Have you ever purchased a vehicle, taken it home, and then realized shortly thereafter that it’s not a good fit for your needs? It happens all the time—and it can be a costly venture. Whether it’s an issue with the size of the back seat, a problem with the cargo space, or frustration caused by too many blind spots, it’s not uncommon for new car owners to suddenly realize they’ve made a big mistake with their purchase after they’ve paid the fees and committed to the sale.
That’s one of the reasons why so many people opt to lease vehicles before buying. Leasing a vehicle can be a great way to decide whether a car is right for you, as it gives you the opportunity to drive the car, get a feel for the fit, and learn whether the vehicle truly works with your lifestyle before committing. If the vehicle doesn’t fit, you simply return it when the lease is up and find a car that’s a better fit.
On the other hand, if you decide you love your leased car—those blind spots you were warned about are nonexistent, the regular maintenance routine is simple, and the drive is perfect—then you have the option to purchase the vehicle when your lease is up. This option is called a lease buyout, and it allows you to purchase the vehicle at the end of your lease rather than returning it to the car dealership. What you pay for the car during a lease buyout is based on the car’s residual value, which is the car’s predicted value at the end of your lease. This price is agreed upon during your lease signing, so you’re well aware of what you’ll owe if you opt for a lease buyout.
While the terms and price of a lease buyout are clear, deciding whether you should buy your car after leasing it can be less cut and dry. As with any financial decision, there are plenty of factors to consider before buying a car after leasing it, and it’s important to understand what they are beforehand. CoPilot compiled a list of 10 things to consider regarding whether you should buy your car after leasing it. Here’s what you should know.