Industry Research

LEASING TRENDS: More Drivers Buying Out Their Contracts

Posted on May 19, 2010 by LCT Staff - Also by this author - About the author provides an extended test drive opportunity when car shopping.

MIAMI — LEASETRADER.COM, a national car lease marketplace, says over the last 12 months the number of drivers that exercise their car lease end buyout option has doubled and the category now represents nearly 16.7% of all buyers.

Almost all car leasing contracts allow drivers to buy out the car at the end of the lease for the pre-determined residual value. This option benefits people that decide they’d like to own the vehicle after "renting" it from the bank during the lease contract.

Many drivers now view as a way to test drive a vehicle for an extended period of time. Combined with the renewed emphasis on spending wisely, more drivers are taking over an auto lease and buying out the car after making sure they like the vehicle during the remaining months on the contract.

"Drivers can find out a lot about a car when they drive it for eight or 12 months, like how it handles, maintenance schedules and the overall condition," said Sergio Stiberman, CEO and founder of "Many people in this situation feel there is low risk involved since they are only committed to the short-term contract to see if they end up falling in love with the car."

With the stabilization of the credit markets, strengthening residuals on many vehicles has created a lot of confidence in lease buyouts. Most of’s customers are exercising lease end buyout options on vehicles such as the BMW X3, BMW 3 Series, Mercedes ML350, Honda Civic, and the Toyota Camry and Corolla. Customers can save on a lot of traditional car-shopping costs since there is no down payment through lease swap on


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