Short term solution lease vs buy vs takeover through SAL,LT

Hi everyone I’m a newbie to the forum with a definitive need for a larger car for the next 12 months. I’m probably moving States in the next 12 months or so and will have different needs and don’t want a long term lease. I have great credit and access to the cash to buy if necessary. I’m interested in a 3 row suv and have been looking at the VW Atlas, Ford Expedition, Lincoln navigator, Audi q7.

We don’t really need all 7 seats but will generally have 2 car seats and are trying for the best solution for 3 adults and two babies in car seats.

My initial inclination was to do a lease takeover on a VW Atlas, which seemed to be possible on SAL or LT but it doesn’t seem like I’m seeing as many deals as I wanted . it also seems like you don’t know what kind of liabilities or true condition of the vehicle that you’re inheriting through someone else’s lease. I’m trying to find a lease that is under 18 months so I can get a new car as my needs change, and I think that will occur in about 12 months or so.

Alternatively I’m also wondering about and reviewing the deals that are available through Hertz right now as they scramble to sell cars. It seems like their pricing is pretty competitive for purchasing. Would welcome feedback or experience sharing in SAL and LT.

So just to clarify… you have great credit history in the US, but you’re moving (back) here?

Yes. I have great credit. I moved from NYC to California. I don’t plan on staying in California and will likely move to Texas in the next 24 months.

Leasing in Texas is difficult due to taxation on selling price. There are tax credits, and other ways you can continue to lease in Texas. However, if you look at short term transfers, look at their grounding dates (note you will have to pay disposition if you don’t get another car from that brand), and effective miles per month.

Whatever you do, don’t get a former rental.

And why do you need a behemoth like a Expedition for 3 adults and 2 babies?

Can you elaborate? Once COVID started I was looking at rentals from Avis and Hertz but didn’t wind up buying because my office closed. The prices now have increased 15-20% on pretty much everything I was looking at.
I’m considering it for when my office reopens but always see different opinions on rental cars. 2 of
my friends have gotten lucky with a Sienna and a Mazda 6 having no problems for a number of years.

Is your other thread about the same vehicle search?

Yes it is.

I’ve always had 2 leases in the past because my wife and I had relatively long commutes and weekend trips. Now I’ve been working at home for the pay 6 months and luckily one of my leases ended in April.

We have one lease that’s used for all trips and errands on the weekend and we’re still way under the mileage allowance.

I’m supposed to go back into the office next month but the commute is only 60 miles a week, so 250 miles a month, let’s say 400 if I run some errands at lunch.

Looking for some input on what a mid size SUV could potentially buy for a short commute, Does it make more sense to buy new or used? Does anyone offer very low mileage leases?

One anecdote/data point using round numbers from my head:

6 years ago we needed a “temporary car,” so we bought a 6-year-old Lexus RX with 82k miles for ~$18,500. It’s probably worth $10,000 now.

It’s needed a battery, a set of tires, and struts in 18,000 miles, plus an annual oil change (~$3,500 all-in). This is probably more than most Lexi would require in so few miles – specifically the struts, which were a good chunk of that – but obviously YMMV.

($8,500 deprecation + $3,500 in upkeep) / 72 months = $167/month + tax on the original purchase

You can’t lease a Kia Wombat for that.

Of course, we’ve had to live with the indignity of driving an '08 RX350 for six years.

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Thanks, @HersheySweet. I am pretty sure all the lessors have tax credit

Thanks, yes I was thinking about that strategy of purchasing a depreciated vehicle as well. My hesitation with this strategy ties back to my concern with foregoing many of the recent improvements to car safety. Since this is primarily a family car I figure I should step up and pay for a safer vehicle for my family.

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As of now, after researching this all day I’m leaning towards leasing a 2020 Volvo xc90 or Audi Q7. Any suggestions on the best lease brokers for that?

I always hear about rentals being poor choices. Is there such thing as a good former rental? Is the maintenance and care poor?

I would strongly encourage you to make this decision based on actual safety data, and not perceptions of safety.

6 year old cars do not hurl themselves over cliffs or spontaneously combust in direct sunlight.

This was discussed over the last few months. Happy reading:

Just a thought, if you are looking at a 3-row SUV, you may want to get one with the captains seats so that you can keep the car seats bases in the captains seats and adults can pass through to the 3rd row. Note that, you’ll probably only be able to do this if you have car seats with a click in base, as it will be hard to pass through past the car seats when locked into the seats.

I think the full-size SUVs are probably a bit much. The Q7 seems more expensive than what you need (just the vibe I get).

You could either try to get a new SUV from a brand that freely allows transfers (ie: Toyota Highlander, Chevy Traverse, Ford Explorer) and transfer if you need after a year (though from what you’re describing, I don’t follow why a 3-row no longer works once you move…). Or the other option is to get one where you can’t (VW Atlas, Honda Pilot), but then try to sell it to Carvana/Shift/Vroom after a year or so.

All of the above should be available with captains seats, though I think Atlas is available at mid-level while those like Pilot are only available on top trim(s).

Not in my book

Good choice. California will only get worse due to upcoming foreclosures.

Also both those are good options. If you are changing car so quickly you might want to look at other models, perhaps to save a little money.

Having rented many a car I can tell you that yes, there are many concerns with buying them. There are often hidden or overlooked issues, especially the undercarriage and greater than normal wear.

When you say California will get worse due to foreclosures do you mean the liquidity in the used car market as a result of the foreclosures will be better?