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How to Decide Whether to Purchase Your Vehicle at Lease-End
Step 1: Find Out Your Vehicle's Purchase Price
Your vehicle's end of term purchase price should be listed on the contract that you signed when you originally leased it. Having said this, you should always place a call to the bank that you are leasing your car or truck through just to make sure that you have the correct figure. When you do so, it never hurts to try to haggle with them. Some banks will negotiate the lease-end purchase prices of vehicles. If your initial contact at your bank is not willing to lower your vehicle's purchase price, you may have better luck if you work your way up the ladder to a manager. There is a good chance that they will not lower your vehicle's price, more often than not they will not, but you don't have anything to lose by asking.
Step 2: Find Out Your Vehicle's Current Market Value
Now that you know exactly how much money it is going to cost you to buy your leased vehicle you need to compare that figure to its current value on the open market. You can find out approximately what your vehicle is worth by looking up its Edmunds.com True Market Value using the Edmunds.com Used Vehicle Appraiser. You also may want to stop by the "Real-World Trade-In Values" discussion that resides on Edmunds.com's Smart Shopper Forum. The knowledgeable community members who frequent that discussion are often kind enough to give their opinion on vehicles' values.
Step 3: Compare the Purchase Price to the Real World Value
Now it's time to compare how much your car is worth in the real world to its value on the open market. If it will cost you less than or around the same price to purchase your leased car or truck as it would cost you to purchase a similar used one, you may want to consider buying it.
Step 4: Make Your Decision
If your vehicle's current purchase option price is reasonable, you have to consider if you want to purchase it. If you enjoy driving your vehicle and it has never given you any major mechanical problems and has never been in any major accidents you may want to consider buying it. It almost never makes sense to purchase a vehicle that has been in an accident because of the diminished value that accidents cause vehicles to have. If on the other hand, your car or truck's purchase price is a little on the high side, just turn it in and walk away from it free of charge (provided you don't have to pay an excess mileage or excess wear and tear penalty).
Prices Paid: Buying & Leasing Experiences Forum