Best minivan Lease deals

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When Marc Frons, former chief information officer with The New York Times, went to his local car dealer, he believed he could get Infiniti's advertised lease deal. This special offered the 2012 G37x sedan for $399 a month for 39 months, with nothing due at signing. When he walked out later that day, Frons left with a new car and a deal that he would later realize cost about $3, 500 more than he was anticipating. How did Frons (who says he is "no rube") end up with such a bad lease? He fell for a few of the most common leasing blunders. Here are some of the worst leasing mistakes and how you can avoid them.

You negotiated the wrong number

When you discuss leasing a car with the dealer, the main figure salesmen focus on is the monthly payment. In Frons' case, his dealer started with an offer of $459 a month. Further negotiations encouraged Frons to talk only about this number. "This, as it turns out, is precisely what car dealers want you to do, " he writes. "And it is all too easy to get distracted by the monthly payment and underestimate or ignore all the other fees and expenses that you either need to pay up front or that determine the price you’d pay for your vehicle if you decide to buy at the end of the lease."

The actual number you should be talking about is the purchase price (which is listed on the lease contract as gross capitalized cost), says Jeff Ostroff, CEO of CarBuyingTips.com. "I always tell people to haggle the price of the car down first as though you're buying it, and then let them use that lower number as the number that gets fed in to calculate your lease payments, " says Ostroff. A 2016 Honda Accord, for example, has a starting MSRP of $22, 205. Agreeing to a price that is $2, 000 less can drop your lease payment by more than $50 each month.

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