About one in four new cars are leased. In What Car Dealers Don't Want You to Know (TechNews Publishing), author Mark Eskeldson:

* A 36-month contract will minimize monthly payments, but don't exceed the car's warranty period.

* Push for a lease that offers 1,500 free miles a month if you drive 18,000 miles a year or more.

* If your credit score is 700 or more, you qualify for favorable terms. Myfico.com provides instant on-line access to all three reports and scores for $39.95.

* Tell dealers your credit score, desired options, length of lease, and mileage limit. Say you'll accept the best offer.