In April of 2021, I leased a vehicle which given the market at the time, ended up being a good deal, especially for this particular vehicle. I ended up going with a 30K mile limit/36-month lease. Mileage overage of $0.25 per mile. At the time, I was traveling a modest amount for work, but my territory was compact enough that 10K per year shouldn’t have been too significant of a challenge to manage.
Fast forward 6 months later and I unexpectedly had the opportunity to transfer back to my home state, relocation paid, and continue my same position. However, this would come with a much larger territory in the new state. I took the offer and I have zero regrets on that end. The problem though, is my travel has increased a very significant amount, and much more than I anticipated. Currently I am now only 15-16 months into the 36 month lease and already at 25K miles. I am starting to panic about the implications. The way I see it, I need to quickly weigh my options and possibly act fast on what I do next:
Option A: Hang onto the lease and watch the mileage climb. Where will it stop? Nobody knows. Will I remain in the same role another 1.5 years and travel another 30K miles? 40K miles? Then take it on the chin for thousands of dollars in overage fees at lease-end….yikes.
Option B: Try and sell my lease ASAP for what I owe + the residual (~$45K combined) and find a new vehicle and a traditional auto loan given my increased travel. I have not started shopping around for appraisals yet, but Carmax, whom I have sold two prior non-leases vehicles too with good success, gave me a high end online estimate that comes in at $43K 🙁
Option C: Ride out the rest of the lease and pursue a lease buyout loan at whatever the hell the interest rates might be at that point. I do love this vehicle, but not exactly enthused about the prospect of paying more a month than my lease for a well-used vehicle 2 years from now. I also view this as shortsighted because while I might be dodging the overage fees at lease end, I’m ultimately going to pay well beyond that in interest on a buyout loan. Plus, can a lender say that it’s not worth the residual value and therefore not even want to lend?
Option D: My employer allows us to use rental cars for work related travel. In doing so, you give up the mileage reimbursement you get for using your own vehicle which traditionally is akin to a second income with my current travel. Also, the thought and inconvenience of trekking with my wife 30 mins to end from the airport each week to rent a car sounds like a massive PITA and also adds mileage to the lease in the process.
Option E: Something I might not be considering or am unaware of. You tell me?
TL;DR — Going to likely blow way past mileage limitation on lease and want to consider and act on any options ASAP.