Shopping process - do it in stages?

For our last car which we purchased, a Honda Odyssey, I followed the process outlined here basically involves calling/emailing at least 7 dealers. This worked out well. As I’m looking to lease (BMW 328i, SoCal), wondering if I should shop price first, then discuss leasing terms with the finalist? Or should I shop everything in one go (purchase price + lease terms), which would obviously be faster. Any advantage to doing this in phases?

A caveat is that I supposedly want a less common configuration than what is widely available. Or so they say.

My strategy is to research an excellent but doable selling price, calculate a target lease price, and ask the dealer to match that.

You could shop around, but in a competitive market like Southern California, I’d just email the local dealer and say, “Dealer X, which is an hour away from me, offered the following: (insert desired MSRP, selling price, monthly payment, and amount due at signing). Would you be able to match? If so, I can stop by today and take delivery. Thanks.”

Here are July’s numbers for 2016 3-series:

36/10K: 66% residual, .00137 MF

I’d target 10-12% off MSRP and do multiple security deposits. Mid-$300s with $1,800 drive-off + MSD would be solid on a $40K 328i. If you only care about price, a bare bones 320i likely can be had for under $300 including tax with the same drive-offs.

Similar question. I’m new to the site, but it seems like you want to negotiate selling price independent of anything else and you lock in the different variables of the formula piece by piece - in order to corner the dealers into not being able to wiggle out.

My question is though, i see advertised that the price of cars are discounted, but only if you buy - not available to lease. SHouldn’t the price be the same regardless ?

For example GM is offering 20% off msrp right now on 2016 models, but it has this disclosure

“1. On select vehicles in dealer stock while stock lasts. Not compatible with special finance, lease and some other offers. Take delivery by 8/1/16. See participating dealer for details.”

yes and no… sometimes the advertised discounted offer has rebates that only apply to the purchase. So sometimes the lease is $2500 on purchase and only $1000 on lease. So that would be the difference at times.

Yes, it’s a good idea to research those differences so you can arrive at the pre-incentive selling price. From time to time, incentives on leases are even greater than those on purchases.

I can try and help, what options/config is it that you are looking for that is not widely available?

Thanks for the info and this great site Michael. Do the residuals or Money factor tend to change from month to month then?

Just a followup. I was able to nab a deal just as you described on a 328i in White with Driver’s Assist and Harmon Kardon stereo options. MSRP 41170, purchase price 36,818, full $2800 security deposit, no down. Monthly w/tax $350. The challenge was finding this rare config (without other added options that drive up the cost), at the end of a model year, was like a needle in a haystack. Lucky me :slight_smile: Anyhow thanks again for the help and great info.