Due to the current shortage of new and used cars, prices for vehicles have significantly increased. At the same time, high inflation has resulted in less financial flexibility, making it a difficult time for car dealerships, negatively impacting their profit margins. However, off-lease vehicles can help increase these margins, as they have a significantly lower purchase price than comparable used cars. But what's the deal with the bargains? Let's clarify!
When leasing a vehicle, typically a new car, an individual or a company rents it. After the contractually agreed-upon lease term expires, the lessee has two options: they can either buy the car, which then becomes their property, or they can return it to the dealership. In the latter case, the vehicle is referred to as an off-lease vehicle because it was returned after the lease agreement ended.
Those who want to buy an off-lease vehicle can expect several advantages:
Lower purchase price: When comparing different offers, it quickly becomes apparent that off-lease vehicles generally stand out due to their particularly low prices. Compared to similar used cars, the costs are usually significantly lower, allowing for higher profit margins and ultimately more room for negotiation with end customers.
Guaranteed service history: The dealership does not know in advance whether the lessee will buy or return the vehicle at the end of the lease. Therefore, particular emphasis is placed on ensuring that all maintenance and inspections are carried out in a timely and professional manner. This is usually contractually agreed upon. Upon return, the car undergoes an intensive inspection, which may also include professional preparation if necessary. Therefore, those who want to buy an off-lease vehicle will get a car that has guaranteed all the prescribed workshop visits.
Vehicles in good condition: Off-lease vehicles often represent particularly lucrative vehicles. On the one hand, they are usually between 2 and 4 years old. They have already gone through the biggest depreciation that a new car experiences in its first year. Nevertheless, due to their young age, they are good used cars that will bring their owner a lot of joy.
Top equipment: In addition, especially in commercial leasing, the equipment is usually not compromised. The vehicle is a company's flagship, designed to impress customers. Therefore, off-lease vehicles often have leather seats, automatic transmissions, large navigation systems, or good media equipment. Those who want to buy an off-lease vehicle will usually get a young used car with above-average equipment at a relatively low price.
Vehicle from first hand: Another advantage of lease returns is the fact that these vehicles typically only have one previous owner. In commercial leasing, the fleet is carefully planned, and even in private leasing, it is rare for the lessee to be unable to pay the monthly rate. This keeps information about the vehicle, including maintenance and inspections, organized.
Since lease returns mainly come from commercial leasing contracts, they often have high mileage despite their young age. This increases the risk that wear parts, such as ball joints, are already at their limit.
In addition, lease vehicles are often treated more as a utility than a beloved possession. This means in plain language: someone who has saved for years to buy their own car will carefully take care of it, such as making sure to warm up the engine sufficiently or not overloading the turbocharger. However, if it is clear from the beginning that the vehicle will be replaced with a new one after a few years, these precautions may be ignored.
Basically, the same things should be checked as when buying a regular used car. This includes first taking a careful look at the registration and mileage. Then, the maintenance log should be thoroughly inspected.
Next, you should ask about any further visits to the workshop, in particular whether any wear and tear parts have been replaced, whether the vehicle required unscheduled repairs, and whether it was involved in an accident. The timing of the last main inspection can provide further clues.
If possible, the car should now be thoroughly inspected inside and out. One should not really find any obvious defects that were not discussed if one wants to buy a leasing return. However, some repaired areas may indicate that the vehicle was not treated too carefully.
The conclusion of a thorough examination should be a test drive. This is where the overall impression of the vehicle can be rounded off.
Those who decide to buy a leasing return usually make a good choice. Vehicles with very high mileage may have a lower resale value, but they are also cheaper to buy.
Particularly good bargains are often hidden behind leasing returns from private contracts. This is because the car is often treated like a commercial vehicle in commercial leasing. Another insider tip is leasing returns from residual value leasing. In this case, one can assume that the lessee has treated the vehicle with care, since he has to pay for any damage incurred upon return.