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A Chevy Equinox Lease Is Now Cheaper Than An Equinox Gym Membership

$151/Month, $0 Down for non-GM lessees. Program valid through January 4, 2016.

We often hear that cars are the second-biggest expense after housing. It doesn't have to be that way.

These days, a membership at the posh gym chain Equinox will set you back about $160 a month. For the same price, you can now lease an Equinox SUV—and have enough left over for a Planet Fitness membership. Here's how.

2016 Chevrolet Equinox LTZ (source: chevrolet.com)

2016 Chevrolet Equinox LTZ (source: chevrolet.com)

1. Selling Price

The 2016 Chevrolet Equinox LT has an MSRP of $27,345. Aim for a dealer discount of $2,000 for a selling price of $25,345 before incentives. There are countless dealers on car buying websites and newspaper ads offering such a discount this time of year.

2. Incentives

The following incentives from GM are available to most individuals. They can be stacked:

General Incentives
GM Financial Lease Cash $1,300 (all)
Bonus Tag Cash $500 (Bonus Tag only)
Incremental Bonus Customer Cash $750 (regional)

The $1,300 GM Financial Lease Cash is available to all consumers. Dealers can assign up to 15% of their inventory with a Bonus Tag, which is an additional $500 incentive. You can identify Bonus Tag cars on the dealer's website. Finally, there's $750 in Incremental Bonus Customer Cash available in most regions, including the following states: 

AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, IL, MD, MI, MN, MO, NV, NH, NJ, NY, PA, TX, UT, and VA.

There are also targeted incentives; these cannot be stacked:

Targeted Incentives
Website Private Offer $1,000
Competitive Lessee Conquest Cash $1,500
Volt Loyalty Cash $2,500

Folks have reported getting a $1,000 Private Offer by browsing the Chevrolet.com website. The offer pops-up after a few minutes of browsing. Alternately, there's $1,500 Cash for those who currently lease a non-GM vehicle (no need to terminate existing lease). Current Chevrolet Volt owners or lessees are eligible for a $2,500 Cash incentive.

For the purposes of this example, let's assume you lease a non-GM vehicle. After adding up the General Incentives and the Competitive Lessee Conquest Cash, the incentives total $4,050.

2016 Chevrolet Equinox LTZ interior (source: chevrolet.com)

2016 Chevrolet Equinox LTZ interior (source: chevrolet.com)

3. Putting It Together

After the dealer discount and incentives, the price of the car (i.e., net capitalized cost) drops to $21,295. GM Financial estimates that a 2016 Equinox LT will be worth 69% of its MSRP ($18,868) after 24 months of use at 10,000 miles per year. Therefore, the total depreciation expense is $2,427, or about $101 per month.

The money factor (MF) for the Equinox is .00070 (1.7% APR). GM Financial will waive the $595 acquisition fee if they raise the MF to .00125 (3% APR); it's cheaper to do so than to pay the acquisition fee. The monthly finance charge will be $50 per month.

Add the monthly depreciation expense and finance charge, and you get the lease payment: $151 per month. 

Here's what you should expect when all is said and done. We've added in Los Angeles County sales tax (9%), license/registration, and fees. Program valid through January 4, 2016.

Total Drive-Off
First month's payment (after 9% tax) $165
DMV license/registration $265
Dealer document fee ($80 max. in CA) $80
Down payment $0
Sales tax on incentives and doc fee $372
TOTAL DUE AT SIGNING $882

 

Did you recently lease an Equinox? Share your deal below!

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December 21, 2015 Edit: Updated to correct Bonus Tag incentive amount, which is $500 on leases and $1,500 for purchases.