Buying a Car at the End of the Lease

By: teahupoo
All those years back, you took a car on lease and drove it without a care in the world. You took excellent care of it as if it were a family member, buying the best gas and keeping it clean and shiny.

Now, the time has come for the lease to end and a real family member, (in flesh and blood, of course), along with you is wondering "why not make it ours?" You see the sense behind this, and decide to take the plunge in owning that reliable darling of yours that you had been most comfortable with and had only been wishing was yours. Now is the time to take some important steps in arriving at that decision, and weigh the pros and cons of owning the car that you had leased till now.

One of the simplest ways of estimating the car's worth is to calculate what in automobile market terminology is referred to as the residual value. In simple words, this is assigning an approximate number of years to the remainder of the car's life, and subtracting from it the cost the car has already incurred by way of its having been with you for the lease period. For the normal lease period, i.e., three years, the current value given is half its on-road price.

For instance, let's assume you took on a lease of a sexy, sleek Mercedes whose price was $100,000 at the start of the lease period. Now, it assumes a value of $50,000, plus other charges the leasing company may have set as part of the deal, such as the purchase option fee. So, simple common sense dictates that you need to spend another $50,000 to own your priceless beauty! True, in most such cases, it may seem like you are coughing up more than you thought it was worth. But bear in mind the fact that you've driven it for three years. Moreover, it is a car that you know very intimately!

There is a simple method for finding out if you've got the best deal the market has to offer, just go around checking a car with similar conditions as yours with a multitude of dealers, then settle for the best deal! Then, of course, there is always the bargaining done on any such deals. Just offer your price, and try to extract discounts from the company which they're almost certain to do. Not because of any love for you, but because they had leased you at a higher price in the beginning, with the prospect of offering you ownership at the end of the lease period. This way, you own what you wanted to own, making your family happy in the process!
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