Residual value - Leased car


K

Kendrell

Caveat: This is a financial question, but not necessarily a financial
planning question.

I leased a car three years ago with the intention of buying the car at the
end of the lease. I felt pretty comfortable that we got a good deal on the
lease payment and stated residual value. It's now time to buy the car. The
purchase price is $15k - almost exactly what Kelley Blue Book says is the
average retail price. I checked through several on-line sites to find
similar cars for sale and found an average of $19k-$21k. My question,
though, is if there's any chance I negotiate the purchase price of the car
at the end of the lease or am I stuck with my negotiating skills of three
years ago? What costs are involved to the bank and car dealer for me
turning the car in? Any input would be appreciated.
 
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J

John A. Weeks III

Kendrell said:
I leased a car three years ago with the intention of buying the car at the
end of the lease. I felt pretty comfortable that we got a good deal on the
lease payment and stated residual value. It's now time to buy the car. The
purchase price is $15k - almost exactly what Kelley Blue Book says is the
average retail price. I checked through several on-line sites to find
similar cars for sale and found an average of $19k-$21k. My question,
though, is if there's any chance I negotiate the purchase price of the car
at the end of the lease or am I stuck with my negotiating skills of three
years ago? What costs are involved to the bank and car dealer for me
turning the car in? Any input would be appreciated.
Yes, you can try to negotiate a better deal. I have heard of it
happening, but I wouldn't bank on it. You have other options, such
as buying the car and trading it in, or buying it and selling it
privately. If you buy the next car from the dealer that you are
working with on the lease, you may be able to get an extra discount
in the deal since the car appears to be selling for more than the
average blue book value. You may want to do a bit more research
and make sure that these cars are actually selling for this higher
amount, and are not just sales lot queens with high prices. Used
cars are a tough sell right now, so premium prices are rare.

-john-
 
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T

Tad Borek

Kendrell said:
I leased a car three years ago with the intention of buying the car at the
end of the lease. I felt pretty comfortable that we got a good deal on the
lease payment and stated residual value. It's now time to buy the car. The
purchase price is $15k - almost exactly what Kelley Blue Book says is the
average retail price. I checked through several on-line sites to find
similar cars for sale and found an average of $19k-$21k. My question,
though, is if there's any chance I negotiate the purchase price of the car
at the end of the lease or am I stuck with my negotiating skills of three
years ago? What costs are involved to the bank and car dealer for me
turning the car in? Any input would be appreciated.

If the cars are really going for $19-21k in your area you're in a weak
bargaining position. That would mean that if they take the car back,
then they'll be able to sell it for $4k-6k more than if you take the
lease-end price. So check into that, walk some lots to see what's really
going on.

If you want that model car, you know its history so far (no
crashes/etc), didn't get a Monday-morning lemon, and especially, if
you've driven much less than your allowed mileage, it probably makes
sense to keep your off-lease car. In effect you've already paid for
mileage you didn't use, and there's some security to knowing the history
of a car.

You don't need to let them know that of course. Always, always, try for
a better deal - if you don't ask you never get. Look at the dealership &
others in your area...if there's a flood of that specific car sitting
unsold in the used car lots you might have some leverage. Use it - point
to them, "what, you want another one of these tying up your lot and
costing you more money?" I think around here at one point there was a
flood of Boxsters & Z3s from the dot-com hangover.

-Tad
 

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