Now for some car lease Q&A: “Are car leases negotiable?”
Without question, car leases are negotiable, just like most other things in life, especially right now with car sales in the dumps.
Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s easy, nor does it mean the car dealers will admit that the price and terms can be negotiated.
When negotiating a car lease, it’s best to do your homework before stepping foot in the dealership.
Once you know the exact make, model, and color you’d like to lease, you’ll need to do some research.
Find out what the price of the car would be if it was purchased outright and its proposed resale value, and gather up some lease quotes from competing dealers, both online and over the phone.
Check my article on how a car lease is calculated for more on what you should expect to pay.
Once you’ve got a good idea as to what your particular car is leasing for, you’ll be in a much better position to negotiate.
With price, you can certainly just lowball the dealer until they bite or meet you somewhere in the middle.
If they don’t agree to your terms, say thank you very much and walk out; some dealers might not call you back, but others will (make sure they have your contact details before pulling this maneuver).
When you do negotiate price, make sure you don’t fall for little tricks that can make the price seem more attractive.
For example, the dealer may cut your monthly lease price, but bump your down payment, which essentially wipes out the monthly savings.
If it’s a 24-month lease, and the dealer says he’ll give you $20 off a month, but wants the down payment to be an additional $500, you’ve already lost.
Another tactic would be extending your lease term from say three years to three and a half; that extension may not be favorable for you, and results in another six payments.
Same goes for mileage; the dealer may strike a deal with you, but with a lower allotted mileage per year that will result in more costs for you if you go over.
Be careful when negotiating, as the money is often just shifted around from area to the next, without really resulting in much of a deal for you.
Personally, I think you shouldn’t pay anywhere near what’s advertised on TV, as that’s the sucker’s price.
However, it’s a good barometer to know what not to pay.