How do I get the Best Vehicle Lease?

R. Anacan

To get the best vehicle lease, a consumer should take the time to do his homework and be fully prepared. There are many informative websites that will take the consumer step-by-step through all of the various factors of the leasing process. A vehicle lease is quite complicated and auto dealers often utilize the complexity of a vehicle lease to its advantage. Fully understanding the entire vehicle lease process can save a consumer a lot of money over the life of the lease.

Research and preparation can improve a lease negotiation.
Research and preparation can improve a lease negotiation.

One of the biggest misconceptions about leasing is that the vehicle price is not negotiable. In fact, price is negotiable and the smart consumer should have a set price in mind for a vehicle, much as he would when purchasing a car, when considering leasing. The price that is negotiated between the dealer and the customer forms the basis of the calculation of the monthly payment. Therefore the lower the price of the car, which is known as the cap cost in leasing terms, the lower the monthly payment.

Consumers not ready to purchase a car may have the option to lease.
Consumers not ready to purchase a car may have the option to lease.

There are many resources on the internet and in print that provide consumers with an estimate of a vehicle’s market value, or the approximate price that someone should expect to pay for a specific car. Some of these websites allow the customer to customize their search by selecting the exact make and model of a vehicle along with any added options. Once the market value is determined, it is highly recommended that the consumer print out the results for reference during the negotiating process with the dealer.

Other important factors for the customer to consider are the monthly payment he can comfortably afford and the overall amount that he would like to spend over the life of the lease. However, the customer should not disclose to the dealer what his preferred monthly payment amount is. Dealers are adept at focusing a customer’s attention on one aspect of the car lease while glossing over others. Therefore a dealership may structure the lease agreement to provide a consumer with his desired monthly payment, while extending the terms of the lease longer than the customer would like.

Once the consumer has determined the vehicle he would like to lease, the fair market price of the vehicle, the monthly payment he can comfortably afford each month and the amount of money he is willing to spend over the life of the lease, he is ready to contact a dealership. A helpful tip to consider is that many dealership internet departments may offer a better overall deal than one would get by walking onto the sales floor. Many internet departments are designed to maximize sales volume, while showroom sales people are trained to maximize the amount of profit per car.

When a specific car has been chosen, the negotiating process begins. This is where all of the research and preparation will pay dividends. The important thing for the customer to remember is to be patient and persistent. The customer is in control of the process, as he can walk away at any time. In fact if someone is not able to negotiate a deal he believes to be fair, he should be willing to walk away. Often times the simple act of walking away will motivate a dealer to better their offer.

Before signing any paperwork the consumer should read through the contract carefully. The smart consumer will be sure to review if there is a mileage cap, wear and tear costs, and any back-end costs. If the customer has taken the time to understand just how the leasing process works, he will be able to determine whether or not the figures on the lease agreement are accurate. If there is anything on the contract that does not seem right, the customer should not sign anything until the issue has been resolved.

A vehicle lease can be a complicated process. However with preparation, persistence and patience, the savvy consumer should be able to find a good car at a good price that is a good deal for both the customer and dealer.

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