Verbiage to use when approaching BMW dealers

Hi all,
This may seem kind of silly, but I’m new to negotiating for my upcoming lease and I really am not sure on what verbiage to use when approaching dealers.

I’m looking to lease a 2021 BMW X1 xdrive28i and the best offer I’ve received is $1500 down, 36 mo/12k for $552.31/month. I’m not sure the rest of the details as it wasn’t actually written up and presented to me, but rather suggested in an e-mail from a salesperson. The last deal that was presented to me had a MF of 0.00122, but I know I can do better from my research here (I’m in Portland, OR).

My question is, do I use the calculator with the numbers I have and suggest a monthly rate or do I suggest the MF I want and go from there? I get stuck on what “verbiage” to use, if that makes sense? I’ve been primarily e-mailing with sales people.
Thanks in advance for any assistance.

Prior to reaching out to a dealer, I use the Leasehackr Calculator to estimate my ideal lease – something that’s aggressive but within the realm of possibility. Then I go ahead and request a quote by email, specifying the vehicle stock number, my zip code, and desired term/mileage.

After receiving the initial quote, I respond by asking if they’ll accept the deal I’m targeting. They might agree to it, if it’s a well-researched offer, or they might counter with a higher offer, in which case you could start reaching out to more dealers using the same approach, and going for the dealer who comes closest to your target deal.

The key is coming up with an informed deal that the dealer will actually take seriously. It helps to be as nice and courteous as possible; brevity is good, too – nobody has time to read through a War and Peace email.

Here’s what I sent the last time I leased a car:

Hi _____,

Hope you are doing safe and well. I’m interested in this _______ wagon you have for sale:

Is this vehicle still available? If so, could you please provide a quote? Looking to do a 36-month, 10K mi/year lease with $1,000 drive-off. Zip code is 98765.

Looking to take delivery later today or tomorrow if things all work out. Thanks in advance!


Dealer responded with a lousy quote. I countered with the following:

Hi _____,

Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. I appreciate it.

I’ve gotten a quote that was a bit lower (10% off MSRP before incentives) but prefer the configuration of your car (black on black).

Could you do the following?

Selling Price: $XX,XXX pre-incentive
Incentives: $X,XXX Lease Cash + $X,XXX Loyalty Cash
Rate: .00123

Should work out to a tad under $400/month with about $1,300 in drive-offs.

If that works for you, would love to swing by this afternoon or evening to take delivery! Around 5 PM works. Happy to submit credit application online in advance, etc., to expedite the process.


Dealer came back with a good quote. I stayed true to my word and set up an appointment to take delivery.

This was in a market with actual dealer competition, like CA or the Northeast. It might be harder in the PNW where the dealer sets the price and there are few other places to go.

Gently indicating your seriousness and urgency like I did helps, too. Don’t reach out until you’re truly ready to buy. You want them to know you value their time and that you’ll be a non-problematic person to work with.


As @mllcb42 would say, do your research before you approach any dealer.

First, find out what the BMW current numbers (money factor, residual value, and lease cash/loyalty (if you qualify) or other incentives are for this month (these numbers vary monthly). You can get some information on how to do so here. tl;dr = go to edmunds forums and ask

Second, research a reasonable pre-incentive discount (pre-incentive meaning before lease cash, loyalty, and any other rebate from BMW) based on other posts here, or what brokers are offering. For BMWs generally, new cars from dealers are getting discounted anywhere from 10-11% before rebates. Here is a post on a deal on a new X1 recently. Search “bmw x1” in the search bar above, sort by most recent, and go through the first 15-20 entries, that should give you a good idea.

Third, use the LH calculator to figure out what a reasonable monthly payment would be, plugging in the data you got from steps 1 and 2 above. @mllcb42 has a nice post on how to use the calculator here. Figure out if you want to put down multiple security deposits (MSDs) to help bring down the money factor on the BMW if you want (more here on that).

After you did all the above, construct the deal you want. You should have a reasonable monthly lease number in mind based on the calculator work in step 3 above. @michael has given you the right language here, I think it’s right to use that. In my case, I wanted to specify the exact money down (so no surprises) and MSD amount (7xMSDs = $3500 for example). But then I went dealer to dealer, and just used the same language and see who would play ball.

Good luck!

1 Like

^^^this is how you do it

Don’t be a demanding jack. People in the industry get treated like shit daily. If you want a unicorn deal be straightforward and cool, we’re much more inclined to give you what you want.


I think that’s always been a key when I’m negotiating for myself.

Be nice, and be serious. When I throw out an offer like that, I always say I’m willing to leave a deposit immediately and then take delivery ASAP (if I’m emailing a dealer that’s like 3 hours away and I can’t practically just say I’ll come today).

I’m sure many people waste a ton of their time, so being a serious and upfront buyer I’m sure is nice. I’ve had one dealer comment on the fact that he doesn’t usually do those kinds of deals but he was cool with it because he could tell I was serious and he really didn’t have to do any work other than say yes and deliver the car. No time suck on an employees time for 5 hours, no quoting out 6 cars, etc.

Especially having started doing some brokering, I know first hand how many nonsense inquiries dealers must deal with :rofl:

1 Like

This right here is the goal.

Remember, if you’re asking the dealer to make a minimal amount of money, you really ought to be asking them to do a minimal amount of work. You want to be the easiest way for them to boost their volume numbers and be absolutely zero headache.

There is no reason it should take more than 2-3 emails to go from “hello” to “yes”.


:point_up_2::point_up_2::point_up_2: What they said. If I may add - be upfront with the dealer/internet sales, etc. Don’t lie about qualifying for incentives (such as loyalty) you don’t qualify for. If your credit is sub-par, it will be known once you submit a credit app.

Keep it simple and straight to the point.

1 Like