Making first contact

Just curious as I start to shop for my lease replacement. What is considered best practice for making contact with a dealership? In my experience, reaching out via the dealership website or third party site like auto trader is a miserable experience as you get pawned off from the social media person to the Internet sales person and so on and so on. Is calling the dealer direct and asking for new car sales the best way to go?

For reference, my current lease is a Mini Clubman S and I’d like to move to a BMW 330i.

There is no one right or wrong way. I know what you’re saying about emailing through the dealer’s website and getting passed along through all the different reps, but IME this varies depending on the specific dealer, make, etc.

I typically always email the dealer first directly through their website, just so there’s no question about what car I’m inquiring about. Again just personal preference. I find that while calling may get you directly to a sales rep, you then waste lots of time with all the BS that is much more easily accomplished via an email form (what car are you interested in, name, phone, etc.).

Where are you located? We may be able to help.

I have always submitted an inquiry on their website asking for an initial email to work out a deal. Then I respond to that email with further details (lease term, fees, etc).

In my experience, being upfront about what you know (MF, Residual, etc,) seems to garner a more serious response. I have had a few instances where my response to the initial email was responded to by a GSM rather than the internet-sales person.


I’m in central Florida. There is a dealer in south Florida that has pretty much the spec I would want but I haven’t contacted them yet.

I contacted another dealer in South Florida and had three different people reply and it was infuriating which is what prompted this post before I reach out again.

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