How to Negotiate a Lease Buyout

Negotiating a lease buyout is an option once your term is close to expiration. If you want to keep your car, negotiating a buyout may be right for you. In order to do this, you will need to think about what you can afford to spend and determine the time frame in which to start the negotiations.

Helpful Hints

An important fact to know is that when a leased automobile is returned to the dealer, there are only a few options they have with each car. The dealer can either sell the vehicle as used or auction it for wholesale. As a result they would make more money selling you the car at a negotiated price then either of the prior options. Since leasing has become more popular, providing an increase of good used cars, it has resulted in lower prices making it more beneficial for the buyer. Something to be mindful of is if you are over your mileage limit or there is excess wear and tear on your car, you do not want to tell you leasing representative as this will give them the upper hand during negotiations.

What Can You Afford

To determine the buyout amount of the car, you can call the number on your monthly payment stub. Listen for the prompt that offers the lease end option and ask the representative for the buyout amount of your vehicle. The representative will deduct your security deposit and give you the buyout amount for the current date, which is not always an accurate figure. If someone chooses not to purchase their car through a buyout the car can be sold for the average retail value less 20% because it was a leased vehicle, which decreases the value. This knowledge allows you room to negotiate if the buyout offer is between 1 and 19% of the average retail value. One way to determine the average retail value of your car is to look up Kellye Blue Book online.

Determine Your Time Frame

Negotiating a buyout price can take several weeks or last up until the return date of your vehicle. About 3 months prior to your lease expiration, you should make your initial offer, which should be about 25% less of the average retail value. When you call the leasing company to make your offer, they will either refuse or counter-offer your price. If they refuse, then when there’s a month left of your lease, make your second offer for 20% less than the average retail value. If they refuse again, then when it’s about 2 weeks away from expiration, offer them 15% less than the average retail value. This time frame is considered the “sweet spot” because the dealership is most likely to make a deal.

After taking these steps you are sure to have the upper hand in your negotiations for a lease buyout. Make sure to be confident and firm in speaking with the leasing agent. If they hear any hesitation in your voice they will hold firm thinking you may give in. Remember, everything is negotiable and you are in the perfect spot to do so.


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