A step by step process of leasing for rookie, plus negotiation tips?

I’m gonna write what I think is the step-by-step process right now. Please comment on what I’m doing wrong (or right).

  1. Do your research! Find out MF, RV, and Edmund’s TMV.
  2. Select a handful of nearby dealers and start negotiating. One’s goal should be to get the biggest discount off the MSRP (10-15%)?
  3. Play dealers against each other.
  4. Profit?

I’m really interested in the best way to actually haggle with the dealers? Do you guys straight up tell them, I know the MF, and RV and I want this $price$ for the car, etc? Or are you sweet talking them, trying to become friends, and play nice and polite to get them to like you and cut a deal?

Also, how long do you guys normally take to lock down a deal from start to finish for a relatively popular car? 1 week? <1 month?


I’ve heard all kinds of strategies. Many people say they just e-mail a bunch of dealers until they get the sale price they’re looking for. That never seemed to work for me because dealers hate to answer questions through email. With our BMW, I just went in to test drive, had no intention of even talking numbers, was courteous with the guy and gave him a shot and he came back with a crazy awesome offer. So really the moral of the story is, if you have time, try out different things. Depending on time of month/year, how desperate the dealer is, etc, you might be surprised. Just don’t let the dealers play games with you. Go in with a # and if you don’t get it, move on. The other thing I recommend, is going in on the last 45 minutes of the day. Gives the dealer significantly less time to try and jerk you around.