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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all - been on this forum for a few months reading and but could use some advice.
I have 2017 Smart ForTwo that's about to finish it's 3 year lease. I've put only about 9000 miles on it in the whole duration. That's alot considering my trips are all less than 30 miles RT.
Got the call from the dealership (and financial institution) checking what i am going to do at the end of the lease. They are assuming i would like to return but i am considering buying it out. I still have a lot of use for it but I am concerned that smart car has basically ended sale in the US and support will be limited going forward. I like the car and would like to keep it. The remaining payment is around $11,500.

Any considerations would be helpful around buying and what to do etc. I can actually get 0% interest for 12 months also to help with payment. I also have a deep cleaning question removing the seats but i'll find the right forum to post a separate question in (i already found a similar thread which i will purse).

RobD
 

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I have a 2016 453. Purchased it new, not a lease. Have now had it more than 4 years. Yes, support is minimal. I’m not very concerned about parts but could be a problem in the future if I need major service with a star machine. Most other regular maintenance I do myself. In the end, it’s your decision. Wonder if you can negotiate a better price?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have a 2016 453. Purchased it new, not a lease. Have now had it more than 4 years. Yes, support is minimal. I’m not very concerned about parts but could be a problem in the future if I need major service with a star machine. Most other regular maintenance I do myself. In the end, it’s your decision. Wonder if you can negotiate a better price?
I haven't gotten into car maintenance. I'm an expert is computer hardware but i've rarely looked under the hood of a car so to speak. Probably because when i grew up my parents were not DIY type people even though i turned out to be in many things.
I've been told you absolutely can't negotiate price... well at least that's what I've read online. But i recently learned talking to the financial institution ("FI") that holds the lease that anything is possible with the dealership. So basically the way it works when i leased it, the FI holds the lease and will do a close with the dealership. The dealership quoted the original price. They can (and i was told might be willing to) change the asking price so i will see if they are open to it. Considering where the world is right now, i am hoping they will have some openess to negotiate. It does cost money to make this look like new and im sure it's a pain to get this on the market again especially having stopped sales.
Thanks for your input!
 

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Got the call from the dealership (and financial institution) checking what i am going to do at the end of the lease. They are assuming i would like to return but i am considering buying it out. I still have a lot of use for it but I am concerned that smart car has basically ended sale in the US and support will be limited going forward. I like the car and would like to keep it. The remaining payment is around $11,500.

Any considerations would be helpful around buying and what to do etc. I can actually get 0% interest for 12 months also to help with payment. I also have a deep cleaning question removing the seats but i'll find the right forum to post a separate question in (i already found a similar thread which i will purse).
Rob, welcome to SCoA.

Unless you LOVE the car don't pay that residual of $11,500! Dunno which model you leased or the equipment BUT, likely the street value today is $7,000ish and even that may be discounted further by our current economic situation?

Realize that the Dealer is only the drop point for MBFS the lessor and they will take it back, send it to auction and take a loss on their books. IF you could get the Dealer to negotiate on your behalf (unlikely as they don't want it in their inventory) with MBFS, you might be able to get a discount?

As for "deep cleaning" - read the guide on lease turn-in as interior/exterior issues that can be covered by a credit card are generally considered normal wear and tear. Use The Credit Card Test® to assess some of your interior and exterior damage. In general, if interior and exterior damage cannot be seen when a standard-size credit card is placed over it, you won’t be charged - except for a long list of exclusions.

MB version - https://www2.mbfs.com/mbfsr/en/resources/misc/LeaseEndGuide.pdf

Likely they will use their "independent" Third-Party Vehicle Pre-Inspection company to take pictures and detail the condition BEFORE you take it to the Dealer. Tires probably won't be an issue with only 9,000 miles traveled. Make sure that you have BOTH keys and be prepared to write that check for the disposition fee!

Note, I speak from experience having leased a MY15 ED with a large EOL residual and after 36 months turned it back to the local Dealer and got lucky buying it back a couple months and 2 miles later at the Atlanta auction.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Unless you LOVE the car don't pay that residual of $11,500! Dunno which model you leased or the equipment BUT, likely the street value today is $7,000ish and even that may be discounted further by our current economic situation?

Realize that the Dealer is only the drop point for MBFS the lessor and they will take it back, send it to auction and take a loss on their books. IF you could get the Dealer to negotiate on your behalf (unlikely as they don't want it in their inventory) with MBFS, you might be able to get a discount?

As for "deep cleaning" - read the guide on lease turn-in as interior/exterior issues that can be covered by a credit card are generally considered normal wear and tear. Use The Credit Card Test® to assess some of your interior and exterior damage. In general, if interior and exterior damage cannot be seen when a standard-size credit card is placed over it, you won’t be charged - except for a long list of exclusions.

MB version - https://www2.mbfs.com/mbfsr/en/resources/misc/LeaseEndGuide.pdf

Likely they will use their "independent" Third-Party Vehicle Pre-Inspection company to take pictures and detail the condition BEFORE you take it to the Dealer. Tires probably won't be an issue with only 9,000 miles traveled. Make sure that you have BOTH keys and be prepared to write that check for the disposition fee!
Thanks for the input!

