Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

Widget HTML #1

banner

Buy a Car At The End Of Your Lease

You’ve come to the end of your lease and you like you car enough you want to keep it in the driveway. Just like buying a used car, there is some research to be done to nail a good deal.

First, you need to know the cost of buying out your lease. Read the fine print of your contract and look for the “purchase option price”. This price is set by the leasing company and usually comprises the residual value of the car at the end of the lease plus a purchase-option fee ranging from $300 to $500. When you signed on the dotted line, your monthly payments were calculated as the difference between the vehicle’s sticker price and its estimated value at the end of the lease, plus a monthly financing fee.

This estimated price of the car value at the end of the lease is what is termed in leasing jargon “residual value”. It is the expected depreciation – or loss in value – of the vehicle over the scheduled-lease period.  For example, a car with a sticker price of $40,000 and a 50% residual percentage will have an estimated $20,000 value at lease end. 

Now that you know the cost of buying out your lease, you need to determine the actual value, also termed “market value”, of your vehicle.  So, how much does your car retail for in the market? To pin down a good, solid estimate you need to do some pricing research. Check the price of the vehicle, with similar mileage and condition, with different dealers. Use online pricing websites, such as Cars.com, Edmunds.com and Kelly Blue Book for detailed pricing information. Gleaning pricing information from various sources should give you a fair estimate of your vehicle’s retail value.

All you have to do now is compare the two amounts. If the residual value is lower than the actual retail value, than you’re into a winner. Unfortunately, there is a good chance a car coming off a lease is a little on the high side. Don’t despair though. Leasing companies know as much that residual values on their vehicles are greater than their market value and as such are always on the look out for offers. You can knock down on the price of your leased vehicle with some smooth negotiating tactics. Put forward a price that is below your actual target and negotiate hard until you wind up nearthat figure.

Buy or Lease?

It’s the classic dilemma that faces every auto-consumer out there: Pay cash upfront or forego the ownership and pay monthly settlements instead? Buy or lease for a new set of wheels?

As is the case with every other common dilemma, there is no slam-dunk answer. Each option has its own benefits and drawbacks, and it all depends on a set of financial and personal considerations.

First, your finances. Affordability is clearly key, and you need to ask the question of how stable is your job and how healthy is your general financial situation. The short-term monthly-cost of leasing is significantly lower than the monthly payments when buying: you only pay for“the portion” of the vehicle’s cost that you use up during the time you  drive it. 

If you have a lot of cash upfront, then you can opt to pay the down payment, sales taxes - in cash or rolled into a loan - and the interest rate determined by your loan company. Buying effectively gives you ownership of the car and that feeling of “free driving” that goes on providing transportation. If, say, you want to get into luxury models but can’t afford the upfront cash of purchasing the vehicle than you’re a good candidate for leasing. Unlike buying, it gives you the option of not having to fork out the down  payment upfront, leaving you to pay a lower money factor that is generally similar to the interest rate on a financing loan. However, these benefits have a price: terminating a lease early or defaulting on your monthly lease payments will result in stiff financial penalties and can ruin your credit. You need to make sure you carve out the monthly lease payment in your budget for the foreseeable future, at least for the duration of the lease. 

Besides the financial aspect, making a buy or lease decision depends on your own particular lifestyle choices and preferences. Think about what the car means to you: are you the sort of person to bond with the car or would you rather have the excitement of something new?  If you want to drive a car for more than fives years, negotiate carefully and buy the car you like. If, on the other hand, you don’t like the idea of ownership and prefer to drive a new car every two to three years then you should lease. Next, factor your transportation needs: How many miles do you drive a year? How properly do you maintain your cars? If you answer is: “I drive 40,000 miles a year and I don’t really care much about my cars as I don’t mind dealing with repair bills”, then you’re probably better off buying. Leasing is based on the assumption of limited-mileage, usually no more than 12,000 to 15,000 miles a year, and wear-and-tear considerations. Unless you can keep within the prescribed mileage limits and keep the car in a good condition at the end of your lease, you might incur hefty end-of-lease costs.  

Auto Insurance and Leasing

When leasing a car, it’s easier to stick with the same company for your auto insurance. What you don’t know, however, is that you may end up paying too much for your coverage and it’s better to look elsewhere for lower rates.

When you lease, the vehicle that you will drive belongs to the leasing company. They want to make sure that their investment is covered in the event the vehicle gets damaged, totalled or stolen. They typically want to get covered for the difference between what your auto-insurer pays and your outstanding leasing obligations at the time of the accident or damage. This is called GAP, short for Guaranteed Auto Protection, and is usually included in the leasing contract. If your leasing company is called BMW Financial Services, Chrysler Financial or any other finance division of an automaker, then chances are your GAP insurance will be offered by the same lease company.    

You are under no obligation to accept GAP insurance included as part of your lease agreement. Why pay an insurance premium if you could get the same coverage for a lower price? Invest some time shopping by comparing quotes from other insurance companies, including your existing one. Ask for discounts that you already qualify for and adjust your coverage accordingly. 

Post a Comment for "Buy a Car At The End Of Your Lease"