Buying a leased vehicle

I am wondering if there is anything to know while buying a vehicle that had been leased at one time. I am buying it at a VW used car dealership. There is not much information of service on the carfax. There is only the information on the change of ownership. The car was driven in NJ.

I bought an off lease vehicle with no problems (for a year that is). Then again I knew what to expect.

Lease vehicles are usually serviced at the dealer (with some exceptions I guess) for the life of the lease so that dealer should have service records of it.

Depending when and how the vehicle was serviced and how well (or not) it was driven factor into the condition now.

That said, have a qualified tech thoroughly inspect the vehicle before you buy.

VW’s are scary cars to buy used, as evidenced by another person on the board right now experiencing some VW troubles. The problem is they’re not the most reliable to begin with, and the problems are compounded when the cars aren’t serviced regularly. The turbo motors in particular really need to have the oil changed regularly. If I was buying one I’d want to know the service history and I’d want the biggest warranty I could get. Any chance you can get in touch with the original owner? Also, look in the owners manual or service booklet for service stamps or receipts.

I agree-- I think VW’s are just about the only cars I would say might be a good idea to lease, since they tend to be pretty cheap to lease and are fun to drive but are prone to expensive failures-- in other words I probably wouldn’t want to end up owning one at the end of my lease period!

I think it’s unlikley that they will produce service records-- they’ll probably just want you to take their word for it. They defintely won’t let you talk to the original leasee. There’s usually a financial penalty if the leasee doesn’t keep up with the regular maintinence, but that doesn’t mean that they did. And if they didn’t, it’s likely VWoA just pockets their money and sells the car just like any other one.

I wouldn’t discount an old leased car, since it probably was well-maintained, but I might be a little uncomfortable with the unknowns involved especially on a make with such a spotty track record as VW.

Just out of curiousity, is this car that much cheaper than a regular used car?

Buying leased is usually safer than buying from BlowJoe private seller. If buying used, leased is probably the safest bet.

If you can’t review the service records don’t touch it, you can’t verify the car’s history.

You don’t say which model VW, but if it’s Mexico built you can expect dubious build quality and if it’s a 1.8 with 75,000+ mileage you want that cam belt changed before you take on the car, they are ‘famous’ for premature and very expensive failure.

I’d sooner buy a car from Joe Blow with fully documented dealer service history.