The term, lease inception or lease inception cash, refers to the up-front money that is due at the time a car lease agreement is signed (“lease signing”).
Lease inception cash includes first month’s payment, tag and title fees, down payment (cap cost reduction), sales tax on the down payment, and possibly a security deposit. Other fees, official or non-official, may also apply. Rebates may be applied to offset this amount.
Lease inception cash (“cash due at lease signing”) is often confused with a down payment. Remember, a down payment, if any, is only a part of total lease inception cash.
If you only have a particular amount of cash that you can apply to your lease, ask your dealer to tell you how much of it will be applied as a down payment after all other fees and charges have been subtracted.
In other cases, you may want a specific amount to apply as a down payment and have the other inception costs added to it. It can be done either way. Let your dealer know before he calculates your lease payment.