Leasing a vehicle instead of buying one is a smart, appealing choice for a lot of drivers, especially those who really like driving a brand new car every couple of years. It is a common misconception that you can’t negotiate on a lease the way you can haggle the purchase price of a vehicle. You can definitely get a good deal on a lease by using sharp negotiation skills, which we will go over now so you can prepare to pay the absolute best price on a vehicle lease.
First of all, you should know exactly which vehicle you’d like to lease, and you should research that vehicle’s specifications and standard MSRP. It is also essential to educate yourself about the leasing process and the fundamentals of vehicle leasing.
When you approach a salesperson to discuss your leasing options, you should let him or her know that you want to lease, that you are educated about leasing, and that you want to negotiate a selling price and not just monthly payments. Tell the dealer that if you can get the deal you want, you’ll sign the lease today, and that if you can’t get the deal you are looking for, you will leave and find a dealer who is willing to negotiate. That will get them listening!
Some dealers will try to tell you that you can’t negotiate the lease price (or cap cost), which is the amount that is actually being financed with a lease, but this is what you do want to negotiate. The lower your cap cost, the lower your payment each month. It is very beneficial to know what cap cost or purchase price other people are paying for the same vehicle. You can find this kind of information out through free services like TrueCar.com.
Inquire about rebates, specials, factory-to-dealer incentives, or discounts that could lessen your lease price. Let them know if you plan to make a down payment or if you have a trade-in, and make sure you know the fair value of your trade-in. Identify any fees that would affect the cost, such as acquisition fees.
Keep these tips in mind while you negotiate:
- Always discuss cap cost or lease price, not the monthly payments.
- It is not true that lease prices are non-negotiable.
- Identify the dealer invoice price for the car you want
- Never divulge how much you really like or want the vehicle during negotiations
- Make sure the dealer knows you are not afraid to walk out if the bargaining does not go the way you’d like
- Clear your schedule for plenty of time to allow for smooth negotiations
- Do not let a salesperson play games with you, intimidate you, or confuse you
Once you settle at the price you want, then take care to go over the lease agreement with a fine tooth comb to make sure all calculations are correct and there are no hidden fees.
As long as you educate yourself about leasing, the vehicle you want, the dealer invoice price, and what others are paying in the area, you will be prepared to negotiate a great lease deal.
February 1, 2013 by Jamie Rettig