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I am wondering about the pros and cons of buying an ex-lease vehicle for my business.

At the moment I am leaning towards a 2008 Hyundai Santa Fe 2.2L diesel which appears available from a lot of lease companies right now. Other options are a Holden Captiva or saving money by dropping down to a Subaru Outback but losing size and passenger options.

I have heard the Santa Fe diesels are very reliable (possibly negating some concerns over the slightly higher km's of a lease vehicle) and according to the reviews I have read to date, they are better than the Captiva in most aspects.

Also when negotiating for a second hand vehicle at the moment, how much can I hope to get off the asking price?

Your thoughts would be much appreciated.


From the "Ask Jack" archives - 5 November, 2010


We have been most impressed with the 2.2 diesel Santa Fe and would have no hesitation in recommending this model even as an ex-lease vehicle. If there are a number of ex-lease Santa Fe’s currently on the market, this could indicate that they have come back to the lease company as ex-rentals, but again, this is not a huge issue today.

An advantage of buying ex-lease is that many are fully-maintained lease contracts, so they will have been serviced and maintained well. You would need to confirm this by asking to look at the past service history. A good check of the body condition would also be advisable as vehicles used in this environment can suffer a few extra dents and bruises.

The Captiva doesn’t enjoy the same reputation for reliability or build quality as the Santa Fe, and we would recommend the Hyundai over the Holden.

The Outback is in a slightly different category that the other two you mention, but is also a very good vehicle. The down side is that unless you are looking at the very latest model, they can be a little more thirsty. The new model is available in diesel, but only with a manual transmission, so won’t be to everyone’s liking.

In all, the Santa Fe is probably the best all round of the models you have mentioned. Don’t be put off by considering ex-lease, but try to get as low a mileage as possible.

Regarding the negotiation process, the dealer will usually have some room to move, but like all businesses in the current economic climate, most are working on lower margins today than they once were, so don’t expect big discounts.