Leasing a vehicle has its perks. Who wouldn’t want a new car every couple of years? And, not to mention, leasing a car generally means lower monthly payments. However, your car lease is nearly up and now might be a good time to take the plunge and buy it out. Whether you’re beginning to drive more (and you’re worried about exceeding the miles in the terms of your lease) or you’re just ready for ownership, here’s what you need to know about buying out your lease.
Timing is everything
Before you buy out your lease, you’ll want to check the terms of your lease agreement to see if the dealership will charge you fees for a lease buyout before it expires. It may be better financially to wait to purchase until your lease expires.
Add up the costs
Your car is a few years older now and is beginning to rack up the miles; now is a good time to research the value of your car. You can do this on your own. Websites like Kelley Blue Book and Cars.com, provide tools to estimate your car’s value from different perspectives — private party, trade-in, etc. You’ll want to look up your car’s residual value (estimate of its worth at the end of the lease), which should be listed in your lease agreement.
Get the best deal on financing
If you have some time, it’s a good idea to shop around for the best deal on your auto loan. Explore different options — local banks, credit unions, etc. Some lenders even offer lease buyout loans.
Don’t be afraid to negotiate
There may not be any wiggle room for negotiating the lease buyout amount, but it doesn’t hurt to ask, even if the answer’s “no.” You may get a deal you weren’t expecting.