Anyone here lease a new car exclusively via email?

I know how dealerships work.

They try to wear us down for hours and maximize profit in the F&I office.

I would like to level the playing field and eliminate emotion from the lease acquisition…

Has anyone tried to lease a new car and do it all via email - and take delivery at home (or at an office)?

If so, can you reply and tell us your success story?

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We leased an Equinox last December and did all negotiation over email with one phone call to verify that we would be completing the deal. We drove to the dealership where we were shown the car and verified that it was the one we wanted. We signed a paper with the saleswoman who said that the numbers we were quoted were what we would be given in the finance office and she signed it, too. While GM Financial was processing the paperwork she showed us how to use the GPS and myLink. We then went to the finance office where he offered us lease protection, showed us the cost, and did not pressure us. We did not get it, paid the taxes and tags up front, signed the paperwork, and then left on our new car. Easy as pie and we plan on going straight to that dealership next year because we know they will give us the best deal in New Jersey no questions asked. Granted we will still shop around, but 99% chance we will lease from them again if the new 2018 Equinox is a decent lease.

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Nice story.

Thank you for this…

Was there anything abut the process that you would have done differently… looking back?

Also, did your monthly lease payment fall in the .5% to .8% of MSRP range that is now being suggested in this forum?

Wow, that’s pretty awesome! Every time I’ve tried to e-mail dealers they absolutely would not talk numbers over e-mail or even over the phone. They love to waste people’s time in person.

The only thing I would have done differently would have been to go to this dealer in the first place. We tried our luck with the local dealer in town and test drove there. I knew about this dealer, but didn’t go there at first because I had bought several cars owned by the dealer franchise in my town (different brands though). The incentives weren’t nearly as good last year, but the residual was 3% higher and the MF was the same. We got around $2500 off MSRP which was excellent at that point. We had $3550 in incentives, if I recall correctly, and it is around .7% of MSRP.


Yes, residuals change every other month (or Toyota does it every 3 months)… generally on a Tuesday I just found out.

I appreciate your story.

I would love to hear others with their success, too!

Leased a TLX via email during the edmunds deal, then just went in to sign and drive home

Emailed a bunch if dealers in the area, only 2 were willing to do the deal

Others acted arrogant, “you’ll never get that price anywhere”…they lost out


May I ask how many total dealers you emailed?

Also, did you first contact an “internet” salesperson?

And do you think you could have done the entire deal from home without going to the dealership?

I’ve completed a total of four leases all exclusively through email and phone call. I usually start off by emailing all the dealers within a 20-30 mile radius and usually only get 50% or less replies that actually talk numbers.

Once everything is finalized through email, I’ll usually follow up with a phone call.

When I get to the dealer, I make sure everything is set as per the emails, then go ahead with the paperwork.

I’ve had one occasion where the dealer tried to do a bait and switch on me. They agreed to a premium trim, then switched it with a lower trim vehicle when I got there. Sad because they were the #1 dealer of that specific brand in the US…

Leased a BMW today.

I went to a single dealer here in Florida several weeks ago. Got the typical, “I have a great deal for you” which really wasn’t… Then he would disappear and come back 15 to 20 minutes later with another bad deal… After 3 or 4 bad deals in 1h30m, I just left frustrated…

Decided to try and do all on the web. All my attempts to get information using the web chat of dealer’s websites, where I just requested MSRP (I was looking for a demo model, so MSRP is normally not shown on the websites) and Money Factor, always ended up with the chat person not knowing anything and a sales person calling me later. Invariably, they would request that I would go to their dealership and do a test drive…

3 days ago I sent a mail to Loberant (a user in this forum who works for Sonic Automotive) saying I was interested in one of his cars (he has a post with a list). After a few mails (and not a single call), all values were set (sell price, money factor, MSDs, multiple fees). Yesterday morning all open questions had been answered, so he passed my contact to the actual dealer with whom I set my appointment with for this morning.

Today in the dealer, I didn’t have to discuss any numbers. The values were set… I just did a test drive and filled-out a whole lot of paperwork…

I’ve only seen him posting BMW and Mini opportunities. Not sure if he deals with other manufacturers, so using him may not apply to you…

Even though I had a bad experience with my web attempts, there are many people here in this forum who have been very successful at dealing solely with the internet manager, so it may depend on the manufacturer or your location…
It may also be because I never sent an email, would always use the web-chat…

Good luck.

Great. Thanks for posting this. This is quite inspiring.

One last question for you: what position/title did you seek out to email?

Sure, that’s how I got my Spark EV.

I had previously test driven one at a local dealer, but they later sold it and didn’t have any more stock. Inventory was scarce because the model was closing out, so I had to rely on email and phone. Contacted like… 12 Chevy dealers in around here in San Diego and LA. Always started with emails (or web-form emails) to the internet sales departments.

Found a dealer in LA that could get a car. Did all discussions and negotiation over email and phone and text. She had a lot of other deals cooking so phone usually worked the best so we didn’t misunderstand each other. Credit app was done over email. Offer of extra service was done over email (very softly sold, I declined).

And then when it was time to pick up the car, she found another salesman to volunteer to drive it down to me for delivery, bring the lease contract to sign, and then drive my beat up trade in back to LA (the trade in was only for $500 so they gave me the quote with just the VIN and some photos).

While I met a salesperson in person, I literally never met my salesperson.


This is a super duper important line.

The dealership used a VIN number and some pics to appraise a trade in.

Many people waste time putting lipstick on their pig (i.e. detailing, getting new tires, etc.) But the bottom line is we do not need to do this. Putting new stuff on a trade in puts more profit in the dealer’s pocket.

One salesman I am buddies with admitted he often appraised a trade in just by glancing at the car from his office window. That is because they use NADA to see what the car is worth.

I call the dealers first and we talk numbers. Once we both agree, I have them send me the deal on email. If all looks good, I have them deliver the car to my house with paperwork. No pressure at all since I never walk into the dealer!

I think thats a bad idea since you are not seeing the car.
What if they deliver you the car that has a dent or scratches on it lol

Nope. The look at the mileage, they run the carfax and test the paint/bodywork for damage.
A 2015 BMW with 100k and 3 owners and a front end collision repair can look the same as another 1-owner 2015 BMW with 10k miles from the office window. Pity the fool who appraises them from their office window.


They may do it for a $500 trade-in :slight_smile:

Why would a dealership get a salesman to appraiser a car?

Because most of the appraisal value is determined by a VIN lookup in the NADA database.

When I leased my Accord a few months back I emailed every single honda dealer in CT asking what their best price was for the exact Honda Accord I wanted. Almost all of them gave me a price via email and the ones that didn’t it was too bad for them. Once I found the price I wanted I actually put the deposit down over the phone and they ended up shipping the car to their location which I then picked it up and filled out the required paperwork. Easiest car purchase I ever made and actually saved about $90/month from the first dealer I visited in person.