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I'm looking to lease a 2017 Volt LT and have seen a lot of great deals from California dealers. Not only do they seem to price the car lower but they also have the additional lease cash incentives. I don't live in California but have no problem buying the car there and driving it back as it will actually save me some rental car costs from planned California trips anyways. I know I can't get the additional tax rebates for California if I were to buy the car, but if I lease it from a California dealer will I still get the additional lease cash? That seems like the way to go if it works that way as the additional discounts and lease cash easily offsets the cost of driving the car back.
 

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I'm looking to lease a 2017 Volt LT and have seen a lot of great deals from California dealers. Not only do they seem to price the car lower but they also have the additional lease cash incentives. I don't live in California but have no problem buying the car there and driving it back as it will actually save me some rental car costs from planned California trips anyways. I know I can't get the additional tax rebates for California if I were to buy the car, but if I lease it from a California dealer will I still get the additional lease cash? That seems like the way to go if it works that way as the additional discounts and lease cash easily offsets the cost of driving the car back.
I believe you won't get the additional GM lease cash that's available. The only thing you will get as an out of state buyer from a California dealer would be the dealer discounts. Some dealers are honest and break that out from the other lease cash and rebates and stuff and other don't. Call the dealers first and ask and make sure they know you're out of state. The dealers I contact still had about $4000 - $6000 discounts on the cars that they claimed were dealer discount and NOT GM Lease cash or California rebates. I ended up not doing the deal since I would have had to have the car shipped to me ($750 from CA to WA state) or pay CA tax if I drove it off the lot. Since my state is tax exempt that would have been a bad move for me. KY probably will give you credit against any tax owned on your CA tax but if you owe less KY sales/use tax on it then California charges, I'm not sure California will refund you...
 

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Interesting... I'm not sure why you would have to pay the CA tax. I've leased cars out of state before and they were able to just compute the monthly payment to include my local tax rather than the state I picked up the car in since the financing is being done through GM Financial. Seems like the CA tax would only apply if you were actually purchasing the car outright as I have had that happen before as well where then KY credits the tax paid in the other state against any tax owed in KY. The main thing for me would be if they could apply any of the extra lease cash to the deal if I'm out of state. It seems like I keep reading about people traveling to buy from California dealers so there must be something better about the deals there, right? Is it just some dealers there are willing to sell the car for less?
 

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I'm looking to lease a 2017 Volt LT and have seen a lot of great deals from California dealers. Not only do they seem to price the car lower but they also have the additional lease cash incentives. I don't live in California but have no problem buying the car there and driving it back as it will actually save me some rental car costs from planned California trips anyways. I know I can't get the additional tax rebates for California if I were to buy the car, but if I lease it from a California dealer will I still get the additional lease cash? That seems like the way to go if it works that way as the additional discounts and lease cash easily offsets the cost of driving the car back.
Incentives are based off the zip code the car is being registered in. So no, leasing from a Cali dealer won't let you receive the additional lease cash.
 

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Incentives are based off the zip code the car is being registered in. So no, leasing from a Cali dealer won't let you receive the additional lease cash.
Cool, thanks for the info! So now I guess it's just a matter of if California dealers have better prices regardless of the lease cash.
 

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Interesting... I'm not sure why you would have to pay the CA tax. I've leased cars out of state before and they were able to just compute the monthly payment to include my local tax rather than the state I picked up the car in since the financing is being done through GM Financial. Seems like the CA tax would only apply if you were actually purchasing the car outright as I have had that happen before as well where then KY credits the tax paid in the other state against any tax owed in KY. The main thing for me would be if they could apply any of the extra lease cash to the deal if I'm out of state. It seems like I keep reading about people traveling to buy from California dealers so there must be something better about the deals there, right? Is it just some dealers there are willing to sell the car for less?
That's probably correct, I was talking both about lease options and purchase options when speaking with my CA dealers. They mentioned the difference was if you DROVE it off the lot vs SHIPPING. Maybe it was CA title & lic fees, which if I recall are rather expensive (compared to where I am in WA). I think in CA they add up almost to $1,000 where as here in WA state the lic fee is $150....
 

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Yes, in general I've seen probably $2,500 to $4,000 more in savings (as actual dealer discounts, not GM special offers or lease cash or anything rebate specific etc). So if you're a three to four hour drive away, then it's probably easy and worth it to go deal over there, especially if you're buying. Leasing you've got to think of the whole picture. Do the lease math by hand and figure out actually how much across the total cost of your lease a $3k or $4k discount will save you. (Unless you're pretty set on buying it out at the end) Then factor in any costs for travel back into it AND the miles you'll use driving it home, that's probably what, at least 2,500 miles or maybe more right away. That might make a 10k/year lease tight and push you to 12 or 15k/year.

Also, think about how hard it will be to deal long distance. I thought it would be fairly easy since I was already sold on the car but I ran into issues where the sales guy didn't know how to handle out of state sales, so they had to have me speak to a sales manager. The manager would answer my questions and then ask me to contact the sales guy for general car/lease questions or if I wanted to start moving forward. Of course I would think of another question and call and it would be state specific and I would have to wait for the sales guy to speak to the sales manager and then get back to me. I guess the sales guy was the first to pick up my cold call to the dealer, so he was going to get the sale so the manager wanted him to handle it, but he didn't know how to handle out of state sales, etc. This was also a dealer that said they do a lot of out of state sales, especially with the Volt....

I waited two or three days for call backs and then I found out that my sales guy went on vacation! The email he had sent me about the vacation went to the wrong address. Now I wouldn't expect this to happen and finally the sales manager said he would help me while the guy was on vacation, BUT, if it was a local dealer you can just walk on in and talk to anyone if "your guy" isn't working that day. F them and the stupid game of 'well he has your sale..." You're there to spend big bucks on a car, they should be able to help you during any normal biz hours.

Between that and the shipping costs and not actually getting to see the car before delivery, I decided to just hit the local dealer. I had HUGE issues at that point getting my Volt tax free (which was a WA state specific benefit). I just can't even think about what it would have been like if I ran into paperwork issues while dealing out of state and then with WA lic/tax offices... it would have been a nightmare that probably would have required me leaving work early a few times.

Not saying it can't work for you, but $3,000 to $4,000 quickly doesn't seem like that big of a deal over a 36 month lease after you factor in the headache of it. Hopefully if you go for it then it runs really easy and quick for you, but we're still far away from the "online shopping" idea when it comes to cars. I'm kinda hoping Tesla and the Model 3 really introduces a great online/remote sales model.
 
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