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Need expert advice re buying car at end of lease now

Frequent Contributor

Need expert advice re buying car at end of lease now

I have a very unique situation and I would appreciate advice from the experts here.


Three years ago, I leased a car for my MIL to use. She drives my kids around a lot, so it was partly an investment in their safety. The lease is ending next month. (Actually it already ended and I extended it. Further extensions are off the table.) We want to keep her in the same car for several more years, so I'm planning to buy it at lease end. 


I understand that the lease contains a purchase option at a fixed price. I've actually bought cars that way before. I'm hoping to find a way to buy it for a lower price than that. The fact that used car prices are about 5% lower than they were a year ago, and likely to plummet now that Hertz declared BK, makes me think there might be a way to buy this car for less than the option price. Does anyone have experience negotiating this particular type of transaction? If so, are there certain techniques I can use to maximize my chance of achieving my goal?


For context, it didn't even occur to me that this was possible until a different dealer told me about it recently with a luxury brand. He said they sometimes convert a car to a Certified Pre-Owned at lease-end and sell it to the lessee for a lower-than-option price. They do this because the CPO conversion/sale is profitable for the dealership, so they are willing to pass some of that profit through to the customer as a discount. Needless to say, I will propose that in my pending deal, but it's not a luxury brand so I'm not optimistic that CPO is as lucrative for them.


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