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Thread: Early return costs?

  1. #1
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    Default Early return costs?

    I currently have a 36k mile/3 year lease that is fully paid for upfront. At the rate I'm going, I'm going to hit my 36k mile limit in 2 years. A quick Google search seems to indicate that there will be early termination fees/costs if I return my car early.

    Question is - does this only apply to monthly payment type of leases? I'm not sure if early return fees would apply to my situation; surely dealers would make more money selling a 2 year old car with 36k miles on it as opposed to a 3 year old car with 36k miles a year in the future? Anyone has any knowledge on this? I don't expect to get any of my prepaid amounts back of course, just wondering if I have to hand over extra fees in addition to what I've already paid (plus the regular disposition fee).

    Reason for wanting to turn the car in upon reaching mileage cap: ongoing insurance costs even if I don't drive it.

    And before anyone starts on the upfront payment being a bad idea... that's a discussion for another time.
    Last edited by Jubilee; 01-10-2017 at 08:50 PM.

  2. #2
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    Usually the early termination costs are if you were to pay month to month and try to get out of the remainder of the lease and not pay the 12 months owed. I don't think there is any penalty for turning the car in early if you already paid for the 36 months and don't expect a refund of the extra 12 months. of course when you talk to the dealer and talk to the idiot kid at the finance company who doesn't have a half a brain cell, they're not going to know how to handle this. You might need to call the finance company kid's manager 2 or 3 levels up to find someone who knows how to deal with this.

    So have you learned our lesson about the perils of leasing (especially if your commute exceeds the allotted miles), or are you going to jump back in and lease again?

    My recommendation, look at how much cash you have on hand, buy a car (used or new) for less than that cash.
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  3. #3
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    If you paid all the costs upfront, it makes no difference to turn it in early. You may want to figure if the overage cost ( typically 20 or 25 cents a mile, check your lease ) is lower cost for the mileage you need, as that would be the only added cost if you keep it for another year. My lease was 20 cents a mile, or 2K per 10K miles, not really a bad deal for another year of using the vechile. Keepin another year also means no sales tax, dealer fees ect.
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  6. #4
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    Depending on the residual and how much you like the car, you can always buy it at the end of the lease and not incur any other charges. You can actually buy it at any time and may even be able or negotiate the residual down a bit.
    Scott.

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  7. #5
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    As others have pointed out, you keep the car, no monthly payment because it's been paid up front. Your only cost is the 20 cents a mile. No sales tax, title work, etc. You indicate driving about 1,500 miles a month. So look at it as a $300 a month payment on your existing car, and then compare what the costs would be to switch to a newer car.

  8. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jubilee View Post
    I currently have a 36k mile/3 year lease that is fully paid for upfront. At the rate I'm going, I'm going to hit my 36k mile limit in 2 years. A quick Google search seems to indicate that there will be early termination fees/costs if I return my car early.

    Question is - does this only apply to monthly payment type of leases? I'm not sure if early return fees would apply to my situation; surely dealers would make more money selling a 2 year old car with 36k miles on it as opposed to a 3 year old car with 36k miles a year in the future? Anyone has any knowledge on this? I don't expect to get any of my prepaid amounts back of course, just wondering if I have to hand over extra fees in addition to what I've already paid (plus the regular disposition fee).

    Reason for wanting to turn the car in upon reaching mileage cap: ongoing insurance costs even if I don't drive it.

    And before anyone starts on the upfront payment being a bad idea... that's a discussion for another time.
    It's best to go right to the source and contact your lessor for this information.


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  9. #7
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    You can always take it to Carmax or wherever to get an appraisal. Odds are very high their quote will be lower than whatever you owe on the car, but it's worth a shot. If you sell/trade in your Volt to a dealer (any dealer), there is no termination fee. I've done this 3 times with a leased Chevy the past year, so trust me on that.

    In addition, in some states if your trade in a leased car to a dealer and lease a new car from that dealer in the same transaction, you actually get a tax credit on the NEW lease. In MD, you get a 6% credit, so if you were to trade in a car and receive $20k for the trade, the sales tax credit on the NEW lease would be $20k * 6% = $1,200.
    That's what helped me flip leases with basically no money out of pocket.....tax credit on the new lease cancelled out most of the negative equity trading in the old one.

    All you would owe is the residual + remaining payments....or just the residual in your case. GMF doesn't charge an early termination fee. They DO charge a $395 disposition fee if you (or someone) doesn't buy the car at lease end.
    Last edited by bro1999; 01-11-2017 at 07:52 AM.
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  10. #8
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    These are sometimes called One Pay Leases. I'm doing my second one of these right now on our Equinox.

    Don't overthink it! GM basically gave you a Volt to drive for X years and Y miles. You paid for those Y miles. If you don't want to hold it for X years, they'll be glad to take it back early as its worth more money at auction or on the used car lot.

    In other words, a 2 year old car with 30,000 miles is still worth more than a 3 year old with 30,000 miles.

    They will be happy to take it back early if that's what you choose to do.

    The other option is to purchase or lease something else right now, and drag out the remaining miles on this lease, by only using this car for: inclement weather (saves the condition of your next ride); extremely short trips (saves wear on mechanicals on new ride); etc.

    I got an outstanding deal on my 2 yr / 20,000 mile lease for my Equinox, and may very well return it by about the 16 month mark. Never had to pay for an oil change or other maintenance, and kept a lot of miles off the Volt. I'm learning that I prefer having 1 car owned, and 1 car leased, in our household (besides the summer toy). Lot of flexibility in striking the best deals.
    Brian

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  11. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by bxd20 View Post
    I got an outstanding deal on my 2 yr / 20,000 mile lease for my Equinox
    To the OP, this could possibly be a good last resort option...Look into turning in/selling the Volt and get a super cheap Equinox lease...Many are reporting $0 drive-off and $150/mo without much work...Alternatively you could always look into turning in the old and leasing a new Volt, many are reporting $5000 off MSRP as a starting point and you'll qualify for the loyalty incentive...One recently reported NorCal deal was $0 down, $229/mo for 15K/miles a year...You can even increase your mileage...

    Before the anti-leasing crowd comments, always remember it takes a very special person who buys a new primary car and drives it into the ground...Most people who drive cars into the ground buy used...You can pick up older used Gen1s for under $10K currently...
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  13. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bacardi View Post
    Before the anti-leasing crowd comments, always remember it takes a very special person who buys a new primary car and drives it into the ground...Most people who drive cars into the ground buy used...You can pick up older used Gen1s for under $10K currently...
    Are you calling me special? As they say in the south, bless your heart.

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    Last edited by llninja; 01-15-2017 at 08:54 AM.
    LLninja (greenback troll #1)
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