Leasing can be an affordable way to get a new car – and to continue to get a new car every few years. However, leasing a car isn’t quite as straightforward as buying one. Lease terms are often set by the manufacturer, right down to the car’s specific equipment packages. Because of the way that lease deals are advertised, even seasoned lessees might not know that some lease terms are negotiable. Some experts suggest you might have more negotiating power when leasing than you do when buying, as long as you do it right.
Make Sure It’s in Stock
You should make sure the dealership has the car you want in stock. If they do, they’ll be eager to move it, and you’ll have the advantage. If they don’t, they’ll be doing you a favor (from their perspective) by getting it, and they’ll be less likely to cut you a break. You can check dealer inventory on the Three River’s website before you go.
Know How Much You Want to Spend
Before heading to the dealer, come up with a plan. Decide how much you can put down, how much you can pay per month, and how long you want the car. However, just like when you’re buying, don’t focus only on the monthly payment – that gives the dealership leeway to negotiate the other terms of the deal in their favor. The cap cost is the true number you should be focusing on, because the lower the cap cost is, the lower your monthly payment will be. Experts also suggest negotiating the down payment and the security deposit.
Double-Check the Fine Print
Even if you’re successful at reducing any of the costs associated with your new lease, you’re not done until the contract is signed. Just like if you’re buying, you need to keep a close eye on the paperwork to make sure the dealership’s finance team doesn’t sneak anything in or make changes to parts of the deal you’ve already negotiated.
What You Can Negotiate
Your best plan for negotiation is to start with the cap cost. You wouldn’t buy a car without trying to negotiate its price, and this is the same idea. Do some research online beforehand to find out the car’s actual average sales price, and start there. If you’re trading in your current car, make sure you get the best price possible for that, too.
Cap Cost Reduction
If you’ve negotiated a trade-in already, you’re in good shape on the cap cost reduction, but make sure to check out our latest new car lease deals to ensure you’re not missing out on any manufacturer rebates or other deals.
Now’s also the time to try to reduce the buy-out price, in case you get so attached to your new car that you want to keep it in two or three years.
Excess Mileage Charges
Also, looking down the road, you can negotiate those expensive excess mileage charges if you expect to drive more than your lease allows. You won’t get rid of them entirely, but you can probably reduce them by dealing with it before the lease instead of after.
What You Can’t Negotiate
The residual value is set at a level higher up the food chain than your local dealership, and they can’t alter it. However, if you choose a car with a high residual value, that’s ultimately better for you – when the car is expected to be worth a lot at the end of a lease, it costs less to lease it.
You’ll also have little luck trying to get rid of the acquisition fee. You can negotiate to have it rolled into your lease payments instead of paying it up front, but you’ll end up paying it somehow.
Disposition Fee and Purchase Option Fee
When your lease is coming to an end, you’ll probably end up paying either the disposition fee or the purchase option fee, depending on whether or not you buy the car. Sometimes the disposition fee will be waived if you lease another car from the same manufacturer (often called a “loyalty bonus” or something similar), but you probably won’t be able to get it removed from your paperwork.
Now you’re ready to head into the #1 leasing leader in Pittsburgh and drive away with that perfect car!