Tips on responses to - "What monthly payment are you looking to achieve?"

I’ve always tried to steer the conversation back to the selling price since I’m more concerned about the overall cost of the lease, but curious how you each specifically respond to those types of requests.

1 Like

I don’t ever let the conversation get to that point. I make an offer and they can say yes or no. If the conversation has gotten to that point, it’s already gone off the rails.


I don’t know if that’s always the case. I asked them for a quote as my initial request and the response was asking if I have a goal for my monthly payment, so they can see what they can do for me.

Not sure why my goal should matter for what they can do, but nevertheless, they asked right off the bat :slight_smile:

1 Like

You opened the conversation by asking them how much they want you to pay and let them frame the negotiations.

I see no reason to ask them for a quote at all. Tell them what it’s going to take to do business and get to it. Your value to the dealer when searching for an aggressive deal is to be the easiest, quickest, lowest effort deal they’ve ever done. Every extra interaction erodes that value.


Interesting, thanks.

I’ve been leveraging this approach -

Asking them for a quote up front, then responding back with my offer when they come back with their initial offer - but I’ve found some dealers short circuit that approach and go right to the question in the title.

If you tell them you want a car and you want to stay under a 1000 a month, I bet they could make it work for you and find you a Honda Accord for 900 a month.

I don’t solicit quotes from them, I do what Matt does and give them an offer.


Different people have different approaches. Personally, I don’t like the “ask for a quote and then respond” strategy for a couple reasons:

  • It lets the dealer frame the starting point for negotiations; everything is a movement from that starting point
  • It wastes everyone’s time. You know the price you’re trying to get to, so why play games about it? Just tell them what it’s going to take.
  • It implies that you’re going to be cross-shopping offers; many dealers are hesitant to put their best offer down because they know that once you have something in writing, you’re going to be taking it to all their competition
  • It makes you less of a serious buyer; you’re asking for feedback rather than saying “if you do this, you’ll make a sale RIGHT NOW”

Now, there are dealers that don’t respond well to the “here’s what I’m offering” approach. There are some out there that are more receptive to the back and forth over and over, and it can potentially set you up with a dealer that can’t get to your numbers today to revisit things as they approach a sales goal, etc. It’s not a one size fits all solution, but personally, I’d rather cut the games, not waste time, and simply say “here’s what it’s going to take, I’ll be there in an hour to take delivery if you say yes” and get it done.



Fair points, thanks for the feedback.

If a customer is savvy enough to make a sensical offer then great - make it. It makes my job really easy.

I ask the question about monthly payment all the time because I have people who think a Pilot Elite, Odyssey Elite, CRV Touring, etc. will be $0 down, $200/month on a daily basis.


The advice assumes one is making a reasonable offer.

1 Like

I get lowball offers all the time and I don’t mind it. I either simply say I will pass or make a counter-offer. With over 1,000 internet leads per month paired with 5-10 phone calls per day I can’t let anyone take up too much of my time.


It doesn’t have to be treated like a trick question, if the dealer asks what payment I’m trying to achieve, I tell them what payment I’m trying to achieve.

I know exactly what payment I’m trying to achieve because I’ve worked out my target deal ahead of time, and can respond truthfully that if they can get to $XXX payment with $YYY DAS I will be in to sign shortly.

1 Like

The common theme around here is going to be to not negotiate by monthly, but there is times when that is conducive (It let’s manager or director get creative with how to best get you where you want to be)

Know your target combination based off residual, incentives and rate and figure out the monthly. Be confident about the number you put out there and stick to it (as long as it’s halfway reasonable)


It’s important to keep in mind that generally when we tell people not to go off of monthly, it’s because they randomly decide on some monthly number with no context to what the deal is and completely ignore the DAS part of the equation, rather than saying “don’t convert your offer to monthly/das”. I still think there’s a time and a place where dealing in terms of monthly/das doesn’t work, but it is situational dependent.


@AtomicDutchOven - Do you mind sharing what car/model you are looking at?

As far as the monthly payment question, nothing wrong telling them what your number is with the amount due at signing (as long as you have done your research). You could also mention you will be open to providing them with a breakdown of how you got to that number (DO NOT share the Leasehackr calculator).

Not all dealers will be transparent with a quote. As a consumer and prospective customer, you should always remember that you have the power to move onto another dealer that will be transparent with you. There are also tons of brokers on this site.


“Odyssey is a POS!!!.. unless it has a vacuum then I want two”


I have never had a problem negotiating by payment but I always have a realistic calculation going into it, whether it’s a lease or purchase. A lot of people have a payment in mind and walk into a dealer with that. On a purchase that turns into “sure we can get to that payment, here is your 84 month term”

In that case, it really sucks.


Sucks twice as much