My mother is retired, and is currently considering leasing a new car to replace her current aging vehicle. A dealership near us has been offering a special on a lease for a particular vehicle for $99 a month for 36 months, plus $2000 cash or trade-in value. $99 a month was significantly less than the usual monthly payment on this vehicle at other dealerships seems to be, by nearly $100, while the other lease terms seem to be similar. It seems hard to believe that the dealership could make a profit with these terms.
Of course, such low monthly payments are often only offered "to qualified leasses." Is it possible for a dealership to advertise such a low monthly payment as a "loss-leader", and then actually offer the advertised terms to few buyers (or none at all)? If a lease is provided through the manufacturer's financial services department, does that guarantee that a potential leasse will get that advertised rate if they meet the stated credit requirements, or can the dealer essentially turn the person down arbitrarily?