Off-Lease Certified Car Deals

off-lease certified carsWhen leasing customers return their cars at the end of a lease, new-car dealers buy those cars from the lease finance company to be sold on their used car lots. These are called off-lease vehicles.

Car dealers love off-lease vehicles because they are relatively new — usually about 2-3 years old — and have been kept in great condition (because the lease agreements required it). In fact, they typically sell these as certified used vehicles.

Certified vehicles are better than the average used vehicles. They are newer, in better condition (because most are lease returns), have been thoroughly inspected (other used cars are typically not fully inspected), and come with a 90-day (typical) guarantee against problems. Many still have remaining manufacturer’s warranty. Some may even come with a short-term return policy, which is not offered for any other used cars.

Certified off-lease vehicles are usually a bit more expensive than normal used cars but the extra expense is easily justified by many car buyers, as evidenced by high sales rates. Customers like the additional peace-of-mind that comes with an manufacturer-backed inspection and guarantee.

In fact, sales are so good for certified off-lease vehicles that dealers have a hard time keeping them on the lot. To help bring in new off-lease cars, many manufacturers, such as BMW and Honda, regularly offer lease buy-back or lease pull-ahead programs for current lease customers. Typically, if a customer is within six months of the end of their lease, the company will offer to waive the last three lease payments if the customer leases a new car from the company. These offers are generally good deals, but be aware that if you have exceeded your mileage allowance or have damages to your car, you will usually be responsible, just as you would if you ended your lease at the normal time.

Dealers like these programs because not only bring in good off-lease vehicles early, but because it generates new same-brand loyalty sales and leases a little earlier than normal. Leasing customers like them because they can get into a brand new car earlier without spending extra money. And, of course, used-car buyers benefit by getting late-model cars that are certified, warranted, and in great condition.


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