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Driving Sense:
Lease Alternative Financing

How would you like the low monthly payments of a lease, but on a new or pre-owned vehicle AND without all the heavy restrictions and hidden costs of leasing?

Sounds impossible? It’s not. First Northern’s Driving Sense™ offers just that! 

Payments up to 40% less than conventional financing

Like a lease, Driving Sense offers payments that are considerably  lower than conventional financing. But unlike a lease, with Driving Sense you own the vehicle and have all of the flexibility and benefits of vehicle ownership! Other benefits of Driving Sense include: 

  • Available on new or pre-owned vehicle purchases, or refinance your existing vehicle loan to save money!
  • Vehicles up to five years old qualify 
  • Flexible loan terms of up to 72 months 
  • A one-time program fee of $895 applies which can be paid upfront or financed into the loan1
  • Annual mileage options of 7,500, 10,000, 12,000, 15,000 & 18,000 available 
  • No down payment, early payoff penalty, security deposit or acquisition fees 
  • Easily upgrade and/or change your vehicle every couple of years—or walk away at the end of your term! 
  • GAP coverage is included at no additional cost to you ($599 value)
  • Optional Extended Warranty and Mechanical Repair Coverage available

See for yourself how low your monthly payment can be!

ApplY NOW Calculate Your Monthly Payment

1 A "High Priced Vehicle Surcharge” may apply based on MSRP,  and the surcharge amount varies depending on term

How it works

Don't pay for the "whole" car — pay only for what you use! Based on the term of the loan, a Guaranteed Future Value is established using industry-approved guidelines, similar to leasing. The difference between what you pay for the vehicle and the Guaranteed Future Value is used to determine the principal portion of your payment, which results in a lower monthly payment than conventional financing.

See How Driving Sense Compares

Financing Option Conventional Financing Driving Sense
Loan Amount $40,000 $40,000
Rate 5.79% APR* 5.79% APR*
Term 60 months 60 months
Monthly Payment $769.41 $430.77*


Advantages over leasing

  • Offered on new or pre-owned vehicles up to 5 years old
  • Vehicle is titled in your name, meaning you own (not lease) the vehicle.
  • No security deposit required or early payoff penalty 
  • No first and last payments required 
  • No "back end surprises" — you won't be exposed to hidden expenses (like wear and tear clauses) during the loan, or at loan end, if you elect to return the vehicle. With Driving Sense, we clearly define vehicle return condition requirements. 
  • Negotiate the purchase price of the vehicle with the dealer, like any other transaction
  • Mileage options – choose the plan that fits your needs, from 7,500 to 18,000 miles per year. And if you go over, excess mileage is only $.10 cents per mile, unlike leasing which can cost up to $.25 cents per mile. 
  • Realistic residual value using standard industry residual values

Flexible end of loan term options

  1. Trade in vehicle and apply positive equity toward next vehicle

  2. Make final balloon payment (Guaranteed Future Value) and keep vehicle

  3. Walk away! Simply return the vehicle at loan maturity in lieu of making the final balloon payment with no end of loan term hassles. Vehicle pick-up is arranged, even if you have moved to a different state!

Driving Sense: New Vehicles (Purchase or Refinance)
Term APR*
Up to 29 months As low as 5.84%
30 - 41 months As low as 6.04%
42 - 53 months As low as 6.34%
54 - 65 months As low as 6.54%
66 - 72 months1 As low as 7.04%

ApplY NOW Get a Custom Quote Learn More 

Driving Sense: Pre-Owned Vehicles (Purchase or Refinance)
(5 model years or newer)
Term APR*
Up to 62 months As low as 6.54%
63 - 66 months As low as 6.84%
67 - 72 months2 As low as 7.04%

Apply NOW Get a Custom Quote Learn More 

*APR=Annual Percentage Rate. Repayment example for a vehicle priced at $40,000 with a loan amount of $21,500: At 6.54% APR and term of 60 months with the $895 one-time program fee financed into the loan: Payments 1-59 are $444.89 with a 60th/final payment due for the residual value amount of $18,500 (Guaranteed Future Value) and total interest paid of $4,748.63

You have four options to satisfy the final payment, as noted above. If you elect to return the vehicle you will have the following obligations: 1. All original equipment that came with the vehicle when you purchased it must still be with the vehicle. 2. If you exceed your mileage allowance, the excess mileage fee is $.10 per mile, and 3. The condition of the vehicle when returned must comply with the Loan Addendum provided to you at the time of loan disbursement. If you return the vehicle in accordance with the Loan Addendum, you will be charged a low $195 disposition fee and the residual amount is considered to have been fully satisfied and the loan is closed. 

1 Retail value must be greater than $15,000. 2 Retail value must be greater than $15,000 and vehicle must be 5 model years old or newer.

Download Driving Sense brochure here.