The Benefits Of A Used Vehicle Lease

One of the cool things that I can do as The Cool Car Guy is track down a really cool pre-owned car, truck or SUV and then assist my client in getting the vehicle on a long term or short term lease.  I recently did this for clients of mine who wanted to drive a manual transmission 2012 Mini Cooper Coupe and they were not sure if they wanted it for more than a couple of years.  A used vehicle lease was the perfect option!

2012MiniCoupe1I was able to track down a super cool black and red 2012 Mini Cooper Coupe, out of Portland, Oregon with only 3,900 original miles on it through the Dealer Auction.  By getting it through the Dealer Auction I was able to save some money on the price of the vehicle and structure a great lease for them.  The Mini Cooper Coupe they were able to get was similar to the one pictured here, only theirs was black on red with some really sweet red accented mirrors, instead of red and black.

We shipped it to Colorado and then structured a simple interest 24 month lease at 18,000 miles a year and with only $1,000 down, plus the first payment.  They were able to get a killer lease payment on a super cool little turbo-charged car.  At the end of the lease term, they can buy it out at a great price, turn it into a simple interest loan through the leasing company or drop the keys off with me to return it and get something else.  If you own a business, like they do, there can often be tax benefits to leasing over purchasing as well.

That’s The Cool Car Guy difference!  Try doing that at a typical car dealership.  It’s not going to happen.  The salesperson is going to try to sell you “what’s on the lot” or get you to lease a new vehicle for around 10,000 miles a year with a bunch of money down, instead of what you’re probably going to actually drive each year.  The reality is that it’s too much work for most dealers to do what I do for my clients and there isn’t enough money in the transaction to make it worth their time.  Not for me though – I get a kick out of it.  I know how to structure leases, use creative financing and get more money out of a vehicle for my clients than most guys, who try to do what I do.

USED VEHICLE LEASE ON A SECOND VEHICLE:  I can’t tell you how many parents contact me about tracking down a $5,000 vehicle for their son or daughter, who is has just started driving.  They often get frustrated when they discover that every other parent in America has the same idea and they have to pay way too much money for the “kid car”.  Is there another option for them?  I decided I would give a hypothetical example of how this can work for someone who needs another set of wheels, but has a limited budget.

2012SentraLet’s look at a 2012 Nissan Sentra with power windows, locks, a rear spoiler, steel wheels and a 2.0l motor that gets great gas mileage with about 30,000 miles on it.  Like the one on the right as an example.  A brand new 2012 Nissan Sentra had an MSRP of about $19,000, but with 30,000 miles on it, you can pick one up for around $15,000 to $15,500.

I grabbed one online with a photo from the dealer auction for this example to give people and idea of how a used vehicle lease works.  I figured the price would be $15,300 for the Capitalization Cost, plus the lease acquisition fee for a total of $16,095.  This is with nothing down, but the first payment, and you can see the base payment and full payment based on a 7.6% sales tax rate and 12,000 miles a year below based on several monthly term options.

The residual value is what you could buy the vehicle for at the end of the lease, so someone could have a very reasonable payment on a vehicle and buy it out at the end of the lease or even before than less than if they tried to find a similar vehicle in the marketplace.  You can see that someone could lease this vehicle with good credit (Colorado Residents Only) for as low as $198.84 a month plus sales tax.

TermAdjusted Cap CostResidualBase PaymentSales Tax %Sales Tax AmountTotal Payment

I need to put in a legal disclaimer here for this lease calculation, even though this is just an example and I’m not selling this particular car.  This information is strictly for “informational and educational purposes only”, don’t call me on this particular vehicle please.  Here’s the disclaimer: All quoted lease payments and down payments are (1) Excluding sales tax, tag, title and registration fees, (2) With approved credit, (3) Subject to price correction, (4) Subject to vehicle availability, and (5) With down payment (cap reduction) and first payment due at lease signing. Offer ends 03-31-2013 and is available to Colorado residents only.

Now let me explain the benefits of this type of a lease.  First of all, there are vehicles that will lease for less than this and we would just have to run specific scenarios on each vehicle to see what makes sense, but a 5 year lease for example at 12,000 miles a year is going to get a kid through High School and College for around $200 a month, plus sales tax.  At the end of the lease, you have your $5,000 to $6,000 vehicle that everyone is looking for and at 12,000 miles a year times five years this vehicle would have 60,000 miles, plus the 30,000 initial miles for a total of around 90,000 miles on the vehicle.  You can sell it and cash out or buy the vehicle at the end of the lease and give it to the next kid in the family and have them drive it until the wheels fall off.  You can also just give it back to the leasing company and be done.  This vehicle lease has GAP insurance built in as well to protect you and the leasing company, if the vehicle were in an accident and totaled out by the insurance company.

The problem with a new vehicle lease compared to this is that the Residual at the end on a new car is often much higher than the marketplace, so you end up trying to buy it out early and you can get creamed, so your only option many times is to give the keys back to the dealer at the end.  I have seen that happen many times, where someone leases a new vehicle with a low payment, they decide to buy it out and they have to pay more than what they are selling for in the marketplace.  Their financial situation may change too in three years and then they can’t get financed, unless they go for a high interest rate.  This lease allows you to convert it to a conventional loan (subject to credit approval) at anytime during the lease with no penalties.  You’re getting to buy a vehicle, if you do select that option, that has much more depreciation that has taken place on the vehicle, so it’s what I like to call an “equity lease”.

I’ve done this for families many times over the years and it’s a cost effective way to solve an additional automobile problem for people without having to put out a great deal of cash upfront or have the expense of financing a newer vehicle over a long term.  Keep in mind that the example above was with just the first payment down, so you can keep the cash you were going to spend on a “beater” in the bank or put a little cash down to lower the payment even more.  I’m a big fan of the Used Vehicle Lease when structured properly with the right vehicle.  I’m shocked that more people don’t do these type of leases and my guess is that they just don’t know about them.  After all, most franchise dealers want to lease new vehicles, instead of pre-owned vehicles to people, so they can sell a low payment instead of looking at the complete package.

Cool Car Guy Rating: A Used Vehicle Lease Can Totally Rock!


John Boyd

Auto Consultant – John Boyd: The Cool Car Guy

John is an auto consultant with his license at a car dealership in Denver, Colorado. He can help you save time and money on any make or model, new or used, lease or purchase – nationwide! Call or email John about your next vehicle! or Twitter @coolcarguy