Sunday, June 10, 2012

How to Extend an Auto Lease

Extending an auto lease is an option most leasing agents make available. There are a number of end of lease option, in fact, which include buying the car outright or leasing a newer model. Extending the lease on your existing car makes sense if you can greatly lower the payments, have taken good care of the car and cannot afford to buy it out right. In this case, go through the following process with your leasing agent.

Get a Quote
The first thing you need to do is get a quote to extend the lease on your existing automobile. In reality, you will be taking a wholly new lease. The good news is the lease will be cheaper than it was before since the car has been used. The leasing agent may have a standard extension program. This is particularly true if you leased from a national auto company. Quotes will only change slightly in response to your credit score and other financial considerations. Unless you have very low credit, you will typically be offered a fairly standard leasing options.
Seek an Outside Quote
You can consider going to another dealer to get a quote on a similar lease. There is usually more than one leasing agent for a particular make and model in a given geographical area. You can locate a car with similar mileage to your own, and then you can ask for a quote from this other leasing agent. Even if you intend to take the first option, this gives you some bargaining power. While you are shopping around, be sure to ask for similar quotes to finance the purchase of a car.
Compare to New Car Lease
It is worth considering the cost of taking a lease on a newer model car rather than extending the lease on your existing car. This is particularly true if you know you did not take great care of the car you already leased. For example, if you allowed the oil changes or maintenance inspections to go past due, the car you were leasing may not be as reliable as a totally new model. Leasing a new car, however, will ultimately result in a higher cost. Compare this cost with the relative value of the new car versus the car you have. If you determine you would like to extend your lease instead of leasing a different vehicle or a new vehicle, then you need to return to the initial quote offered by the agent.
Negotiate Terms
Starting with this initial quote, negotiate for terms or costs that you find favorable. Consider the length of the lease in particular. Since you have already driven the car for a number of years, will it last another 5 or 7 years? You may want to opt for a shorter lease in the future, and this can be more expensive on a monthly basis than a longer lease. You should also remember you are not building equity with your lease payments. As such, it can be favorable to only lease until you can afford to purchase a car.

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