Everything you need to know if you’re thinking about purchasing a Nissan lease

By | September 15, 2023

Nissan's U.S. sales rose 13 percent in November.

Find out how acquiring a Nissan lease worksScott Olson – Getty Images

Leasing can be a convenient way to get a nice car without overburdening yourself financially. Even if you don’t actually own your vehicle and have some restrictions when using it, such as the maximum number of miles you can drive each year, the benefits of leasing make it a worthwhile option. The only potential challenge is deciding what to do when the end of your leasing term approaches.

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As with many things in life, though, the more you know, the easier it will be to make the right decision. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, so the best course of action generally varies from situation to situation. You may want to start another lease on a newer model or simply take the car back to the dealer and ride the bus for a while. Or maybe you like the car so much that you want to pay it off and keep it forever.

This is a common occurrence among brand loyalists, and Nissan drivers are no different. The Japanese manufacturer produces excellent vehicles that, like most cars from this region, are exceptionally reliable. Learning how a Nissan leasing agreement works can help you decide whether purchasing your vehicle at the end of the lease term is a good idea based on your situation. In this article, we look at the options you have near the end of your lease, including purchasing your vehicle and returning it to the dealer.

Nissan Lease Acquisition Process

A lease buyout means you purchase the rental car by the end of the lease term. The price you pay to own the car is its estimated value at the end of the lease term, also called the residual value. You may also need to cover additional costs, such as any remaining monthly payments, sales taxes, and other fees. Below are the steps you can take to purchase your Nissan at the end of the lease period:

1. Find out the current value of your Nissan

Knowing how much your Nissan is worth can help you decide whether it makes financial sense to keep it. Check your leasing contract, which will state the vehicle’s residual value, or get a reimbursement quote from your leasing company. You can find the current market value of your car by using an online car valuation tool, such as Kelley Blue Book.

Buying a car for more than its appraised value on the open market is usually an unnecessary expense, especially if you’re financing your buyout. However, you may have become emotionally attached to your vehicle, which is perfectly understandable. Many people have owned the same cars for decades and form strong bonds with them.

So, if the asking price for the vehicle seems high, you can ignore your accountant and buy it anyway, or take it back to your dealer and buy the exact same make and model on the open market at the right price.

2. Talk to your Nissan dealership or leasing company

Once you have decided to lease your vehicle, contact your Nissan dealer or leasing company. It will let you know exactly how much you have to pay, including any outstanding fees and taxes. He will also explain the lease purchase process and help you with the technical aspects of changing the car title to your name.

3. Decide how you want to pay for your Nissan

An important part of the Nissan lease acquisition process is raising the money to do so. Unless you are willing to dig into your savings and purchase the car with cash, an appropriate approach would be to finance your purchase. You could start by asking your leasing company if they offer financing. So, look online for additional offers, and if you get one with better rates, show it to your leasing company. You may be willing to match these better rates.

Is it worth buying a lease?

As mentioned above, loving your car is reason enough to keep it. Other good reasons include:

  • The car is worth more than its residual value: This is a no-brainer. If the current market value of your car is higher than its residual value, you can resell it after purchase at a profit.

  • The car is quite beat up: You may be tempted to get rid of your car if it’s in rough shape, but that could cost you more than buying it. Leasing companies have penalties for excessive wear and tear, so buying it, repairing it and reselling it may be a better idea financially.

  • You have exceeded the permitted mileage: Likewise, exceeding the maximum mileage stated in the contract can result in heavy fines. Buying the vehicle and reselling it on the open market may cost you less.

  • Know someone who wants to buy it: If you buy the car and sell it on the open market, you may have to pay sales tax. However, if you already know someone who wants to purchase the vehicle, you can ask your local dealer about a pass-through lease, which essentially means they transfer ownership to a third party without you having to pay sales tax on the deal.

Can you negotiate a Nissan lease buyout?

The short answer is yes, you can negotiate a Nissan lease buyout. You’d better have good reasons, though, as your lender is likely operating on tight margins. If your contract includes a negotiation option and your Nissan is worth more than its residual value, ask for an estimate of its current value and collect some concrete offers from dealers. You can use them as leverage in your negotiation. Make your lender a concrete offer and they may accept it or meet you halfway.

Nissan Acquisition Fees and Fees

Here are some typical fees you may have to pay when purchasing your Nissan, as well as their likely rates:

  • Residual value: As mentioned above, the prime rate is the estimated price of the car at the end of the lease, called the residual value.

  • Buy Option Fee: Some leasing agreements include a fee when purchasing a vehicle, called a purchase option fee. It’s usually a few hundred dollars.

  • Early termination fee: If you decide to purchase your Nissan before the end of the lease term, you will likely have to pay an early termination fee. The fee varies based on the leasing company and the terms of the lease, but is usually a percentage of your remaining lease payments.

  • Sales tax: Purchasing your Nissan lease may mean paying sales tax. The exact terms and rates generally depend on the laws of your state. Local sales tax may also apply.

  • Title transfer and registration fees: After you purchase your Nissan, you will need to take it to your local Department of Motor Vehicles and register it in your name. This usually requires paying additional fees and taxes.

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