4IYC Consumer Report
Get our of your Car Lease without paying a Dime
It's one of the car industry's best kept secrets: turning in your lease early without paying any penalties. Many car dealers don't even know about it. Video by fox4now.comvideo
LEE COUNTY - In these hard economic times many people are having their cars re-possessed because they can't afford the payments. So imagine if you could get out of your lease without paying a dime. Four in your Corner investigator Mike Mason did it and you can too. He's here to show you how. It's one of the car industry's best kept secrets: turning in your lease early without paying any penalties. Many car dealers don't even know about it. Jim Pizzuli at Galeana Kia says, “I thought it wasn't true at first, I thought it couldn't happen."
But times have changed. When school teacher Laura Czajkowski wanted to get out of her lease 3 months early she took action, "Be aggressive and say. Can you do something for me? I want to get out of it now".
Czajkowski traded in her Audi early and leased an Infinit and she didn't pay a dime. So how does this all work? It basically comes down to whether your car has any equity.You can call your car company's finance department and ask if you qualify and the answer may surprise you.
Adam berman manages Infiniti of Fort Myers and says, "Car values have gone up in the used car market so that has helped perpetuate the increase in what the car is worth."
Berman’s company will pay off your existing lease as long as your car has equity. He says, "We took a Mercedes in it had a couple of thousand dollars worth of equity it was 6 months before the lease was up."
But some restrictions apply: First, a car has to pass an inspection. I recently turned in my Infiniti G-35 and I still had 6 months left on the lease. The car had some dents, scratches and bumper damage so before turning it in I brought it to a private body shop to get it fixed. Pizzulo says that will save you money, "The dealership is going to charge you more money than if you go to somebody who does dent repair or something like that."
Infinit then sent a company to do appraise my car. The inspector checked the tires and the odometer to make sure I was under mileage, the car's overall condition and signs of prior damage. It all checked out okay.
Drew Infantino did the inspection and said, "Everything else is considered normal wear and tear so I'll be able to print you out a copy and you'll be good to go from there. No charges".
I immediately turned my car into the dealer with no questions asked. I then bought a Kia Sportage. I loved the Infiniti but the Kia’s better on gas and the best part is I own it. I don't have to worry about going over on my mileage or paying for any scratches and damage and my payment went down about a hundred bucks a month.
Czajkowski says, "I lowered my monthly payments by almost $150 so that was pretty good."
If your car doesn't have any equity there are other ways to get out of your lease. If you turn your car in to a different company and lease a model that the manufacturer considers one of its direct competitors, you may be eligible for a cash incentive.
For instance, Pizzuli says if "you have a registered (Toyota) Highlander which is a competitive vehicle with the Kia Sorrento you would actually be picking up a thousand dollars."
That money can be used to pay off the balance of your current lease. So whether you can't afford your high lease payments, need to downsize or just want another car; this may be the best time to get a new lease on life.
Berman says, “I'm telling you leases are much more friendly they're much more consumer friendly than they've ever been."
Not only do I pay less each month for my new car but I received a check from Infiniti; they issued a refund for $519.00 because they sold my old car immediately which created a credit on my account. One thing to watch out for: some dealers will say you can get out of your lease without paying a dime but all they do is pay off your lease and roll the remaining payments into the price of your new car.