An L.A. Times story has extensive advice about how to score the best lease deal. First you nail down exactly how much you plan on driving the vehicle, as well as which one you want, then it’s time not to hit the showroom, but to do the bulk of your negotiating from afar.
From the story:
From here there are two ways to go. The simplest is to use the advertised lease deal offered by the manufacturer and compare multiple dealers to see who might go lower. E-mail or call the Internet or fleet managers at four or five dealerships. They have more negotiating power than the typical salesperson and are used to dealing with buyers remotely.
For example, in the case of the Honda Accord, ask if they can do the deal for $250 a month, including taxes. That change would save you about $800 over the term of a three-year lease. And, if you talk down one dealer, take that offer and call or e-mail the others again to see if they’ll beat it. Be sure your list includes some high-volume dealers.
When all but one drops out, you probably have a good deal.
When it comes to cars, what makes you decide whether to lease or buy?
Getting the best deal on an auto lease [Los Angeles Times]