View Full Version : My car lease is ending!

01-17-2000, 09:24 AM
This is the first time I've leased a car, and it will be ending in March. I have an appointment at the dealership to discuss my various options - buying it, going to a different car, etc etc.

My question: What kinds of trick questions will they ask me that I should watch out for? And what smart questions should I ask?

One thing I do know is that I should compare the car's current value to the pre-agreed buyout price on the lease contract. I don't remember what that buyout was, but I'm sure it will be on the paperwork when I go to the dealer. The big question is what is the car currently worth? It is a 1997 Dodge Grand Caravan, Sport model. Can anyone suggest good sites where I can find current prices for such a used car?

01-17-2000, 09:47 AM
I can't help you on trick questions as I have never leased a car. Just couldn't make the numbers work out for me, so I buy them.

But info on car values you can get at: http://www.edmunds.com

RM Mentock
01-17-2000, 10:12 AM
What was your mileage allowance, and did you exceed that? What was the charge per mile over the allowance?

Was there any damage to the vehicle? Was it "properly" maintained, and was the maintenance documented? What are the tires like, and how many miles are on them?


01-17-2000, 11:22 AM
I saw this on 20/20 once. When you bring it back they look for every tiny little itty bit spot, mark, etc & charge you hefty for them. I'd say take it to someone who can professionally clean & restore it beforehand. The money you'll save is significant. Unless you want to keep it.

01-17-2000, 11:29 AM
My 3 year lease was also ending in March, but I had already exceed my mileage, (I told him 56,000 KM wouldn't be enough!--I was at 61.5 with 3 months to go! My wife took the offensive and, after a minimum of bickering, the dealership waived the extended mileage penalty and they waived the up-coming 3 months worth of payments. (We did, however have to pay the tax on these non-payments) and we came away with a new vehicle, (Dodge Caravan) and a three year lease that is basicaly about $4 more per month than our old vehicle. How did we do it:
First: DON'T BE INTIMIDATED! YOU are the customer. YOU are the one with the money! And the car industry isn't having "a banner year."
Secondly: Do some research with some other dealers in your neighbourhood. It's fun to watch a car salesmans face go white when you say: "Jitterbug Mazda says he'll give me (quote a price-finance rate, etc.--and BE HONEST! Don't make it up!) You've just casterated the guy! He'll do something to get his honour back!
And lastly: AND I CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH! Be prepared to walk away. Don't just say it. Don't just threaten it. Be prepared to suck it up and DO IT! And if you do walk away, don't go back to the dealership a week later! For us, that was the biggest step. but once we made it clear we were walking away, our man somehow came up with a better deal. Good luck...and I hope you get a great deal!

With God as my witness, I thought turkey's could fly.

01-17-2000, 11:54 AM
I have a little experience in car sales and I've learned that most leases are not a good deal for the average person who can't deduct the payment as a business expense. The only real advantage is being able to drive a more expensive vehicle that you might otherwise afford.

Some credit unions now have a so-called lease-loan and it might be worth looking into. It's really a balloon payment loan with a few bells and whistles that give it all the best features of a lease with virtually none of the drawbacks. I hold the title with the CU as lienholder and don't need to have higher insurace coverage as a lease generally requires. Interest was half a point more than a conventional loan and I drove away without paying a dime out of pocket. I'm allowed 15,000 miles per year and excess mileage is only 5 per. At the end of the term I have the choice of trading or keeping the vehicle at the preagreed residual value or turning it in. If I don't do anything the residual value automatically converts to a conventional loan at the same payment as the lease portion but at whatever interest rate is currently being offered. There is a small prepayment penalty if I trade before the lease term but it only amounts to $84 if I trade a year early.