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Let's Make A Deal

Get more car for less money.

They'll laugh at you if you pull up to that crucial meeting in a dusty, dinged 1983 Junkmobile. At least that's a big concern on the minds of cash-strapped start-up entrepreneurs.

Your other big worry is paying for the gleaming new wheels you covet, especially with the average new car now selling for around $20,000. Put 10 percent down, finance that car over five years and you're looking at a monthly bill of upwards of $350--and that's for the "average" car. Head into BMW territory, and your monthly will near $500. But that's if you buy. Today, about one in three new vehicles moves off a dealer's lot on a lease.

For good reason, too. A recent scan of leases found deals that could put you in a Saab for $298.73 a month. By the time you read this, that deal may have expired--but there will be others with payments of less than $300. There are hitches to leases, though, so check out the resources spotlighted here.

Robert McGarvey still remembers how he got hosed on a car lease in '85, and he's vowed to help the unwitting avoid the potholes he drove into.

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This article was originally published in the January 1999 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Let's Make A Deal.

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