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‘The only thing getting me through those payments was the idea I was gonna own it at the end’: Man says he was accidentally paying for car lease for 18 months

'That is so much money to pay to rent a car for 36 months.'


Stacy Fernandez


Posted on Apr 24, 2023   Updated on Apr 24, 2023, 12:23 pm CDT

A man on TikTok has revealed that he mistakingly signed a three-year-long car lease, thinking he’d own the car at the end of the payment period in a viral video.. Unfortunately for him, that’s not how leases work.

In the clip, Tommy (@justroughdrafts) explains in a self-deprecating tone that he “just found out what a car lease is” after paying off 18 months on a 36-month lease.

For those who don’t know, with a car lease, you’re essentially paying to rent a car for a specific amount of time and usually have restrictions on how many miles you can drive it each year. You won’t own a leased car unless you agree to buy it at the end of the lease. There is usually a lower upfront cost when leasing a vehicle and lower monthly payments compared to what you’d pay on a car loan.


♬ original sound – Tommy

Tommy says that in hindsight he’s surprised his monthly payment is so high when he’s not even going to own the vehicle at the end of the process.

“That is so much money to pay to rent a car for 36 months. Are you kidding me?” he says.

He goes on to explain that while he did in fact read the contract, he didn’t understand it.

“The only thing getting me through those payments was the idea that I was gonna own it at the end,” he says before letting out a small scream.


♬ original sound – Tommy

Tommy’s bout of honesty has earned him nearly 3 million views on TikTok in just two days and more than 7,600 comments.

Many commenters commended Tommy for sharing his mistake.

“You are so brave for sharing this out loud bc I would’ve def taken this to the grave with me,” one person said.

Others pointed out that he could buy the car at the end of the process.

“You can buy the car after the lease is over and all the money you put into will go into the buying cost!” another commenter shared.

Some people were confused about how Tommy didn’t know what a lease was and criticized the lack of financial education in the United States.

“Can you explain to the class what you thought the word “lease” meant before this epiphany?” a person asked.

“The lack of financial literacy in this country is astonishing,” a commenter wrote.

“Tbh it’s criminal that they don’t teach you about stuff like this in high school,” another added.

“Bro thought a lease was like an affirm payment,” a further user said.

The Daily Dot reached out to Tommy via TikTok comment.

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*First Published: Apr 24, 2023, 8:03 am CDT