When your car lease deal comes to the end, you naturally have some double thoughts and hesitations about your next actions. Having many options to choose from, you definitely should do one thing beforehand. No matter what kind of vehicle you have, you should want to know where you stand before ending your lease.
Examine your fine paper very carefully and pay attention to the sections that cover the information about the residual value, buyout possibilities, extending chances, transfer allowance, and your penalties in case of early termination. You are going to learn about each particular notion in every practical way at the end of a lease. Let’s start with the most common option.
The easiest and most common way to end up your car lease deal is to return the vehicle to the lessor. This way you fulfill the basic agreement and have to surpass the car check.
We prepared a brief checklist for returning your leased car:
Don’t forget that most probably you’ll owe a disposition fee, mileage charges if applicable, and any wear and tear charges.
One way is you can trade in the car for another lease from your company. You can often roll your lease into a new one even before your lease is up or when it expires. Trading it in for a less expensive vehicle can lower your lease payment. The downside is you might have to pay an early exit fee.
Another way you can take advantage of a lease pull-ahead. It is usually only available a few times a year but still, you may catch it. Thus a dealership waives the last three payments on a lease if you take out a new one with them.
It’s an incentive offer designed to keep you as a customer and move certain vehicles off the lot. Aside from skipping out on the last three payments, you typically don’t have to pay for going over your mileage limit if you drove more than expected.
It might be worthwhile to buy your car when your lease ends. Especially if you damaged the car or went over the mileage allotment. Besides you’d prefer to spend the money you’d have to pay in fees on buying the car instead. Maybe you really got used to your leased car and just feel like keeping it.
You have the first right of refusal to purchase your leased vehicle for the residual value. If you do not purchase it, the dealership has the next opportunity. And if it does not purchase it, the lease company gets it back and sends it to the auction. Like trading your vehicle in, if you purchase your leased car, there are no fees or charges.
Keep in mind that you will have to pay sales tax and DMV fees again if you choose to buy the car. It’s better to read the terms of your lease and estimate the condition of your car to figure out if this option is right for you.
We mentioned here 3 ways to end your car lease deals earlier, so you may have a more detailed overview of these options. If you aim to finish the lease term before it ends, you can trade it in anywhere for any make and model you wish, you are not tied to the dealer you leased from. By trading, you avoid the disposition fee, mileage charges, and wear and tear. After agreeing on a price, the lender typically buys your contract directly from the leasing company and gives you a check for any remaining value.
You can also transfer (sell/swap) your lease car to a third party but you need to be really careful and check with your agreement if the initial contract allows this option. You can either pay off the lease and then sell your car or just sell the current lease deal to a third party. Typically, you’ll make more money by selling your car to a private party, but you’ll likely have to pay sales tax. Again, this kind of action is quite controversial and it’s better to have a consultation with a trusted lease expert in order to be on the safe side and don’t be stuck in a financial situation.
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