What to Do At the End of Your Chevy Lease

June 11th, 2021 by

A row of blocks is shown that spells out leasing.

Time is running out, and you’re inching closer to that return date on your leased vehicle. You probably didn’t think too much about this end process at first. You leased your vehicle, you knew you were saving money upfront as opposed to buying the new model, and all seemed great. However, the years have flown by, and now your Chevy end of lease task list is staring you down. Now you’re asking yourself, “why do I do at the end of my Chevy lease?” Great question! We’re here to help with that.

There are plenty of options here. You can buy your leased model, lease another model, buy a new or used model, or just return your lease and go car-less (which we don’t recommend, but hey, who are we to judge?) It’s obviously more complex than this, which is why you’re here. So, we’re going to tell you the benefits of each route so you can decide how to efficiently end your Chevy lease.

Buying Your Leased Model

When you lease a model, you probably don’t lease it with the intent of buying it in the end. However, vehicle attachment is real. If your lease is still low on miles and in great condition, you may want to keep it. The good news is that you can buy your leased model at the end of your lease term. The bad news is that it may not always be in your best interest to do so.

If you choose to buy your leased vehicle, you are going to have to pay for the value it still has left and all the associated fees, usually meaning a much higher monthly payment. If your vehicle hasn’t depreciated much and its value is still quite high, this may not be worth it. Most times, it’s more affordable just to lease a new vehicle, especially because a new model isn’t likely to have issues that an older vehicle may have.

It really depends on the situation, but if the emotional attachment is strong enough, buying your leased model is an option. It’s also a good way to go if you really liked the model you have and would probably end up leasing the same one, just slightly newer, anyway. Sometimes, a newer model will have exciting new features, and sometimes it will just be similar to the one you currently drive. In that case, buying will probably be the better option in the long run. However, if you want the newer exciting features, you can trade your vehicle in for another lease.

Trading in for Another Lease or Returning It

If you still prefer leasing over buying at this point, then transferring to a new lease is a great option. Therefore, it’s super important to take great care of your vehicle while you’re under your lease. When you want to trade-in for another vehicle, you may get some money toward your new lease if your model has held its value. Part of it holding its value has to do with how well you treat it, whether it’s been in any accidents, and how many miles it has on it. Having your vehicle worth more than the initial appraisal at the end of the lease can get you a nice monetary bonus, but that is highly dependent on the terms of your lease.

Conversely, you can simply return your vehicle and do business elsewhere. However, your car is getting an inspection either way. It’s best to stick with the same dealership if your leasing experience went well. Make sure to detail your model and go over it yourself before the return day. You want it to look as clean and “new” as possible when you turn it in. Small dents and very minor scratches are fine, but large scratches, rips in the seats, and rust are a no-go. Also, make sure that you have all of the items that the car came with, like keys, key fobs, owner’s manual, screens, seats, and other such items.

A pile of coins, toy car and calculator are laying on a piece of paper.

If I Don’t Buy My Leased Car, What Happens to It After I Return It?

By now, you’ve probably heard of CPO or “Certified Pre-Owned” models. These are used models that come with a mileage cap, they’re inspected heavily, and they include warranties. When you turn in your leased model, oftentimes, dealerships will sell it as a CPO model rather than leasing it to someone else. Leased models are often well-taken care of, and since most leasing contracts have a mileage limit, the leased model is almost guaranteed to be CPO material.

Should I Purchase a CPO Instead of Re-Leasing?

The main appeal to leasing is that the upfront costs are cheaper, and it’s easy to swap it out for a new model a few years down the road. However, while leases were once affordable, their costs have risen over the past several years. Many people are coming off their leases and choosing to buy new, or they’re saving some money by buying CPO.

This is a great happy medium between leasing and buying a new model. You’ll get warranties, and you’re guaranteed a reliable, inspected vehicle, and in this case, you own your vehicle. You don’t have to worry about how often you drive or whether or not dents and scratches are going to cost you in the long run. You also won’t have to worry as much about vehicle depreciation. Since you’re buying it rather than leasing it, you’ll probably keep this model for a long time. Rather than signing a new lease, consider buying a CPO model if you’re looking to save some cash.

Purchasing a Brand-New Model Upon Lease Return

Maybe you’re nearing the end of your Chevy lease, and your financial situation has increased exponentially since your initial lease signing. Now, you can afford to buy a brand-new model, and the appeal of owning your vehicle is tempting. The good news is that you’re not tied to leasing forever. When you turn in your lease at the end of its term, you can head right back out on the lot to purchase a new vehicle if you’d like. This is especially feasible if you return your lease in good condition. You won’t have all those extra fees to pay, which gives you more money to put toward a down payment on a new model.

A man is sitting in his car at his Chevy end of lease.

What About Car Auctions? Is My Leased Car Auctioned Off After It’s Returned?

If your dealership decides that your lease isn’t fit to sell as a CPO, they may choose to auction it off before it depreciates any further. If the model loses too much value too quickly, reselling it can result in a loss for the dealership. If they decide to auction off your leased car, the auctions may occur either in person or online. There are two types of auctions: public and closed. Public auctions are open to anyone (and usually have the junkier cars, though newer vehicles are still possible), and closed auctions require you to have a dealer’s license to attend (and usually have the good newer cars).

If you’re thinking about saving money by purchasing at an auction rather than buying it outright from your dealer, you’ll want to consider the fact that you’re not guaranteed to win a bid that is lower than the car’s value. Further, even if you do, you may end up spending more trying to top the bid price than you would by simply purchasing it from the dealership in the first place. Plus, auction cars are not always in the best of shape, so there is that bit of risk involved as well.

Final Thoughts on What to Do at the End of Your Chevy Lease?

As you can see, there are many different routes you can go when you meet the end of your lease. You can lease again, purchase a CPO, buy a new model, or simply return your lease and borrow rides until you decide what you prefer. The most important thing to note is that no matter what you decide, you need to prep your car before your return date. You want your model to look as new as possible. Most dealerships actually encourage their customers to fix dents and scratches and try removing stains and interior defects before returning their lease. It’s usually cheaper to just fix it yourself than to be fined for the damage on your return day. If you need help learning what to do before you return your leased vehicle or deciding your next steps, get in touch with our team today.

Posted in Chevy end of lease