Should i buy out my volvo xc70 lease or walk away and pay lots?

I am leasing a 2005 volvo xc70 wagon. the lease is up this July. The buyout is $22,000. I am way over on miles. I will probably have 75,000 miles by then. if i don’t buy it I will owe approx. $9,000 in over miles fees, that my employer may or may not pay. i love the car, it’s all highway miles. The blue book value is $20,000. Am I looking at a real repair headache by buying this car and will it last another 3 years. I can’t stand the idea of paying $9,000 to walk away from a car…any thoughts out there. Thanks

so you pay $9k and get nothing, or pay $22k and get a car worth maybe $20k. So even if you sold it immediately for $18k you would still be better off than walking away.

If you really like the car and have maintained it well, I would buy it and keep it another 5 years at least. You probaly realize now that leasing is not what it’s cracked up to be.

First, I would try to get my employer to pay the extra miles.

You will not be able to buy a better used car with the same confidence. And if you pay the $9000, you will still have to get another car. Repairs will only happen to a car this new if you have not maintained it properly or abused it while driving. Volvos are good for at least 350,000 miles.

It sounds like you have three choices;

  1. Pay the mileage penalty and walk away (an expensive lesson on the downside of leasing).

  2. Buy the car and drive it (at least until you experience repair bills that you can’t handle or feel that you have recovered your losses).

  3. Buy the car and sell it for the best price you can get (better than paying the mileage unless the market value is $9000 below the residual value you will have to pay).

Personally, I would keep the car to offset the losses you incurred due to leasing (that’s what I did when I was dumb enough to lease a car about 15 years ago). Whatever you do, never lease another one.

thanks. i did maintain it according to manufacturers schedule at volvo. But i did have one issue, the oil light came on and the digital read said “no oil stop car immediately” of course I was miles away from home but did go to the dealer the next morning. they did all maintenance and said that the dip stick came up dry and i wouldn’t know if there had been any engine damage for a while. i have since put another 5,000 miles on the car and it is a little rougher as far as acceleration but i could just be imagining this as i am now paranoid about whether to buy this car or not. Off warranty repairs are a fortune.

In that case I would only buy it if a thorough inspection showed that no permanent damage ocurred. Of course, myself and other posters are puzzled how a good car like a Volvo can run out of oil. If you check the oil every second tankful of gas, you would notice if the level dropped. If there was a leak or the service station did not tighten things up after changing your oil, it could have leaked out. When the light comes on, you are not totally out of oil, there is still some left in the system, and if you stop IMMEDIATELY, there is often little damage. Did you drive it any distance with the light on?

We have another thread going here about burning out engines due to a lack of oil. If there is no oil whatsoever in the engine, about 7-10 miles is enough to destroy the engine. So this is your judgement call.

he implies that he did drive the car after the “no oil” light came on. Although if he did, I’m surprised the engine still runs.

Poster, if you did drive the car with no oil, then I would sell it as soon as you can.

The reason it still runs is probably that not ALL the oil was lost; some would have remained in the bottom of the sump ans in the filter.

Look for cost effective way to dispose of car. Shame you endangered engine over something so simple. In hind sight don’t ya think ya could have stopped the car, popped the hood and figured out the trouble w/o driving to a dealer.??? Many people have cell phones now days. A call for a tow or 4 qts. of oil and you woul;d know you have a good car with many miles (for its age) and a possible OK buyout. $30 in fluids, flash-light and rags w/ the simplest of tools can save you, or your fellow motorist great inconvience, damage, or distress. Some cary much $ in CD’s, cell-phones, I-pods, etc., but not $2.10 for a Qt. of oil in their trunk. Sad, I think. Sorry for your jam.

It’s very unlikely the oil level was actually dangerously low when the ‘no oil’ message was shown. Many cars have low oil level warnings.

yes, but as soon as you started driving, would not that remaining quart start circulating and dump out the same place the rest of the oil went, ie, out the missing drain plug?

Dunno re 350K. I’ve heard that in recent years the ford/Volvo has gone downhill in reliability, along with the rest of the european brands.

Bill, I fully agree that Volvo reliability has gone downhill and I personally would not buy one because of the high required maintenance costs. But, unlike some cheap cars, Volvos have very good bodies and can be repaired forever, if you spend enough money on them, much like Mercedes. So they are still very long lived, but at a price.

Craig, it sort of depends how long the dipstick is. On most cars, the dipstick does not go all the way down to the bottom of the oil pan. You always have some oil left, even if the dipstick comes up dry. When the people who change your oil forget to fill it, you have a dry oil pan and a dry oil filter, as what happened to the gentleman in my neighbourhood. Then you have 7-10 miles before the engine seizes up.

I believe OP had very low oil level and likely has some damage to the engine, how much we don’t know.

I agree about the dipsticks, mine only shows about
the top 2 quarts out of 8 quarts. I was assuming he has an electronic low oil level indicator that will tell you when you are below the minimum. I agree he may have done damage if it was driven while really low; that may also be an issue for the lease return.

I think the first step is to determine for certain whether your employer will pay the $9000. If so, then I would say walk away, and go on to another vehicle… although perhaps not a lease next time.

If your employer for certain will not, and let’s assume he/she will not, then there are more problems:

  1. Is the mileage taken into consideration when the buyout amount is calculated? If so, then the price may actually go up, as the dealer may tack the over-mileage fee onto the buyout fee, or a portion of it. So your $22,000 could, I would think, become up to $31,000.
    2)Would you want to keep this vehicle for a while longer? If not, then I guess you need to decide how much you can sell it for versus the buyout option. I think if you’ll sell it for any less than $15,000 you’d be better off to just pay the mileage fee and walk away - but check to see how much vehicles like yours sell for. It’s entirely possible you could get more by selling the vehicle yourself after buying the car outright.

Your other option might be to see if your employer will pay your over-mileage fee regardless of what you do with the vehicle. If that’s the case, and your employer will give you $9000 anyway, I’d say buy it out, as you’d be getting a $22,000 car for $13,000.

However, given your statement about the oil light and dry dipstick, I would be leaning more towards just paying the mileage fee and walking away, especially if your employer will pay the fee. But the first step is to find out for 100% sure whether or not the employer will pay the fee. If you leased the car primarily, and out of necessity, for use at work, I think it would kind of be evil for the employer not to pay at least a portion of the fees.

“Whatever you do, never lease another one.”

It may not be gracie’s choice. Her employer may have leased it for her. In that case, and if the mileage is substantially all business use, the employer should (must!) pay the mileage penalty. It is at least unethical to get a cheap lease, knowing that their business mileage is higher than allowed, and expect the employee to pay for their business. I don’t know that is the case, but it is certainly possible.

Gracie, let us know roughly how much of the 75,000 miles is business and whether your employer expected you to use it as a personal car, too. We can discuss you options better then.

Would you accept a lease car as part of your compensation if you were responsible for the mileage limits and expenses? I certainly wouldn’t do it, if the employee leased a car for my use that might be acceptable.

It sounds to me like you’re on a monthly car allowance as a perk??? And you went way over???

I’d be inclined to buy it, resell it, and make a better choice next time. You’ll lose less that way. The “better choice” may be a purchase rather than a lease if your perk allows, or perhaps even a different lease structure if possible.

Good point concerning compensation, but I still think that it is unethical to pull a stunt like that on what appears to be a neophyte. And we are just guessing until gracie gives us to scoop.