Grounding My Lease When Buying Out Lease?

Hi all,

Long time lurker, first time poster!

I’ve been trying to purchase my lease like so many other have been doing this year since I have enough equity in the car to make it worth my time, also I plan on driving the car for a bit then selling it in a few weeks.

My lease is an Infiniti, I live in between one Infiniti dealership and one Nissan dealership. I walked into the Infiniti dealership last week to purchase my lease and I brought all the paperwork and my registration…etc.

After waiting for some time I finally sit down with someone in finance and we start the process, a few moments into the buyout process the person helping me asks me for my keys so they can “ground” my car. I explain to him that I am buying my car and what does “grounding” my lease mean?

He explained to me that when leases are returned, they’re grounded regardless of if they’re purchased or not. I then asked him to explain to me what exactly is the grounding process, and he said it was an inspection of the vehicle. I ask him why they need to inspect the vehicle and he literally couldn’t explain to me what the inspection entailed or why it was needed.

I walked into the Nissan dealership today and no one said anything about “grounding” my lease so now I’m really suspicious of the Infiniti dealership.

Fellow Hackrs, does this sound right to you? Why on earth do I need to have the car re-inspected if I’m buying the car?

Thanks to all those who answer!

Doesn’t make much sense they would do an inspection. You are buying any existing damage and when you trade it in you’ll get knocked then I would think

I was told the same thing. Not the grounding part, but the part where I needed to pay them to inspect the car before I took possession.

Nissan/Infiniti has the inspection fee written into their contracts as part of the buy out

This is apparently a Nissan/Infiniti quirk… Basically a chance for them to hold you up for a few extra bucks.

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If you officially ground the car by handing over the keys and signing the odometer disclosure statement, you’ve returned the car to NMAC. You no longer have any rights to it, including your previous purchase option.

The dealer can buy it from NMAC and flip it for as much profit as possible.

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I have a question about the buyout/lease process.

Why the need of going to the dealer to buyout a lease when the bank owns the title? Why does the dealer need to get involved?

Any feedback, greatly appreciated.

So a $300 purchase option fee and another $250 for the inspection?

That is nonsense, how much was the fee?

This is what I thought as well. I didn’t sign anything that day because the “grounding” didn’t make sense to me at all. I still have my car and don’t plan on signing anything if they keep pushing me to ground the vehicle.

I’m buying the car out with cash, but will finance it to get the bank to pay off Infiniti than just pay the bank loan off.

None of this sounds right to me.

This was my same thought.

Apparently Infiniti will not take a check from the me and will only take a certified check from the bank you finance the buyout with.

I literally asked if I can send them a suitcase full of cash and they said no, so then I asked if they will take a certified check and they said no, they will only take a wire from the dealership or a certified check from the bank.

I’m assuming the dealer needs to get involved to hit me up for the small junk fees


Ask if Infiniti FS will still charge you a disposition fee. That is normal with grounding a car which is why if you are planning on buying it out, you want to avoid grounding if possible.

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Just bought my Q50 and had to use the dealers bank of choice to move the deal along. The dealer inspected my car but didn’t charge me the honor of doing so, just the contracted $300 or so

Hey @wam22 thanks for letting me know, I will call them tomorrow and ask about the disposition fee, also thanks for letting me know grounding is normal, I wanted to make sure before signing anything but will try to avoid it.

Interestingly, I was looking to buyout my vehicle and the dealer has an added line item in the sheet that references a “certification” fee of $1,999… (would this be similar to an inspection).

When inquiring about this fee the salesperson response was “…Certification: We have to certify a vehicle for a lease buyout. (The Certification is transferrable and will get you a better APR rate from banks. If you ever decide to sell the vehicle, it will raise the value of the trade because it is certified.)…”

Why would I need the dealer to certify the vehicle that i’ve driven and maintained through the dealership for 39 months? Sounds odd IMO!

Sounds like a shady Nissan/Infiniti Florida dealer new fee trick

why can’t you just send them a check?

@aronchi When you say them do you mean the dealership? I haven’t asked.

If you mean Nissan/Infiniti, I actually asked them that and they said they’re not a direct lender so they cannot take a check from me. It made absolutely no sense to me.

This sounds like a bunch of BS. I bought out my Pathfinder in November at the Nissan dealer. My buyout was the RV, plus a $375 buyout fee from Nissan an $8 doc fee from the dealership then $55 for title and lien fees. They didn’t even try to sell me any kind of new warranty.

No inspection fees, nothing about grounding it. They didn’t even look at the car. I was in and out of the dealership in about 30 minutes.

Just an update in the event anyone else comes into this same issue. I ended up calling around Infiniti Financial Services and they explained to me that I am only supposed to pay the buyout fee (300.00) a doc fee which is different at every dealership, ad title and registration fees.

They didnt know anything about any pre-delivery inspections or any of that other stuff.

So I called a 7 dealerships in the DC Metro area and a Nissan dealership I spoke to repeated the exact same thing IFS told me. I decided to go into their dealership and was in and out in 30 minutes. No inspection, no grounding, none of that nonsense.

It is so damn sad that all 7 dealerships, 9 in total had a different way of having people buy their leases. I just hope that others decide to call around just to make sure they’re not getting screwed.

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