Besides giving me quotes on the purchase price, many fleet managers gave me a monthly payment, since my fax had stated I wanted to lease. I found myself reviewing and comparing these numbers with more interest than the buying price. (In lease-speak, the buying price of the car is the "capitalized cost" or "cap cost.") When comparing monthly payment figures, however, it is important to make sure the "drive-off fees" are about the same.
Here is a rundown on the quotes I received on the Dodge Grand Caravan, which at the time had a sticker price of about $35,000. (Bear in mind that our lease terms are not what most consumers would want. Also, we always have to switch to a corporate lease before we close the deal.) With roughly $1,300 in drive-off fees, the monthly payments on a two-year lease, with extra miles, ranged from $777 to $898. Over 24 payments this was a difference of $2,904. Obviously, the Blast Fax had worked to ferret out the lower price. But were there other advantages?
I found that working with fleet managers removed much of the aggravation of a normal dealership experience. The fleet managers were straightforward, professional and efficient. The only exception to this was the fleet manager who gave me a quote of $938 a month. When I asked him to try another bank, and suggested one in particular, he said, "Oh yeah, I didn't think of that." The quote suddenly dropped to $806.