Smart Buy Questions

tidestertidester Member Posts: 10,059
What's the difference between leasing and buying? It's called Smart Buy and is brought to you by GMAC. You own the car but have some of the benefits of leasing. The catch is that it also has the complexities of both rolled into one!

Ask your questions about Smart Buy here and others who have been there and done that can share their hard earned knowledge by answering those questions.

tidester, host
SUVs and Smart Shopper


  • pa356228pa356228 Member Posts: 34
    Bought my 2006 Chevy Cobalt LS on March 31, 2006. Still making monthly payments, apparently I'm still leasing. My car dealer told me after the 48 months is up, if I want to, I can buy it off with $4,853 but my question is this,

    Can I still make monthly payments until it is pay off when after the lease is up?

    By the way (btw) My lease is up on March 31, 2010

    Whoever have SMARTBUY, (it should be on your monthly bill or statement) can you tell more about this SMARTBUY program?
  • oldfarmer50oldfarmer50 Member Posts: 18,820
    Maybe I'm thinking about something different but here in NY I think smart buy is just a lease under another name.

    It seems that back in the early part of the last century there was a problem with rich guys running down pedestrians with their limos and then dumping the responsibility onto their chauffeurs who of course had limited resources. To deal with this the state passed a law that said the OWNER of the vehicle was responsible for damages regardless of who was driving.

    Fast forward a century and some smart lawyer figured out that on a lease the OWNER is the car company. They started suing GM, Ford, Toyota etc. for million dollar settlements.

    The car companies of course thought this was unfair and asked the state to change the law to exempt them as this was never the intent of the law. Of course the NY state legislature is made up of crooked lawyers who were in on this scam, so nothing happened.

    For a while the car companies stopped leasing in NY. Soon they realized that this was costing them money and came up with Smart Buy. SB was in every sense a lease except legally the person who leased was the owner.

    This got the car maker off the hook but ended up costing people who lease in NY about an extra grand in charges.

    Now is that what you mean by Smart Buy? :confuse:

    2019 Kia Soul+, 2015 Mustang GT, 2004 Chevy Van, 2000 Chrysler Sebring convertible

  • tidestertidester Member Posts: 10,059
    Can I still make monthly payments until it is pay off when after the lease is up?

    We'll have to wait for someone who is familiar with SMARTBUY to help out but my understanding is that you effectively have a balloon payment due at the end of your "lease" and then the car is yours. You can either pay cash or finance the balloon payment.

    Can anyone help out here? Thanks!

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • qbrozenqbrozen Member Posts: 29,809
    Well, I dunno if I'd call it a balloon payment because I think that implies you have to pay it. It is like a lease in the fact that you can turn in the car and walk away.

    But, to answer the question, no, you can't just keep making payments. You have to arrange financing or turn the car back in. It is possible you could extend the SB like you do a lease, but you definitely need to call the finance company to discuss the possibility of that option.

    '21 Wrangler 4xE, '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '14 Town&Country Limited. 55-car history and counting!

  • pa356228pa356228 Member Posts: 34
    Not sure if that answers my question, hopeing for more feedbacks, but I guess that works. Also, I do remember the car dealer (where I got my car from) saying with the Smart Buy, I can trade my car in for another vehicle and If I decided to trade my car in after 2 years of the lease (now, it's been almost 4 years) and how much money left on the lease will go toward another vehicle and will take the sales price and subtract the amount I still have left on my lease from my previous vehicle.

    I think after the lease is up, I'll just buy a used vehicle and won't have to deal with anymore leases. That's the best way, I could think of. Anymore suggestions??
  • oldfarmer50oldfarmer50 Member Posts: 18,820
    "...and subtract the amount..."

    I would get any salesman's promises in writing before I did anything. Maybe I am not understanding what you were trying to say but I can't imagine any deal where they would SUBTRACT any costs when trading.

    I forget what state you said you were in but if SB in your state is anything like in NY you should treat it exactly like a lease.

    I seem to remember that when SB came here there was an outcry because sales tax was charged on the ENTIRE cost of the car rather than just the lease cost as was previously done. If this is true where you are you might look in to any sales tax rebate that is available to you at the end of your lease.

    2019 Kia Soul+, 2015 Mustang GT, 2004 Chevy Van, 2000 Chrysler Sebring convertible

This discussion has been closed.