the hump; or the vehicle you love has been on the lot for eight weeks.

They will deal, because there is a TON of markup on new pickup trucks; and there is a ton of profit on late model used trucks.

Forget negotiating.

You need to KNOW exactly what the dealer paid for the vehicle or you're playing the game on HIS terms.

It's not easy to get that info, but if you do it puts you in the driver's seat. If you know they paid exactly 40k for a truck and you offer 39,000 there are times during the month when they'll take the 39 just to get over the hump.

Just make sure their F&I man doesn't find a slick way to get that thousand back from you during the close.

@Big Al--I think Ford is going to come up with some aggressive leases on the F-150s. Much better for Ford to lease vehicles than to offer substantial discounts especially since many look at monthly payments and not what the vehicle is actually going to cost. The leasing will also give the dealers late model trucks to sell at a substantial profit and new leases for those at the end of the lease. I agree that it is not the best decision to lease but I do see that it is an alternative for those that want a new vehicle every couple of years. I agree that leasing and low interest loans have helped keep the sales of new vehicles higher than they might otherwise be and people have overextended themselves and many live paycheck to paycheck overextended on credit. I do think there is a limit to how many expensive vehicles people can buy if there are not as many good jobs paying a decent wage.

I'd never lease anything,why?
bc at the end of your lease you have NOTHING..

While I may have older vehicle,since I take care of it,it's always in good shape..and I don't care how much it's worth bc I plan to keep it forever..get lower insurance then too!!
I don't need new vehicle to impress anyone Its only idiots brainwashed by the media need this..
Paid 23K cash for my 08 Silverado mostly bc I needed tax deduction,,and in all these years it had no problems whatsoever,
These new Chevys are just that good!
if something needed fixing it's always cheaper then paying for new truck!

Ever look at the price of a new truck? Most trucks I see on the roads are 4x4, extended/ double cab trucks that are loaded with a lot of options. Leasing could allow nice expensive trucks like that drive home to houses that cost as much or less.

To each their own is my rule, but I put 160k on a $7000.00 Silverado 5.3 I bought used 8 years ago with just a few repair parts and general maintenance. The same truck configured to a 2015 model would cost me around $28-30k, and that is a 2wd model like I have now. My truck currently has 256k on it so I could look into something newer....but I don't want to. I like my truck, almost no rust, runs fine and was paid for 8 years ago. I can't imagine paying $4-500 or more a month to basically drive a newer version of the same thing.

Leasing a brand new loaded truck for less would sound better on paper, and be cheaper, but again I like my current ride. I can see why people lease trucks instead of own them.

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