Readers’ Matzav: Don’t Fall for the Leasing Trap


hondaDear Matzav Readers,

After reading some of the letters that some people have sent in to Matzav regarding business practices, I decided to send this letter regarding leasing companies. I don’t know if any of you have leased a new 2010 Honda Accord recently, but I just leased one about a month ago. I read an ad from a leasing company advertising the Honda Accord at an extremely low price. I contacted that leasing company and the person who answered the phone told me that including tax it will cost $179 a month. Then I contacted some other leasing companies to try to get the best deal and they were all about 10 to 15 dollars more, plus tax, but including tax they all were about the same amount.

I asked one leasing company how it could be that including tax he was only charging $179 while another leasing company was 15 dollars cheaper. He told me that sales tax in New Jersey is only 7 percent and that the other leasing company is advertising the car for 15 dollars less, but he adds the 15 dollars to the tax.

Now, I never leased a car before, but something didn’t sound right. But I saw some Honda Accord from the cheaper leasing company, and since the company is popular, I just leased from the cheaper company.

That Shabbos, I was at my wife’s sister’s house, and I heard someone in shul screaming about how this leasing company is a ganav, a sheigitz, etc. I was wondering if this guy leased a Honda Accord from the same company I did. On the way home from shul, I asked my brother-in-law, “Who is that guy who was screaming about that leasing company?” He told me that the guy owns a different leasing company, and that this is old news. “Every week he tells us that he can’t do any deals because he wants to be ehrlich, while others keep on taking all the deals.”

That was enough for me. I realized that something was actually wrong with this leasing company. When I packed up the car after Shabbos, I decided to peel off that leasing company’s sticker from my car. But that’s not my point. My point is that this leasing company is not ehrlich, and the other companies that are ehrlich can’t make a living, and they also have families with bills to pay.

The next time you lease a car, make sure that you are only paying seven percent tax and make sure that company is ehrlich.

A Fellow Yid Who Fell In


  1. Please have such conversations after Shabbos. It is just as Ossur to discuss the matter on Shabbos as it is to peel off the sticker.

    I’d love to see the bill with the alleged $15 added to the tax. This does not make sense. Perhaps some other fee is added. On a 24 month lease an additional $15 monthly would mean $360 is added in to your total cost somehow. They can’t double the tax and then have it financed. Perhaps it’s some other fee. Is your total mothly payment $179 or is it $194? Were you charged upfront fees that others don’t charge?

  2. I don’t undestand this letter at all. When you lease a car you are essentially buying the car. The bank has a whole calculation based on the sales price the seller is selling it to you for and from that the monthly payment is calculated. To that monthly payments states charge sales tax based on where the care is registered. The calculation of the selling price is a complicated calculation based on inovoice, rebates, holdbacks, dealer profit and other items. All the cheaper company may be doing is saying we’ll take less of a profit to sell the car and be able to reduce the monthly cost. Any question on ehrlichkeit can only be against the running of the leasing company office (e.g. do they pay on the boos, do cash deals etc), if that is what your problem is, I dare you to find me a leasing company that is so ehrlich, not only that, do you worry about your grocer being ehrlich? how about your plumber, electrician, handyman etc.?

  3. What are you talking about? Other companies are more, are less, are the same but with tax. I cannot follow any of what your issue actually is.

  4. I am sure that the author is trying to make a point that some car dealers are not honest. But the way he does it is just confusing.

    A piece of advice for all car buyers/leasers. Many of the people in the car business are ganovim and will rip you off for a few hundred dollars. The “brokers” are usually the worse of them all. Make sure you don’t sign anything without reading all of the papeers and do not write out a check to anyone but the finance company or bank that is involved in your loan.
    These car people will promise you all sorts of stuff – but they will not come through. Do not sign or take the car unless you have everything in it already and never, ever give these guys a “down payment” or first payment in cash or check made out directly to them (and by them I mean a broker or even the dealer – only make out checks to whoever is financing your loan). They will put it in their pocket

  5. I consider myself pretty sophisticated and could not make heads or tails out of this story. Maybe the editor dropped a paragraph or it was originally written in Yiddish and something got lost in the translation.

  6. This article is rambling and incoherent. You were at your wife’s sister’s house? Peeling stickers? Who cares??

  7. Standard Business practice, Manipulating the numbers to make it look cheaper, you should spend some more time in the coffe room BEFORE you lease.

  8. Ich hub nisht kein anung vegen vos er shraibt und ich gleib az er hut oich nisht.
    How did you pass the written part of your drivers test?

  9. Hey, everyone! I think I understand this!! This is a Purim shtik!! Sometimes it is very hard to write comedy. We are supposed to be laughing when he talks about how he spoke on Shabbos all about leasing the cars. (Nisht oif sabbos geret). We are supposed to be laughing about his wife’s sister, etc. It is supposed to sound like someone who drank a little too much. It was probably funny when he gave this speech on Purim, but in writing, it comes out like just “HUH????”

  10. As an english teacher, I agree with others that this is not written well. If he was mochel the $15 dollars, because it’s not so much money, then he’s saying it’s unfair and it’s causing another yid to lose money. Doesn’t make sense that this is the issue or that this is the amount of money involved that is causing the other yid to feel cheated.

  11. I leased a car (a Honda) yesterday probably from the same company you are talking about and the price was basically the same as the other companies I looked into. Everyone wants to blame success on some kind of lack of ehrlichkiet. It’s more like sour grapes.


  13. I had the same thing with a Toyota Camry a year ago. The guy is a gaanuv. All these comments that the writer is crazy is from that leasing company trying to cover up.

  14. I leased an accord from this company for 157 and plus tax it ended up being 179 including tax. The writer is right.

  15. I went to this leasing company because he was ten dollars a month less. I ended up leasing the car under a company name that is tax exempt. At delivery, I found the price to be ten dollars higher than what I was originally quoted. When I asked why, I was told that tax exempts require more paperwork, so the charge is higher. That is ridiculous! I’ve leased before and never heard of such a thing!

  16. To Abused Customer,

    I had a similar experience. Though this leasing company advertised a price of $15 a month (plus tax) less than all the other leasing companies, when it came down to it, the final payment was the same! How could that be? He was charging double tax! (the breakdown of how he got to the monthly payment is not included in the lease agreement.).

    At best, this is called deceptive advertising. Or even worse.

    I call some local RAV and was told this is going on for a while, he was called to the Bais Din & will not come. I was given a P’SAK & was told to go to the AG, why don’t we all get together & go,

    MATZAV can we work with you to compile a list of all of us & put a end to this?
    please advise.

  17. oineg shabbos means shopping in shul for the best money deal on leasing a car? Tell me, is this what you mean when you davened “atzabeihem kesef vezahav”?