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Old 06-24-2007, 02:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Should I Buy My Car When My Lease Ends Next Month?

I have a 2004 forester XS (moonroof and all). My lease expires and the end of July, and I'll be about 6,000 miles over ($750). I'm trying to decide whether to buy the car or not (maybe roll it over to a new lease to avoid some of the mileage charges). By next month, I'll hit 60K miles, with almost no problems (new brakes, tires, scheduled maintenance). A few questions for those of you with more experince than I have:

1. If you've had a forester with more miles, what's your reliability experience? I'm trying to anticipate repairs over the next three to four years (at 20K miles per year).

2. Have you ever negotiated a price lower than the original buy out on your lease?

Thanks,

JB
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Old 06-24-2007, 05:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Bumping this to the top for you.I have never leased so I hope some one who has chimes in for ya.


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Old 06-25-2007, 03:06 AM   #3 (permalink)
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There are a few threads with informal surveys on reliability, but I'll tell you here that the only thing I've had to replace, outside of maintenance items, over almost 80,000 miles has been the windshield that just took a rock this past Friday. Not the car's fault on that one. That's it - nothing else has broken. At this rate, the car will live forever
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Old 06-25-2007, 04:05 AM   #4 (permalink)
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my mom had a 68 subie and ran over 300,000 miles on it before my dad hit a tree. isn't it amazing that a country geographically small as japan makes cars that run for such distances?
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Old 06-25-2007, 04:55 AM   #5 (permalink)
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the rule of thumb on a lease as I found out was....if the buy out price is 50% of the cost of car when new, or less, then it is worth the price to buy it...this was figured on a 3 year lease....
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Old 06-25-2007, 04:59 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Would that be 50% of the sticker price, or the negotiated price? Between rebates and haggling, I got a very good starting price on the car. Stick on the car was about $25K. I got it down to about $20-$21K. The buyout figure is $12K, but if I return it, I'll owe $750 in excess mileage.

I'm trying to figure out what repairs to anticipate over the next few years.
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Old 06-25-2007, 05:11 AM   #7 (permalink)
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There are lots of folks here with high miles and few problems to report. Mine is only one model year old, so far - so good.

I am leasing mine, and if it does well, I may consider buying it at the end. Having said this, it is the 6th car that I have leased and I never bought any of them.

It seems, from my experience, that when the decision time comes, and if you need to finance the purchase, you end up with a larger payment than if you just go ahead and turn it in and lease another new one. The advantage is that by continuously leasing, you are always in a relatively new car that may be under warranty. Also, you may not need to ever have to pay for any regular wear items (tires, batteries or mufflers for instance) or major maintenances, (timing belts or chains) because you get out quickly enough.

The downside is that you will always have a car payment if you continuously lease.

Ultimately, the decision on what to do will be your own decision. Good luck with that, I hope it works out for you whichever way you decide to go.
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Old 06-25-2007, 05:17 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks. If I buy it out, I'll pay cash (about $12,500 with all fees). Part of my decsion is whether to keep the cash in the bank and lease again, or buy outright and have no monthly payments.

I like this car -- but know Subbies can be expensive to repair when they need work. Most of my question is trying to see how reliable they are as they age. If I can get three years (I drive 20k per year) with no big repairs other than "normal" maintenance, it's a reasonable deal to buy this one. Anything more than three years and I come out ahead vs leasing again. Any major repairs, and a new lease looks good.
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Old 06-25-2007, 07:49 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I'd buy the car, these things last forever, or until the driver kills it ;)

It's probably the main reason why I purchased my07, I asked the same questions and got the same responses you have! Plus, Subaru's resale value is one of the top in the industry!

AND the reason foreign cars do so well compared to USDM models is that foreign cars being repaired/fixed ($$$) in the states doesn't do anything for their economy. Where as GM and Ford build cars to a different standard, so the repair $$$ helps our economy and keeps jobs around.

Buy it!! It's a great car, and an even better car w/out payments!!!
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Old 06-25-2007, 01:46 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Did you own a Subaru before your 07? If so, how many miles did you get out of it?
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Old 06-26-2007, 04:45 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Old 06-26-2007, 04:53 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stabaka View Post
The downside is that you will always have a car payment if you continuously lease.
That's a pretty big downside.

Aren't there also fee's and penalties for ending a lease too early?

On a 3 year lease, about how much do you end up spending in car payments? If that amount + the buy-it price come to greater than the negotiated price, then it'd probably be less money in the long run to negotiate leasing another new car.

I never really considered leasing, because it would be nice to have no car-payment but at the same time, it would be nice to always have a new car and never really worry about maintainence.

Then again, I could never own a car I couldn't mod. And I doubt that the dealer would like me modding a lease vehicle.
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Old 06-26-2007, 05:15 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I'm not ending the lease early. It ends on July 31. Monthly payments right now are $348 (3 years, 18K miles per year). I'll be about 6,000 miles over, so if I returned the car at the end, I'd have to pay an additional $750, plus the $300 fee to return it.

Buyout price is about $12,300, plus taxes, plus a $150 paperwork fee. My state (Mass) has a property tax on vehicles. The tax on a three-year old forester might be about $250 per year, while the tax on a brand new one would be about $500 the first year, and less each subsequent year. Auto insurance is slightly hiher on a new car too, so all this gets factored into the decision.

I like this car, but have ben considering other AWD/4WD vehicles that might give me better mileage and/or be cheaper (Kia Sportage, Toyota Matrix, Hyunda Santa Fe, Mitsubishi Outlander, etc.) or getting a Civic or Corolla and buying snow tires. Our driveway is a steep hill.
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Old 06-26-2007, 05:22 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I was mentioning that about a lease in general, but good to know your on time.

If I was going to get anything but a Subaru, it'd be a new Mazdaspeed3. Have you looked at one of those? Equally as fun as an STi, and MUCH better gas mileage.
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Old 06-26-2007, 05:31 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Financially, it appears to be a reasonable deal to purchase it at lease end, even if there was no threat of a mileage penalty upon return. IMO, this makes the purchase of the Subie an even better deal. If there is no other "gotta have" car on your horizon, I'd go with keeping the Subie for a while until you find the repalcement that you desire.

In 2002 I purchased my 1999 Ranger after finishing the 3 year lease on it. Financially it was a similar deal as yours. I never regretted that move. I looked at it this way:
-I knew the history exactly on the vehicle, as it was my own.
-If there was the same truck on a dealer lot for this price, it would have been a fantastic deal.
-There was no other "gotta have it" car I was in the market for at the time.

I was not able to negotiate the price on the Ranger mentioned, but the market value for the truck was higher than I paid, as KBB trade-in value was a couple hundred dollars more than my residual value. I am unsure if it is possible to negotiate the price, but everything is negotiable, right?
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