Don't let that used car dealer stick it to us.
June 19, 2011 2:53 PM   Subscribe

Help me be aggressively prepared to deal with the end of our car lease in November.

Our 36k mile lease on a 2009 Scion XD is coming due in November. We're not sure whether we want to buy the car out or lease a new one.

Here are all the details:

* We have 33k miles on it, so I know I'll have to take the train for the next couple months to make sure we don't go over on miles.

* I was in a car accident in February and had it professionally repaired, and I claimed it on my auto insurance.

* There are three or four small dings, several scratches, and my bumper could use some love. I'd prefer not to shell out to get these fixed, but that would guarantee that we have to buy it at the end of the lease.

* My husband and I have rather less than stellar credit because of student loans, and we don't know how this would affect financing the remainder of the car payment if we purchase it instead of turning it in.

* We might get an equal or lower payment for a new lease through Scion because, from what I understand, their focus is on getting their cars into urban markets to younger lessees who have no or tarnished credit.

* If we decide to buy it, I'm pretty sure we'll be able to haggle the price. How can I do this without getting steamrolled by the dudes at the car dealership?

Help us make a decision wise people!
posted by santojulieta to Shopping (1 answer total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
We might get an equal or lower payment for a new lease

You're driving too much to stay within the terms of the lease, and your car is suffering a lot of damage that you're only fixing because of the lease. It sounds to me like leasing is not a good fit for you, so I'd cross that option off your list.

The first prerequisite to negotiating a good deal is to know what a good price would be. Look up the blue book values for the car in its as-returned condition, paying special attention to the trade-in and private-party values. The trade-in value is roughly what it would cost the dealer to buy another such car from someone else, so that's a decent approximation of its wholesale value. The private party value is the amount you'd likely have to pay someone else for the car. Unless the car is in very high demand and thus hard to come by, there's no reason to accept the 'dealer retail' figure. If they want you to pay more for it than you could get a similar car for elsewhere, walk away.
posted by jon1270 at 3:22 PM on June 19, 2011

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