(WHTM) — When it comes time to hand over your rental vehicle, do you buy the car directly? You might have a battle on your hands, even if you have a contract.
Buying your rental car used to be the easiest and cheapest thing to do, but that’s no longer true in some cases.
Taria Wiley loves the 2019 Holda Civic she leased three years ago. So she decided to buy it when the lease was closed, especially since she had initially been offered an excellent buyout of just $15,567.
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“It was said in plain language, with no way around it, it was clear,” Wiley said.
But when she sat down with the dealer, she learned that it wouldn’t cost her $19,834 to buy the vehicle. Wiley said the seller’s explanation made no sense.
“They said, ‘Since you’re funding it, we have to buy the car from Honda, so they’re charging us a fee, so we have to charge you a fee,'” Wiley explained. The dealer had no comment.
This is happening more and more these days, according to car-buying website iseecars.com. Dealers can make a lot more money by reselling your lease to someone else, so they don’t really have the incentive to buy it at the price they agreed to long ago.
“Dealers know that the value of these cars is much higher than what was expected three years ago when that residual value was written into the contract, and it is probably painful for them to have an empty lot. .and see a rental customer come in and pick up the car for a residual value from three years ago,” said Karl Brauer of iseecars.com.
Brauer says that if it’s illegal to change a contract, watch out for repackaging fees, administrative fees and termination fees.
Wiley played hardball and told the dealer a deal was a deal. She says they finally agreed to sell the car for what she was originally promised.
Watch out for hidden fees and ask questions so you don’t waste your money.