Should You Buy Your Leased Vehicle or Walk Away?

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Meghan Carbary has been writing professionally for nearly 20 years. A published journalist in three states, Meghan honed her skills as a feature writer and sports editor. She has now expanded her skill-set into the automotive industry as a content writer for Auto Credit Express, where she contributes to several automotive and auto finance blogs.


, - December 20, 2017

Unless a person opts for a buyout at the end of their term, the worst thing about a lease vehicle can be that the car has to go back.

When to Consider Purchasing a Lease

A lessee should look at the value left in the vehicle compared to the buyout price when deciding to keep their vehicle. If the market value of the vehicle is lower than the buyout amount, purchasing may not be wise. On the other hand, if the car is worth more than the buyout cost, it’s likely a good buy. However, end-of-lease fees could tack on enough cost to sour even the sweetest deal.

A buyout may be in the lessee’s best interest when:

  • The vehicle’s in excellent shape. If the car’s kept up and in great condition, it may be more cost effective to buy than start a new lease.
  • They’ve thrown caution to the wind. Penalties for things like wear and tear and excessive damage can be a hefty price to pay at the end of a lease. Choosing to buy could save money.
  • It was driven far over mileage. Over mileage charges can be exorbitant, sometimes as high as $0.25 per mile.

When to Walk Away from a Lease

When a lease is nearing the end of its term, the leasing company contacts a lessee to layout the options available. These options typically include buying the car, returning the car, leasing another vehicle, or extending the lease on a month-to-month contract.

Consider turning in a lease when:

  • The vehicle has excessive wear and tear and the lessee isn’t planning to buy. In this case, having repairs done out-of-pocket, before appraisal, may save money.
  • “Lease pull ahead” deals are an option. These typically allow a lessee to end their current lease and start a new one with the same manufacturer. Sometimes, dealers may forgive things like excess mileage or damage, and lessees may avoid some of the standard end-of-lease fees as well.

Find a Dealer to Work With

Whether you plan on turning in your current lease, or you’re looking for a local dealer to work with, CarsDirect wants to help. We work with an extensive network of special finance dealers that have lending resources available to assist people in many challenging credit situations. Take the first step by filling out our no-obligation online auto loan request form. It’s simple and free, so get started today!

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Meghan Carbary has been writing professionally for nearly 20 years. A published journalist in three states, Meghan honed her skills as a feature writer and sports editor. She has now expanded her skill-set into the automotive industry as a content writer for Auto Credit Express, where she contributes to several automotive and auto finance blogs.


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