Should I buy my leased Camry?

toyota
camry

#1

Hi,



I’m deciding between either purchasing my leased 2008 Camry XLE (fully loaded, 22k miles) for $15.6k, or buy a 2009 Pontiac Vibe AWD for $11.5k. I’m a single guy, 30, no kids.



I like the Camry well enough, the only thing is, I got into an accident with front end damage of $5k (no frame damage) that has since been fully repaired and completely guaranteed for the life of the car by the repair shop. However, I’m wondering if I should just walk away from the car to “start over” with a different car. I like the luxury of the Camry but the fun nature of the Vibe. I would be planning on keeping the car for at least 5 years.



Need to make a decision by this weekend. Any thoughts / opinions are greatly appreciated. Thanks!


#2

And the 2009 Vibe has 22k miles by a private party…


#3

Is a third option, lease another new Camry possible? They are dealing in my area on Camry leases this weekend. That way you’d start off fresh with another car, which you could buy for about $16K in a few years.

The Vibe has been properly maintained by the previous owner? All the service documents are available for you to see?

I think the Camry would hold value better over time. Of the two I’d stick with the Camry. The Vibe might be cute, but is much smaller and will seem less refined than your XLE Camry. What’s so fun about a Vibe? Is a small, bouncy, noisey little car. Do you think the “fun” of the Vibe is still going to be fun 5 years from now?


#4

I’d recommend purchasing the Camry, mainly because you like the car and you know its full history. Used cars always come with the risk that it’s back in the market because there’s a problem with it or that it wasn’t properly maintained.


#5

I’ve bought 2 such cars in the past and they led happy and long lives. But both were maintained by the book!!

So, if you really babied the car and maintained it religiously, I’d buy it. Many people who lease cars do an absolute minimum in terms of maintenance (It’s not MY car!)and such cars are not good buys.


#6

You know the Camry and its history - try offering a thousand or so less and see if you can get it .
Leasing companies aren’t interested in selling used cars if they can avoid it .


#7

I’d stick with a car that has a future. After December Pontiac is history.


#8

Doc nailed it, IMHO.
If the OP is the typical lessee, he/she may have been…less than meticulous…with the car’s maintenance. In a case like this, the OP could be buying into future reliability/durability problems that he/she helped to create via lax maintenance.

On the other hand, if the car has been maintained at least as well as the mfr specifies, then this is a car whose history you know, and that is a good history. Other used cars (despite services like Carfax) will be a crap-shoot and may have lots of hidden or less-obvious problems.

The ultimate answer to the question, “Should I buy my leased Camry?”, lies in the car’s maintenance records.


#9

If your Camry is properly maintained and you are sure that the accident did not cause frame damage, and the damage that was done was properly repaired, I think the Camry for $15,600 is a pretty good deal. At 22,000 miles, a Camry (or any decent car, really) should be nearly indistinguishable from new. My BIL has an Accord with 160,000 miles and that car runs and drives like new!


#10

If the Camry has only seen one oil change, or none, in that 22k miles then it would be gone no matter what the deal is behind the Vibe.


#11

Many thanks for the insightful responses.

I was concerned about what the accident would do to the Camry’s resale value, but if I plan on keeping it for a while then that should hopefully be a minimal factor. Plus, I realize the Vibe won’t have much of a resale value either. The $5k difference in purchase price did attract me to the Vibe since I’m a pretty cost conscious guy.

However, I am leaning towards buying the Camry, even though Toyota Financial will not budge on the buyout price.


#12

That’s a great price on the Camry. Dealer retail for that car with a 4-cyl and 35,000 miles is over $18,000.


#13

Good post VDC; in 1999 I helped a friend buy a car that was coming off lease. It was a 1997 Taurus leased from the dealer and being returned by an oil company engineer who was going back to Europe. I had worked with this engineer and knew the car was meticulously maintained, garaged, washed regularly, and had only 17,000 miles on it after 2.5 years.

My friend bought the car at 50% of the new list price. His wife is still driving it in 2010 and it has gone 138,000 trouble-free miles with only routine maintenance.

There are good deals in cars coming off lease, since the first driver has basically paid for the car, and in many cases company lease cars have gone very few miles.


#14

If you like the fun nature of the Vibe and the luxury of the Camry, why not opt for both and look at something like the Mazda 6. It should have plenty of amenities that you’re used to with the Camry, while being fun to drive like the Vibe


#15

I was very surprised at how fun the Ford Fusion V6 was (2008 model) since it was just the right size and seemed solidly built. If fuel economy is not a huge concern, I would strongly suggest taking a good look at this car. From the mechanics I’ve spoken with, the Fusion’s reliability is supposedly still not as “bulletproof” as Toyota or Honda, but I think it’s a good used car value. In the end, I did stick with the Camry, but was strongly swayed by the Fusion.


#16

The Vibe is going to be a serious downgrade from a Camry. The Camry will be more flexible with your life and options if kids arrive etc. You will be more apt to hang onto vs a smaller vehicle.

I own a small similar size car(Subaru Impreza WRX) currently I bought when I was 31, it is getting old and tiresome.


#17

If the OP is the typical lessee, he/she may have been…less than meticulous…with the car’s maintenance. In a case like this, the OP could be buying into future reliability/durability problems that he/she helped to create via lax maintenance.

On the other hand, if the car has been maintained at least as well as the mfr specifies, then this is a car whose history you know, and that is a good history. Other used cars (despite services like Carfax) will be a crap-shoot and may have lots of hidden or less-obvious problems.

EXACTLY…I work with a guy who leases a new car every other year…and he’s NEVER EVER done one bit of maintenance on any of his vehicles…and that includes oil changes. Usually puts about 15-20k miles per year. So by the time he trades it in…it has 40k miles and NEVER EVER HAD AN OIL CHANGE.

So if it’s a lease…and there are records PROVING that all maintenance was done…then it should be ok…if maintenance can’t be confirmed…then walk.


#18

I would suggest autotrader.com . there where I found my car in Jan =]


#19

I can’t remember if Ford still had a part of Mazda in 08 or not, can’t remember when they sold. But the Mazda 6 and Ford Fusion are sister cars pretty much. Also, the Fusion is available with a 4cyl.
Thanks for getting back with us and letting us know what happened, so few do that. Good luck with your Camry. maybe your next car will be a Fusion when you decide you don’t want the Camry anymore