Among the first considerations when shopping for a used car is the reliability and condition of the vehicle. To help minimize these concerns, it makes sense to consider previously leased vehicles as potential candidates. Lease agreements are strict with regards to how vehicles are used and maintained. Buying a car that has just come off of a lease may mean getting a car that was cared for properly and will potentially be more trouble-free for you.
Post-Lease Versus Used Vehicles
Buying used means buying for less, but it does come with an element of risk. Whether offered by a dealer or an individual, most used cars are sold "as-is" meaning that past negligence on the part of the previous owner may translate into headaches for future owners. A few of these cars may be offered with limited warranty, or extended warranties may be purchased by the new owner. However, if the car does develop problems down the road, attending to them will still be inconvenient and time-consuming whether the repairs are covered by warranty or not.
On the other hand, to avoid large penalties at the end of a lease, the lessee likely has given more time and attention to maintaining his ride. Because of this, many post-lease vehicles hit the sales lot in better condition than do previously owned ones. They may be in good enough shape to receive "certified previously owned" status from the dealership and, depending on the length of the lease term, may still have manufacturer's warranty remaining.
Buying a Previously Leased Vehicle
If you decide that a post-lease vehicle makes sense in your future purchase plans, track a few down and add them to your list of possibles. Of course, you will want to subject them to the same scrutiny as any used car. Be sure to investigate, at minimum, the following information about the car.
- The car's history
- Any external or internal damage
- Total mileage
- Age of the vehicle
- Any alterations made
- Option packages included
Protect that Vehicle
As with any used car purchase, buying a post-lease vehicle carries with it the responsibilities of protecting and preserving the car's condition. That means considering an extended service contract for warranty protection and added perks like roadside assistance. To maintain and enhance future resale value, wash the vehicle regularly and ensure that all scheduled maintenance is performed and documented.
Buying a previously leased vehicle isn’t the right decision for everyone but, for many people, it makes sense. If you are looking for a used car that has been well taken care of, there are few ways better to obtain one than by looking at the pool of post-leased options. These cars are easy to find, but many consumers don't think to look for them while they are in the used car market. If you are on the used car hunt, don't neglect this resource to finding a car that might come with less baggage.