[BMW] [Lease] Is the 1% rule still a reasonable thing to ask at the dealerships in Northern California?

Hi all,

I am looking to lease a new BMW in 2019, and have talked to a few dealerships in northern California. I tried to bring up the 1% rule, as this is a tip that has been shared many times on Leasehackr. This also matches well with my experience for my previous 2 leases.

However, multiple dealerships kept telling me that times are different, and it’s very difficult to do 1% nowadays. Is this true? It feels like it’s significantly harder to get a good deal with BMW now. Am I correct?

I am mostly looking at BMW X4s, and it seems like the 1% rule is very hard for this model

Also, most of the dealerships are quoting me a money factor of at least 0.002 (which is about 4.8% annual interest) - this seems way too high compared to what has been talked about on this site.

I am aware of the MSD program and have max-ed out on this for my past two leases. Still, I feel that the MFs in nor-cal are all super high.

How can I get better lease terms with northern california dealerships?

Thank you!

1% rule is dumb. You would pay 1% for a i3 or an 3 series? Every model is different and you need to research to see what price is good.


you can offset some of the increase in MF by using MSDs which is now available for everyone.

I’d suggest taking a peek at some of the deals posted by @GAngellBMW or reaching out to him, he’s in NorCal and seems to post solid, transparent deals.

1 Like

Hi @Jon ,

Thank you for your reply. I am indeed also considering a i3, and it seems like from leasehackr that most people were able to achieve the 1% rule. What would be a reasonable expectation for a i3 v.s. a 3 series?

Thank you!

I think you need to spend more time doing research on this site… there are PLENTY of BMW deals to be had. Asking the dealer for 1% is not the best strategy. You should be able to know what vehicles you can get under 1% and which you wont be able to. Deals are to be had, you just need to put in the work. If you dont have the time, its best to use a broker. Theres several of them on this forum. good luck on your search.


Depends on the trim and timing. Use the search function and see what other users are getting for the vehicles you’re interested in.

No one on here says to negotiate by asking for a 1% deal. You need to do research to see what a reasonable sales price is and calculate yourself what the monthly comes out to.

You didn’t mention in your post that you are looking for MY 2019. Dealers probably don’t have any urgency to move them yet.

1 Like

you can always try southern CA. Nor Cal dealers were marking up the MF so we bought our cars from down south.

The 1% rule applying to all makes and models is the most irrelevant thing I have ever heard in my 10 years of selling cars lol.
To give you a better idea of what is considered a good deal you need to look at the selling price before applying the rebates and incentives.
Generally speaking 8% off the MSRP on a new car is in the green zone, but then sometimes they bump up the money factor by a significant amount which cancels out the discounts.

I would never touch a car with an 8% discount and I’m almost positive the majority of the people here also would walk away as well.

Lowest I have settled for would be 11% before incentives are applied… I am patient and I can wait.

and yes the 1% is BS, many people reference it as just a guide.

For a dealership to go over 8% it needs to be an aged unit or VIP marked vehicle or some sort of justification to be dipping into holdback on a car.
8% off the MSRP on majority of vehicles is going below invoice.
I know managers that have gotten fired for giving a ridiculous discount on a car which ended up costing the owner of the dealership.

Unfortunately they’re becoming more and more strict on giving away cars to maintain the “Brand” name lol.

Mercedes and BMW are selling cars with discounts in the 10-15% off msrp range with minimal effort in CA (obviously not a new X5 or G Class or something like that). 8% is pretty low.

No matter how much this is brought up, it won’t die. Some cars lease good below, some at and some above based on captive programs. Too many are fixated on this “1% guide” as being good though.