You know how this story goes. You’ve bought some cool piece of consumer electronics, brand new – and when you go to sell it years later, it’s worth far less than you’d expected. Worse, somebody then tries to ‘lowball’ you with an even more painful offer.
Yes, that feeling, you know the one. And you know it’s much the same with cars – except ten times worse.
You might not have known, though, that there’s a way around ever coming across that moment: Guaranteeing the value of your car after a set period.
For this latest instalment of Ask CarAdvice, we’ve done the legwork to find out which manufacturers offer these types of deals, and what you need to do to snag one.
No surprise, there is obviously a stack of terms and conditions, and some caveats, to these deals. But, while they will vary manufacturer to manufacturer, the crux of it is that you can’t buy the car with cash, or use a finance deal that isn’t supplied by the manufacturer.
There will also be limitations to how much you can or need to travel for the guarantee to remain in place. You’ll also need to ensure your car is serviced within the manufacturer’s network.
With most normal car lease programs, you pay a set price each month depending on how far you travel. At the end of your lease period, you have the option of switching cars or paying a lump sum or balloon figure. Sometimes that figure is less than what the car is worth, which means you can sell it and make a profit.
But, if the car has depreciated big-time while you’ve owned it, that balloon figure can be worth more than the car, leaving you in a messy financial situation. The advantage of entering a guaranteed final value ‘lease’ with a manufacturer is that if the value of the car collapses, the manufacturer takes the risk and wears the cost. And, if the value is higher than your original guaranteed buy back price, you’ll pocket the difference.
When you enter into a contract to guarantee the future value of your car, you’re left with three options. You can keep your car, return the vehicle or trade the vehicle in for another one.
By returning the car, you’re no longer required to pay anything else toward the lease. Likewise if you trade the vehicle in (or you will receive money if the value is higher than the guaranteed final value).
If you decide to keep the car, you’ll pay the final figure as agreed at the beginning of the contract.
Just in case it wasn’t obvious enough, each manufacturer has different guidelines for wear and tear. But, if you go beyond those, you will be pinged when it comes time to hand the vehicle in.
It’s always worth clarifying what the particular manufacturer deems as ‘wear and tear’, and it’s also worth remembering this applies to paint, wheels, underbody, windows and interior.
There’s quite a few out there, so we’ve listed them below, along with the options they offer as part of the program.
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