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Negotiate Car Lease

When attempting to negotiate a car lease, most experts stated that not informing the car dealer about the fact that you want to lease and not purchase the car, would be the best way to get a good price on the car. This is no longer available; it’s old advice and no longer applies to car leasing. Go right ahead, explain that you want to lease, you are well informed about the whole leasing process and you want to discuss the price, not only the monthly payments, so there will be no nonsense.

Let the dealer know that you’re firm on your ground. So if he gives you a fair deal, in the next hour you’ll be driving your new leased car, but if not you’re walking out and finding another dealership, because you don’t have time to play games.

You have three major aces up your hand in any negotiation, and you should use all of them. You had time to research the market, pick a car, find everything about it including MSRP price and leasing options available, so when you show up in front of the dealer he’s got nothing else to say but he agrees. This is made sure by the second and third aces: your ability to choose from multiple dealerships (not necessarily the one you’re in) and your fierce weapon: the “walk away”.

If you’ve done your homework on the car properly, the process will run as well as water. If you haven’t there could be consequences that usually turn up to be very expensive. You have no research, you don’t know the price of the car or the leasing offers that come with that particular model, therefore you cannot contradict the dealer on anything he says.

Firstly you should haggle with the starting price also known as the cap cost. You already know the MSRP value of the car so don’t let the dealer fool you in by telling you that on a lease the price is not negotiable. That is the oldest trick in the book. Unless the car you’re buying is a limited edition with diminished supply, the price will ALWAYS be negotiable. If the dealer does not agree, let him know that other dealerships might.

Remember that dealers only have control over the price of the car. You are not going to get very far when trying to negotiate things like residuals or the money factor. These are parameters controlled by the leasing company. All you can do is ask if they are associated with other banks or finance companies that might give you better terms.

Ok so you’ve got the deal. It’s time for some calculations to be made. Ask the dealer to do the math on your monthly payments with the price you’ve agreed upon. While the sales person is gone to crunch the numbers, you must calculate these rates on your own. Go directly to Edmunds Lease Calculator and insert all the data required. When the dealer returns you can compare the figures they’ve given you to the ones from Edmunds.

Makes sure that you’re using the same amount of money for cap cost, money factor, term, residual value and so on. If you can find any discrepancies in the results, make them explain the whole calculation process in depth. Their excuses sound just about the same. Whether there was a “mistake”, or an extra charge, or a difference in the credit given in case if a trade in. Remember, you haven’t signed a thing yet so make them redo the calculations or you’re walking away.

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