Friday, December 31, 2010

Mazda American Credit Leases suck.

My Mazda5 is no longer mine. I now own a 2010 Prius. Kelli will drive it....but I will pay for it. Yeah even after almost 9 years ( nine yeeeeeeeeearrrrrrrrrrrrss) together we still keep separate finances. Makes things easier.

My lease payment was due today. I stopped payment of course since...I don't the Mazda anymore.

CarMax offered up a trade in value $600 less than I currently "owe". The dealers final offer was $1500 less than I currently "owe". But it took a while to get there. Upside down. Hmmm.

I had three remaining lease payments of $400 a piece. On top of that the Mazda5 needed tires as the rears were down to the wear bars. The lease agreement requires me to turn the car in with certain tread depths. I would have needed 4 tires by March 31st. Four of the cheapest tires I could get in 205X50X17 (low profile sporty tire) were $120 a piece. Add in mounting and call it $550 for the set. In addition if I turn the car in I have to pay a $375 disposal fee. So out of my pocket in the next 3 months was $1200 in lease payments, $550 for tires and $375 for the lease disposal.....$2125. That's if I turned the car in.

I didn't want the car.

Last night we stopped by Toyota of Dallas. I was VERY skeptical of getting out of there in a good mood. The glitzy ads they run screamed "we will screw you".

To my surprise Sam Albalouli, our salesman, as promised pulled the two Prius models we were interested in right up the the building. They were waiting for us. Kelli and I took a look in each one.

The silver Prius had a dark grey interior while the Blizzard Pearl had a light grey interior. We chose the latter....I liked the exterior more and Kelli liked the interior more.

I took it for a quick test drive. All was great. Inside we went.

First problem. They valued my trade at $3100 less than my balance. No bueno. We decided to sell it to Carmax and pay the $600. It was less than the $2125 I would have to spend if I finished my lease.

My salesman was very nice, but thought we were going to leave and not come back. He asked if we could sign the paperwork before going to Carmax. No way. I stated there was no way I was buying a car before my current one was gone. Murphys law would happen and I would get into a car accident on the way to Carmax.

I stated it would be about 2 hours as we had to go home, get Kelli's car, she follow me to Carmax, sell them my car then come back to the dealership. He was worried.

I asked for a service loaner to drive back. Nope.

Instead he FOLLOWED us to Carmax. This turned out to be a VERY good thing.

Carmax is great. I walked to the counter and handed them the paperwork. I sold them my Cadillac years ago. I was in and out fast. Not this time. With a lease they need a verbal lease payoff. Mazda American Credit won't give it to anyone but me. Additionally they won't let Carmax payoff or buy my car. Carmax will no longer do business with Mazda American Credit.

Mazda American Credit was great until now. The lease is set up that I have to return to a Mazda dealer to terminate my lease. My Acura lease was not this way. I traded out of my Acura lease 3 months early and $900 positive. My salesman from Toyota was shocked at what was going on. We left and he said he would see what he could do.

Back at the dealership. Kelli and I were doubtful this was going to work.

After more negotiation the dealer raised the trade in value to within $1500 of my payoff. The $1500 was still less than the $2125 I would end up paying. Financing negative equity sucks. If I had a traditional loan on the Mazda or had to pay interest on the Toyota I would not have done the deal.

Headed to finance. I got 0% interest for 5 years. Free money. The finance guy tried to sell me an extended warranty, prepaid maintenance, paint protection and tire protection. I was interested in the tire protection until I heard the cost...$400. No way. I actually used the tire protection on my Matrix. It was "included" in the price of that car. Bleh.

We arrived at the dealership at 5PM. We walked out the door at 8:30PM. Not bad all things considered. If it weren't for the Mazda snafu we would have been done earlier.

Today I have the new Prius. I will be taking it to get a new toll tag and then it will belong to Kelli.

As for my "new" 2004 Prius...I will be pimping it out. I am going to order all weather mats right away. I am also going to look into installing an aux input port. Right now Kelli is using the old fashioned tape adapter. That's about it. Might get a rear cargo mat and bumper protector. I will be loading bags in and out of it a lot. The new Prius already has the rear bumper protector.

Being a zero interest loan we have no super incentive to pay it off fast other than to get MY next mega SUV.

Below is an image from Toyota of what color we bought.

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