I have a 2017 Smart ForTwo by the way.

When i drove out of that "lot" i knew the price was almost cut in half, or so to speak. The total value is somewhere around $19,500. So $11,500 is a stretch. I do love the car, but i love my money even more all things considered :). I'd be glad to pay 9k and keep it. I looked online for used smartcars 2017 and 2016, I saw what seemed to be in the 7k to 10k range, so i can always just go out and buy another one used if i needed it. Silly for them to take a loss when i'm willing to take it off their hands...

Thanks for sharing the lease-end guide. That's what they emailed me as well. The interior looks perfectly fine; no tears, cuts holes or burns. Just alot of grass from football fields (small and stick to carpet). So they will need to give that a good clean under the seats... i couldnt get there.
 

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MBFS will clean NOTHING - it will be inspected, they will give you a receipt for the Disposition Fee and send it AS IS to the auction. My ED sat for 3 months in the cold of Winter to include ice/snow without ever being plugged in - I was able to monitor it as the app was still functional.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
MBFS will clean NOTHING - it will be insptected, they will give you a receipt for the Disposition Fee and send it AS IS to the auction. My ED sat for 3 months in the cold of Winter to include ice/snow without ever being plugged in - I was able to monitor it as the app was still functional.
Wow... that's amazing to hear. I guess as long as they make something on it they wont care. Margins must be decent enough or else this won't work out. I'll cross my fingers that the dealership rep is having a good day or perhaps considerate to the overall situation.

Any website recommendations on where to pick up a good used smart car? I see plenty of options on google but if you have any input ill take it.
 

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Hey all - been on this forum for a few months reading and but could use some advice.
I have 2017 Smart ForTwo that's about to finish it's 3 year lease. I've put only about 9000 miles on it in the whole duration. That's alot considering my trips are all less than 30 miles RT.
Got the call from the dealership (and financial institution) checking what i am going to do at the end of the lease. They are assuming i would like to return but i am considering buying it out. I still have a lot of use for it but I am concerned that smart car has basically ended sale in the US and support will be limited going forward. I like the car and would like to keep it. The remaining payment is around $11,500.

Any considerations would be helpful around buying and what to do etc. I can actually get 0% interest for 12 months also to help with payment. I also have a deep cleaning question removing the seats but i'll find the right forum to post a separate question in (i already found a similar thread which i will purse).

RobD

I got some parts for my 2016 Prime and asked the Service Mgr how long for parts. 2yrs and Smarts out of US. Sad, because the 453 is an awesome product and improvement. Yes I drank the Kool-Aid and am on my 5th Smart.... 2 451s and 3 453s.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I got some parts for my 2016 Prime and asked the Service Mgr how long for parts. 2yrs and Smarts out of US. Sad, because the 453 is an awesome product and improvement. Yes I drank the Kool-Aid and am on my 5th Smart.... 2 451s and 3 453s.
2 years for parts!?! wow... that's crazy. I cant imagine having an issue and being put on hold for that long. Basically renders the car useless... where in the US are you? Curious if anyone else has encountered this? What's the next "small size" car on the market? a fiat 500?
 

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There's nothing that small in the US market anymore, and won't be until this truck/SUV craze is over. There are a few small hatchbacks left, and the smaller "CUVs" - which are just disguised hatchbacks. If I had to choose now, it would be the upcoming VW Golf. YMMV, of course. :)

63223
 

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With gas at a buck a gallon in places now, the truck/SUV phase isn't going to be over for awhile for sure.

Len
2014 EV Coupe 20,000 miles
2014 EV Cabriolet 17,500 miles
 

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I just read an interesting article that said many car dealers are refusing lease returns during the covid-19 pandemic. They are offering lease extensions at a reduced payment, deferred payments, or even in some cases no payments during the extension. The article stated that 340,000 lease returns are happening each month. Crazy times.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I just read an interesting article that said many car dealers are refusing lease returns during the covid-19 pandemic. They are offering lease extensions at a reduced payment, deferred payments, or even in some cases no payments during the extension. The article stated that 340,000 lease returns are happening each month. Crazy times.
I wasnt told anything about a discount, but ill make sure i ask for one :) When i spoke to them last week they said pls call us early May to discuss options. Given all the feedback here, i might honestly opt to return this and not pay 11,760$ residual value and instead go online and shop for another one (2016 or 2017) for about 8k-9k. As much as i'd like to keep it their wasnt much leeway for negotiation (they did remove 200$ and i smirked at he gesture). I only put 8500 miles on it in three years so it's still in good shape, no accidents.
 

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With gas at a buck a gallon in places now, the truck/SUV phase isn't going to be over for awhile for sure.

Len
2014 EV Coupe 20,000 miles
2014 EV Cabriolet 17,500 miles
Once fuel prices, increase again. Still waiting since 2007. Those SUV’s and trucks. Will become EV‘s, plug in hybrids, etc. No one in NA, is interested in impractical small cars.
smart cars and Fiats are history here.
 
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