Beware Price Gouging on Lease Buyouts
With used car prices hitting record highs due to the chip shortages, those of you currently leasing are probably aware that the value of your vehicle is going to be worth more than the buyout price at the end of the lease.
More than ever before, we're seeing leasees buying out their vehicles rather than turning them in at lease end - which makes a lot of sense. However, many dealers are using this as an oppportunity for price gouging consumers.
In some States such as California and Arizona, dealers are required to inspect a used vehicle before selling it to the consumer. When signing a lease in these States, you agree to pay this "inspection cost", but there is no price specified for it (see image below). Historically, inspection fees would typically be $200, but now we're seeing dealers taking unfair advantage of consumers by charging upwards of $1,200!
What Can Be Done About This?
Unfortunately, there's no limit set on what a dealer can charge for the inspection fee, so leasees who are trying to buyout their lease are left in a vulnerable position. The only thing you can do right now to limit this cost is to contact multiple dealers and see which one can do the inspection at the lowest cost. However, it seems that local dealers often collude to keep these prices high.
Due to the obvious price gouging going on with this fee, I feel that lease companies should have a legal obligation to limit this cost by specifying the fee in the agreement and ensuring dealers abide by that fee.
I also think there may be an opportunity for a class action lawsuit for those who have already been price gouged with this fee. If there are any attorneys willing to take this case, please Email Me and I can connect you with leasees who have been forced to pay these outrageous fees.
If you've been forced to pay a high inspection fee on your lease buyout, please Send me an email including the State you reside and the price you were forced to pay.
3 Steps Every Car Buyer Needs to Take to Save Maximum MoneyThe key to getting the best deal is to gather price or lease bids from as many local dealers as possible. Then shop that best price around until no one can beat it. Here are the steps:
Step 1 Get Prices From My Trusted NetworkSelect the vehicle you're interested in to see if there are local dealers in my network who will provide you with their best upfront price. You will get direct access to an internet sales manager who you can further negotiate with online (no need to visit dealership).
Step 2 Get Prices From TrueCar / CarsDirectTrueCar, and CarsDirect are my top 2 online price quote recommendations. These services show you pre-negotiated prices from dealers closest to you - and the deals are usually pretty decent. But remember, you can still negotiate further.
Step 3 Complete my ChecklistFollow this up with my checklist to make sure you squeeze out every last bit of savings.
- Gregg Fidan
Each week, I'll keep you up-to-date on the latest car deals and news that might affect your purchase. This includes...
- Best Rebates, Incentives, and Lease Deals
- Latest Car Buying Scams and Tricks
- The Best & Worst Time to Buy a Car
- Which Cars You Should Avoid