A Toyota Highlander Lease: Everything You Need To Know

in Car Buying Tips
blue Toyota highlander

Photo by Gabriel Tovar on Unsplash

In the past, many people had the notion that leasing is a bad financial decision. That may be true before, but car leases have come a long way and gained a lot of traction from customers over the years.

Having said that, if you’re thinking about whether or not you should get a Toyota Highlander lease, you’ve come to the right place.

Leasing can be a tricky proposition, especially if you’re not familiar with it. For today’s post, we’ve made a guide about the things you need to know about a Toyota Highlander lease.

What’s a Toyota Highlander Lease?

A Highlander lease is a type of auto financing where you enter a rental agreement with a dealership for a certain amount of time and mileage. Like with conventional car loans, you’re expected to make monthly payments for your Highlander lease in exchange for being able to drive it. 

At the end of the lease’s term, you may either return the vehicle to the dealer or purchase it (if you have a purchase option). Basically, when you lease a Highlander, you’re paying for the opportunity to drive it, but not to own it - albeit for a few years as opposed to a typical car rental.

To qualify for a Toyota Highlander lease, you typically need to have a good credit score. According to the data by Experian, people leasing vehicles in the third quarter of 2020 have an average credit score of 773. The official FICO scale classifies scores between 670 and 740 as “Good.” Remember that even if you don’t own the Highlander, lease payments will still reflect on your credit report.


The CoPilot car shopping app is the smartest way to buy a car. Get a curated list of the best cars for sale in your area, as well as notifications if a similar vehicle is listed nearby at a lower price. CoPilot is the smartest way to shop for used cars. 

How is a Car Lease Different From a Car Loan?

A car lease is similar to a traditional car loan in many ways.

For starters, when you lease a Highlander, you’ll make monthly payments just as you would when you take out a car loan. However, the biggest difference is that monthly lease payments are a lot lower than a standard car loan.

However, the lower payments do have a huge caveat.

Instead of paying for the ownership of the Toyota Highlander, lessees (the person leasing the vehicle) are paying for the privilege to drive the SUV. Essentially, your monthly payments cover the depreciation cost while the vehicle is in your care.

When you apply for car financing, you typically go to a bank, third-party lender, or car dealer. On the other hand, you’ll most likely work directly with a dealership or a specialized financing agency to secure the lease.

A typical Toyota Highlander lease will last 24 to 58 months. When the lease ends, you’ll simply return the car and stop making monthly payments altogether. Some lease conditions may give you a purchase option so you can buy the Highlander as the lease expires (more on this later).

Can I Lease a Used Toyota Highlander?

According to Edmunds, it’s possible to lease a used car. If you can manage to lease a slightly used Toyota Highlander, you can potentially save thousands of dollars while doing so.

However, used car leases are a bit of a well-kept secret. Not all dealers will have used car leases on offer, and you don’t really see them in advertisements. Since profit margins are reduced, salespeople prefer to sell used cars instead of leasing them. 

But if you can lease a used Toyota Highlander, not only will you get to drive a nice SUV, you can save a lot of money compared to leasing a brand new model.

In general, used vehicles that are eligible for leases will be certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles - meaning they shouldn’t be older than 5 years old with a mileage of fewer than 48,000-50,000 miles. Authorized Toyota dealerships will make these vehicles available after being bought or leased brand new.


Because the car buying experience is so stressful, it’s helpful to go into the dealership with information ahead of time. Therefore, we’ve curated a list of the 10 most reliable American cars so you can approach the process from a place of empowerment.

What Happens at the End of My Toyota Highlander Lease?

Depending on the dealership, you have several options once the lease ends. For Toyota, you typically have three distinct options:

  • Return the vehicle and purchase or lease a new Toyota - This option is effectively a trade-in. The current Highlander you’re driving can be traded to another make and model you prefer. In addition, you’re not tied to the current dealer going forward. This end-of-lease option lets you avoid mileage charges, disposition fees, and wear and tear charges.
  • Settle your lease and return the vehicle - In a nutshell, you’re returning the Highlander and walking away from the lease. However, you may have to pay for mileage charges and excessive wear and tear if applicable. Check out Toyota’s Return Checklist to learn more.
  • Purchase the Highlander - More often than not, lease contracts will allow you to purchase the vehicle at the end of their term. In Toyota’s case, purchasing a leased vehicle means that you have to request a payoff quote by logging into your TFS online account or calling 1-800-286-0652. If you can’t afford to pay for the buyout with cash, you may talk with your dealer and apply for a lease buyout loan.


Different tints block different levels of UV light and in the long run can prevent sun damage to your skin and eyes, but how much does it cost to tint car windows? We’ve got the answer.

How Much Will It Cost to Lease a Toyota Highlander?

If you want a ballpark estimate of your monthly lease payments for a Toyota Highlander, we highly recommend using the manufacturer’s Payment Estimator tool. For example, leasing a 2022 Highlander on a ‘Good’ credit rating, $2,000 down payment, 12k mileage for 36 months will cost you $631 per month with $1,781 due at signing.

Overall, it’s still best to talk with a dealer where you can drive the price down through negotiation. Plus, your local dealer may have special lease deals and offers that you can take advantage of. A good rule of thumb is to negotiate the price of the vehicle, aka the capitalized cost. Lowering the price of the vehicle means that your monthly payments are lower as well.

Don’t just look for reduced monthly payments. Some dealers will lengthen the payment period to reduce the monthly payments, but that’s how you turn a 36 months lease into a 48 months contract.

More FAQs: Toyota Highlander Lease

Q: What are the benefits of leasing a Toyota Highlander?

A: Leasing a Toyota Highlander offers several benefits, including lower monthly payments compared to buying, the ability to drive a newer model every few years, and coverage under the vehicle’s factory warranty for the duration of the lease term.

Q: How does leasing a Toyota Highlander work?

A: When you lease a Toyota Highlander, you pay for using the vehicle over a set period, typically 2-3 years, rather than purchasing it outright. You make monthly payments based on the vehicle’s depreciation during the lease term plus interest and fees. At the end of the lease, you can return the car, purchase it for a predetermined price, or start a new lease.

Q: Can I negotiate the terms of my Highlander lease?

A: Yes, you can negotiate the terms of your Toyota Highlander lease, including the monthly payment, down payment, mileage allowance, and the vehicle’s purchase option at the end of the lease. Negotiating the capitalized cost (the vehicle price) can also lower your monthly payments.

Q: What happens if I exceed the mileage limit on my Highlander lease?

A: If you exceed the mileage limit on your Toyota Highlander lease, you will be charged for the extra miles at a predetermined rate specified in your lease agreement. This rate typically ranges from $0.10 to $0.25 per mile over the limit.

Get a Curated List of the Best Used Cars Near You

The CoPilot car shopping app is the easiest way to buy a car. Tell us what you’re looking for and we’ll search the inventories of every dealership in your area to make you a personalized list of the best car listings in your area.

Only looking for newer models? CoPilot Compare is the search engine for nearly-new cars. Only see cars five years or newer with low mileage — CoPilot Compare is the best way to find off-lease, early trade-in, and CPO cars.

The best part? CoPilot is built using the same technology that dealerships use to buy and sell their inventories, so we have more info on each vehicle than competitors. CoPilot doesn’t work with dealerships, so there are no sponsored posts or other shady practices — just the most info on the best cars. Check out our About Us page to see how CoPilot works.