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Dear Driving for Dollars,

I keep hearing about negotiating when you buy a car, but I don’t want to buy — I want to lease. There’s no negotiating when it comes to leasing a car, right? The payment is just the payment, right?

— Robben

Dear Robben,

Actually, you absolutely can negotiate a car lease to get a better deal and it is in your best interest to do so. Just like when you are buying a car, you want to negotiate based on the full price, not the monthly payment. Once that is agreed upon, it will get broken down into a monthly payment based on the terms of your lease.

To give you an idea of how much money you can save by negotiating, we spoke with the folks at SwapALease.com about how the monthly lease payment would differ on a car for which the consumer negotiated a $2,000 discount off the manufacturer’s suggested retail price, or MSRP, a discount that is not unusual for those negotiating a deal to buy a car.

Negotiating car lease savings

As you can see, by negotiating $2,000 off the MSRP, you would save $58.47 a month, which amounts to $2,104.92 over the life of the lease. That’s a lot of gas money!

RATE SEARCH: Looking at new cars? Before you buy, shop for the best rates on auto loans at Bankrate.com.

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If you have a car question, email it to us at Driving for Dollars. Read more Driving for Dollars columns and Bankrate auto stories. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter @SheDrives.

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