Your Options Once Your Car Lease Runs Out
If you have a leased car, it’s better not to wait until the day it ends to think about your next move. You know what to expect from the vehicle, at that point, and whether the car is a good fit for your needs. If it isn’t, you may be anxiously waiting until the lease runs out to make the transition to a new leased or purchased car.
Generally speaking, you have four options when the lease ends:
- Return it.
- Buy it.
- Trade it for a different vehicle.
- Extend your lease.
Although your satisfaction with the vehicle will, in part, help you to make the decision, you will also need to know whether you have all these options open to you. If so, what are the conditions for each? Start doing your homework now so you will be ready to make the right decision when the time comes.
Start with the Contract
Many drivers are only interested in the basics when they lease a car, such as the mileage limitations, the price they pay each month, and what the value of the vehicle will be at the end of the lease period.
The contract will lay out all the details of your termination options and give examples so that you can determine which option is right for your needs. That includes penalties that you will have to pay if you decide to end the lease before the termination date.
How It Works
According to LeaseGuide.com, the leasing company normally contacts the lessee about a month prior to the end of the lease. They will explain how the vehicle needs to be inspected and returned at that time. If you are leasing a Toyota, you will probably return it to the Toyota dealer where you made the lease agreement. Some lease companies will review your option for purchasing the vehicle, and they may offer you a lower price than given at the beginning of the lease agreement. Another possibility is that they may offer to extend your lease for a certain period of time. This option is sometimes used when the lessee is unsure of which option to take, or they need a little more time, for some other reason, to make the change.
What most won’t tell you is that you might be able to use the leased vehicle as a trade for a new lease or purchase. That way, if you are not happy with the vehicle you are driving, you don’t have to give up the equity you have built up to get a new vehicle that you may like a lot better.
Determining the Real Value of the Car
Whether you have an offer for a better price on the vehicle or you just want to know if the buyout price the company won’t come down on is a good one, Car Pro recommends taking it to a reputable dealership to find out what they would offer for the vehicle in cash. If the amount you are quoted is higher than the buyout price, you can use the vehicle as a trade-in and avoid paying termination fees and wear-and-tear charges.
On the other hand, if the value of the vehicle is lower than the price you would have to pay to purchase it, then you should walk away from it the same as you would any offer that isn’t a good deal. If you choose this option, you should get the inspection and fix any wear-and-tear items for which you are likely to be charged more by the leasing company.
If you are happy with the vehicle and want to purchase it outright, you still want to pay a fair price. Being familiar with the car and knowing its history is worth your paying a little more than its real value, but not a lot.
Getting to drive a new Toyota vehicle every few years is one reason that many people prefer to lease. Even if that is your reason, one of the other options may turn out to be a better deal. The decision you make should have two goals in mind: getting a vehicle that is right for your driving needs, and getting the best deal possible.
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