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Lease without warranty

2227 Views 29 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  ard
My lease has about a year and maybe 10,000 miles to go. I've gone over in the past so I'm not concerned about paying a mileage penalty. My question is about driving a leased car after the original factory warranty runs out. Should I try to move the car before that date or just take my chances and hope I can avoid a large repair bill just after 50k miles?

Another question....I'm also considering just paying the last six or so payments and turning the car in early, therefore avoiding that exposure. Is that possible and/or advisable?

Not sure that I'm getting another BMW. I know the easy answer is to just turn in early and get another car. I'm happily on my 4th lease...but just may want to go a different direction now.
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Well, IMHO, the first thing is the "drive what you want" issue.

By this, I mean, in a world where there are many choices for solid, well-sorted vehicles at every price point, those who choose BMW or other premium brands, and can afford to drive them, are choosing to drive vehicles that are far more than basic transportation. That's the joy and that's the point. I saw a Toyota Camry the other day and was impressed by the build quality, features, and style, not to mention the price point. But it wasn't anything, given the choice, I want to drive, no matter how compelling the numbers. No matter how bourgeois that sounds, and in fact is.

The point is, the choice to drive a BMW is a choice to pay more than one has to for decent, safe, reliable, solid transportation. For the joy of it.

Once that threshold is crossed, the questions of cost, and the decision matrix involved is more complex.

For example, the premium for leasing is offset by absence of warranty anxiety. One is always driving the latest and greatest and the vehicle is always new. If that ceases to be true, then why pay the premium for a BMW?

But then again, maybe a year of living without warranty makes sense, if the car has been trouble free and shows no signs of failing. Remembering, of course, that if, say the air conditioning fails, that will need to be repaired or paid for at lease end.

Were I in OP's situation (and I've been there before myself), I'd figure out what I want to drive next and go see what the dealer of that brand can do for me.

It was many years ago, but I was over mileage, I selected a different brand than what I was driving, and, about 6 months prior to lease end, I was able to slide out of my over-mileage lease and into a new car with no significant price penalty. But things are a bit different now, with dealers having narrower margins, fewer juicy conquest incentives, and, of course, with inflated residuals, most cars are worth substantially less than the residual.

Thus, the age-old advice: Figure out what you want to drive next and give a dealer the opportunity to make something work for you. They'll tell you what they can or can't do.

But lets be honest. We want it both ways -- a great lease deal and then, when we violate our part of the deal by going over mileage, we start looking for the least painful way to wiggle out and start over. I've done it before; sometimes coming out a surprised winner and sometimes paying the piper. But once I wrap my hands around the steering wheel of the next new ride and smell the new car ether, the deal is forgotten and the joy of driving what I like returns... for a price that ceases to matter... until the next time around.

So, if you can, do what makes you happy and drive what will give you joy. And pay what you have to pay to make it happen, but not a dime more than you have to!!

No great options here. But that's where the opportunity resides -- you don't have to worry about making a "good" choice. As you point out, somebody's gonna get your money.

Just find out what your options are, and pick the one the gets you out of what you're in and into what you will enjoy. Who you pay will be determined by who has what you want next.

And don't forget the pleasure your current Bimmer has already given you.

Best of luck. it really comes down to who and when do I want to pay?
Almost forgot...

There might be a way out, if you are flexible as to what will be your next ride. Scour, and find a brand you can enjoy enough that also has heavy incentives -- Lincoln or Caddy come to mind, or perhaps one of the Korean or Japanese high lines?

You're hunting for a brand with heavy conquest cash and maybe trunk money to move metal -- because some of that dealer/manufacturer cash can be used by a dealer to help you out... maybe. We all agree the piper must be paid; you might just find a brand that will pay some of that for you.

And, if $ is an issue, then driving something at a much lower price point for 3 years is another way to recoup some of the damages. $200 less per month for the next 3 years is the same as putting $7,200 back in your pocket.
If OP is over mileage now, this is excellent guidance. If not, and there's even a hint of a warranty-covered issue, could be another story.

As one who has leased many, many times, I can say without a doubt, buy new or near-new and drive until the wheels fall off is usually cheaper, often way cheaper. But if one is a new car smell addict, well, I tell myself I can quit any time I want... as I fork over another $925 lease fee to my smiling dealer. It is not a rational decision.
I'm into my sixth year on my 535D, and have owned all the other BMWs on my sig block below for at least seven if not more years. Never bought an extended warranty, never had a major repair bill (except my 84 325e, but that's another story).

I wouldn't worry about it. And in your case, if I thought there were a problem, I would not go to a dealer and have it diagnosed.
I used one of Autoputzer's spreadsheets and determined that buying a Toyota Corolla and keeping it for 20 years is the most economical way to go.

When I was 17 I bought a Toyota Corolla, drove it over a quarter of a million miles, all the way through grad school and well into my first grown up job. Then I became addicted to the new car ether, and all was lost.

What price happiness? I'm sure the Jag and Bimmer and Range Rover dealers who've helped themselves to my money over the years were made happy at my expense.

But then, I plan on being dead for a long time -- longer than 250,000 miles. So it all works out.
The tragedy that absolutely proves your analysis is, I had been given my mother's 1967 327 Camaro (first year of production/first run), which I sold, in pristine condition, for about $1,400 and took that loot, along with $200 more and paid $1,600 cash for that new Toyota Corolla.

Had I put the Camaro up on blocks and left it in a barn, today it would be worth so much that it would blow up my spreadsheet program!!

But hey, a quarter of a million miles later I got $1,000 for that trusty Toyota, which is a bit better than modern depreciation curves for sure.

And, I'm sure you're also correct about the out-gassing issue -- I thought driving all these fancy new high end cars was what has cured my male menopause. Turns out it's been the vapors.

Oh well. It's still workin' for me with my next baby hitting production status 150 in a few days from now. ;)

I'm pretty sure you're pulling my leg. You really don't need an advanced Putzerian spreadsheet to come to that conclusion.

Be careful of too much of that "new car ether." It's outgassing from the interior plastics, and those vapors are chemically very similar to estrogen. So...

NEW CAR ------> MAN BOOBS! :eeps:
Only cats we have are a 1984 Vanden Plas and a 1989 XJS V12 convert. Wash 'um myself.
Washed the '84 the other day and took the Little Missus out to lunch:
It would be nice to have a cat au pair when we go out of town.


Back to OP, with apologies for totally hijacking your legitimate and interesting thread.

I think the point we're all trying to make is that, at some point, the economics need to be separated from the deeper questions regarding what one drives and why. Different tools for different jobs. Figure out what job you're asking this car to do for you, and the answer will become clear. I'm certain.

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