(WHTM) — When it’s time to turn in your leased vehicle, do you buy the car outright? You might have a battle on your hands, even if you have a contract.
Buying your leased car used to be the easiest and cheapest thing to do, but that doesn’t hold true anymore in some cases.
Taria Wiley loves the 2019 Holda Civic that she leased three years ago, so she decided to purchase it when the lease came up, especially since she was originally offered a great buyout of just $15,567.
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“It was stated in clear words, no way around it, that was clear,” Wiley said.
But when she sat down with the dealer, she learned it would not cost $19,834 to buy the vehicle. Wiley said the salesman’s explanation made no sense.
“They said, ‘Since you are financing it, we have to buy the car from Honda, so they are charging us a fee, so we have to charge you a fee,'” Wiley explained. The dealer would not provide a comment.
This is happening more and more these days, according to the car-buying website iseecars.com. Dealers can get a lot more money reselling your lease to someone else, so they don’t really have an incentive for you to buy it at the price they agreed to long ago.
“The dealers know the value of these cars is far higher than was predicted three years ago when that residual value was written into the contract, and it’s probably painful for them to have an empty lot … and watching a lease customer come in and scoop up the car for a residual value from three years ago,” said Karl Brauer from iseecars.com.
Brauer says while it’s illegal to change a contract, watch out for reconditioning fees, administrative fees, and termination fees.
Wiley played hardball and told the dealer a contract was a contract. She says they finally agreed to sell the car for what she was originally promised.
Watch out for hidden fees and ask questions so you don’t waste your money.