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CarsDirect.com Rolls Out Zero-Drive-Off Lease, Other Leasing Options in 39 States.

Business Editors & Automotive Writers

LOS ANGELES--(AutomotiveWire)--March 6, 2000

Customers Can Take Possession Without Opening Their Checkbooks

As Leasing Programs Shift Into High Gear

CarsDirect.com, the leading automotive e-tailer, today announced a "zero-drive-off" lease option that enables qualified customers in 39 states to accept delivery of a new car without any money changing hands at the point of delivery.

The CarsDirect.com zero-drive-off lease, which is now available, requires no money up-front for customers with approved credit. Inception fees and first payment are capitalized and amortized over the lease term.

CarsDirect.com is the first nationwide online service that provides consumers a complete car buying experience -- from research, pricing, customization and financing to flatbed delivery of the car to a home or office.

"Our goal has always been to provide the consumer with speed, simplicity, convenience and great prices, and this lease program is another step in that direction," said Bob Brisco, CEO, CarsDirect.com. "Now, not only can consumers research, configure and order the car of their dreams without ever leaving home, they can take possession with absolutely no out-of-pocket expense when they get their car."

Lease options range from 24 to 60 months, 12,000 or 15,000 miles per year, and the ability to pre-purchase extra miles up to a maximum of 20,000 allowable miles per year. The entire application takes place at the CarsDirect.com Web site, www.carsdirect.com. CarsDirect.com then confirms the details of the lease with a customer service specialist who can address questions about the entire transaction.

In addition, visitors to the CarsDirect.com Web site now have access to two new tools to help them make the lease vs. loan decision. The first tool helps customers immediately identify for an entire range of vehicles that can be bought or leased for their desired monthly payment.

A second tool is the side-by-side loan vs. lease calculator that enables shoppers to compare typical loan and lease payments for a particular vehicle. Shoppers can adjust fields in the calculator to approximate the desired lease or financing terms, local sales tax rate and credit profile and watch the calculator dynamically update the monthly payment estimate.

"Our leasing programs showcase our innovation and flexibility, and they reinforce our commitment to provide customers with objective information and hassle-free car-shopping experiences," Brisco said.

"Leasing is a high priority for us. We will continue to develop new lease products and services to make financing more convenient for our customers," said Gene Schutt, CEO, CD1 Financial.com, the wholly owned lending and leasing unit of CarsDirect.com. "Leasing has become a popular finance option because it enables consumers to get `more' car for a given monthly payment, or have a smaller monthly payment for any given car."

According to Schutt, leasing can also mean less in the way of sales tax; access to lower interest rates, in some cases; the opportunity to "exchange" the car every few years for a newer model; and avoiding the bother of having to sell the car or negotiate a trade-in. In addition, tax benefits accrue to those who can count the monthly lease payment as a business expense; consumers are advised to check with their tax advisors for more information.

CarsDirect.com offers lease options in the following states: Alabama, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

About CarsDirect.com

With CarsDirect.com (http://www.carsdirect.com), shoppers can research, price, customize, order and finance a new car or truck over the Web -- selecting from among 2,500 makes and models by every major manufacturer. More than 2,000 franchised dealers are a part of CarsDirect.com's Priority Dealer Network.

Based in Los Angeles, CarsDirect.com is an idealab! company. The company is also funded by idealab! Capital Partners, Primedia Ventures, Foundation Capital, MSD Capital LP, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, Hambrecht & Quist, E*O Investors LLC, Oracle Corp., Liberty Digital, TMCT Ventures, East Peak Partners L.P, Hikari Tsushin and Soros Private Equity Partners LLC.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Mar 6, 2000
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