So we are at the end of our three-part series on whether to finance a new vehicle or lease one.  Obviously is you plan to keep the vehicle for longer than 4 years, it makes more sense to finance, since you pay less overall.  Here are some tips for getting the best deal from your car dealer.


The general rule-of-thumb for all Canadian car dealers is a markup on new vehicles of about 7-7.5%.  So that means you now have a guide to know what their profit margins are and what you can haggle them down to in price.  I would say, you can usually get 3-3.5% off the list price when you are negotiating and if you have a trade in – make sure you keep this separate and get at least 3% off + the trade in value.  The best time to haggle with a car dealer is at the end of the month when they are wanting to get their sales in to meet quotas.  Buying a car at the beginning of the month could force you to pay an extra .5% more – so think like a car salesmen, get a little savvy, buy at month end and push for your price.  Good Luck!


Now, on the other hand, if you want a new car every 4 years and can afford it – then by all means, lease.  You know from the previous example that you will indeed pay a lot more, most likely double the costs year over year, when compared to financing.  Here are some tricks to keep in mind when you are negotiating your leasing deal to lower your costs.

Same mark-up applies for leasing new versus buying – so try to get the price down by 3-4% off the “Sticker” price.

If this is your second lease from the same dealer you have some “Loyalty Power” here.  You should be getting 1% off the current financing rate for being a repeat customer (this is standard in the leasing business – make sure you get it!)

The fees to be paid on a returning lease should be paid by the dealer if you are leasing again.  Don’t get nickeled-and-dimed here on the minor repairs to the car or the fact that your tire tread might be lower than their 3 mm minimum.  Again – return it and haggle at the end of the month to get a better packaged deal – they will absorb these costs to get another lease on their books.

One thing they may not budge on is the millage.  If you are over your original agreed package, they will charge you $0.30 for every Km over – this cost I have never seen waived for customers – but you could try if it is not much over your original limit.

Your returning leased vehicle will be inspected by Automedix or AutoVIN – third party services used by all dealers, so make sure your car looks really clean and well taken care of – they will take a lot of pictures and report back to the dealer about the vehicle’s condition – you want a good report so you can get a good deal on the next lease.  Good Luck!