The gauntlet has been thrown, our thrifty friends. Jeff Jarvis writes:
My father got a pitch from LowerMyLease.com, owned by ACS, which promises to lower his car least by almost half. I can
t find the trick. The means either that the GMAC lease he has is so stuffed with margin that it
s easy for another company to come along and do this
or that there
s a trick or hidden fee here I can
t find. Any wiser minds than mine able to figure this out? Is this a case for Consumerist?
We’re already digging, but feel free to chime in with your wisdom.
Update: Upon initial review, it seems like a pretty basic refinancing deal. LowerMyLease pays the lease buy-out, the refinances a new (now, ‘used car’) lease with a different lender, presumably taking advantage of the savings allowed by a buyout of the initial lease. Since the company that holds you lease actually owns the car, ACS buys the car outright, getting a discount from the original lease holder. They then make their money by charging you a payment and holding the title of the car itself. We were able to confirm this with ACS.
They only refinance newer leases, because the pay-off from the original lease holder is much more advantageous to them. There may be limitations to end-of-lease options compared to a ‘standard’ lease, like charging an premium buy-out rate to guarantee they maintain ownership of the vehicle.
So while we can’t vouch for the company, obviously, we’re leaning toward ‘GMAC has a crazy high margin,’ since his car was sold by GM directly to GMAC for the lease.