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Leasing a Car with Three Swipes on Your Smartphone Is Here

Shouldn’t leasing a car be as simple and convenient as paying your phone bill or getting turn-by-turn directions to a destination? The team at the mobile app Honcker says, “You bet!”

Our smartphones have simplified nearly everything else in our lives; but until now, their role in leasing a car has been restricted to research. Even if you know the specific model you want to lease, going from finding that model to an actual solid quote on your phone can’t be done without introducing a dealership or broker into the process somewhere along the line. Due to this lack of transparency, you might as well just take the time and trudge over to the dealership.

Honcker is changing that. It’s car leasing on your smartphone — from research to delivery — with three swipes on one app. The only real contact with a dealership is when the car is delivered or picked up.

How Does It Work?

  1. Download the Honcker app on iOS or Google Play.
  2. Register and provide a little personal information.
  3. Use the app to browse for the vehicle you want.
  4. Click the LEASE tab.
  5. Choose pickup or delivery.

Yes, it’s about that simple.

Because Honcker works directly with participating dealerships, all the vehicles browsed are currently on hand, available and priced to lease at the quoted price.

Honcker will use the personal information provided at registration to do a soft credit check. This won’t affect your credit score, but will enable the app to display the vehicle price (monthly lease payment) tailored specifically to you. That’s right: The monthly payment you view isn’t a dealership’s best-price offer for someone with sterling credit; it’s the monthly amount you will actually pay.

The customer supplies license and insurance information through the app.

All the prepared paperwork will be signed at pickup or delivery, which is often in the same day.

Show Me the Money!

There’s no free lunch, right? App users must need to pay a transaction or broker fee. Nope. All the costs, fees, taxes and so forth are folded into the posted monthly payment. The transaction fee is paid by the dealer. There isn’t even an out-of-pocket down payment or security deposit. In fact, the app is designed in such a way that you couldn’t make a down payment if you wanted to.

Also reflected in the monthly payment are any relevant rebates currently offered by the carmaker.

The bottom line: What you see is what you pay, period.

Financing the lease is usually through the carmaker’s financial arm. If it’s a Ford, leasing is through Ford Credit; if it’s a Toyota, Toyota Financial Services underwrites the lease; and so forth.

What’s the Catch?

Every deal has a but or a caveat. With Honcker, it’s that the app is in its infancy. Just launched in September, it has signed on roughly 200 dealerships, the majority of which are concentrated in New York, California, Connecticut, New Jersey and Florida.

More dealerships are coming on board every day, but, depending on where you live, there may not be any nearby.

Honcker has 800 numbers available for questions or to help solve issues peculiar to a particular consumer.

What it means to you: Honcker has managed to distill a very complex process into a few swipes of a smartphone. That translates into a no-hassle experience for the consumer and, usually, same-day delivery.

Russ Heaps
Russ Heaps is an author specializing in automotive, financial and travel news. For nearly 35 years he has covered the automotive industry for newspapers, magazines and internet websites. His resume includes The Palm Beach Post, Miami Herald, The Washington Times and numerous other daily newspapers through syndication. He edited Auto World magazine, and helped create and edit NOPI Street... Read More

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