What To Know About Pull-Ahead Lease Offers

Things To Consider Before Leasing A Car

Photo Credit: nito/Shutterstock.com
We had a caller to the Car Pro Show asking about a “pull-ahead” lease program. His dealer had contacted him, and his question was whether or not this was legitimate and if it were something the manufacturer was offering, or just a dealer gimmick. This listener had 11 payments left, so I deemed it not to be a legitimate factory-sponsored offer, but there are many that are.

Pull-Ahead Lease Programs

Over the last few years, these programs have become very popular with automakers, and are just another form of an incentive. It can vary, but generally if you are currently in a lease, the “pull-ahead” will allow you to skip up to your last three payments if you lease another vehicle of the same brand. This is particularly good for people who are on track to go over their mileage allowance. Essentially, you are moving your lease end date up by 90 days.

Are their any catches? Generally, no. The automakers are willing to spend money to keep you as a customer. They know that you are coming up on a major automotive decision. Before the end of the lease, you have to decide whether to lease again, whether to just turn your leased vehicle in and walk away, or their big fear is you’ll turn your car in and lease from a competitor. Their history shows that reaching people early with a compelling offer will keep you in the family. I have seen these programs allow people who want to get out of their lease early to purchase a car instead of doing another lease.

Most times when the “pull-ahead” programs are in effect, the other incentives that the public receive are available to you as well. Some automakers make it extremely attractive to keep you in their brand, or at least strongly consider it.


Are these programs available all the time? Definitely not. My experience is you’ll see them only a couple of times a year for a brief time, so watch your mail and email for something from your dealer or manufacturer if you are in a lease. Don’t just pitch it, it could be a very valuable message that could save you a lot of money.

One reason automakers do this is due to year model change. As I have told listeners for years, all cars turn a year older every September. Let’s say that right now you have a 2016 Toyota Camry. Last month your vehicle was three years old, but since it is September, it is now a four-year old vehicle. If your lease was ending last month (August), Toyota may have wanted your car back in early summer so it would be worth more and offered a pull-ahead offer.

Looking Ahead

Looking ahead, I think it is likely we’ll see more lease pull-ahead programs in the future. Leasing has grown each year of the past five years and in the second quarter of 2019, 30.4% of new vehicles were leased according to Experian Automotive financial data. That means that over the coming few years, over five million vehicles will be coming off-lease. That is a big number of vehicles for the dealers and automakers to deal with, but also represents a huge opportunity to sell another vehicle. I have not seen any down side for the consumer to jump on board with lease pull-ahead programs, it is free money given to you to keep you as a customer, and get you into a new set of wheels.

Easy to Follow Guide to Your End of Lease Options

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Here's the scenario:

I have paid for a one time lease for 36 months. Four months into the lease the vehicle is a total write off.
1 - Insurance will pay current value of vehicle
2 - The lessor will pay the GAP

Question - what happens to the one time lease payment?
A - Is there a refund of the unused portion?
B - Will there be hidden "gotchas" to consume the unused portion of the lease payment and I finish up with nothing?
The Car Pro
Jeff, different lease companies do it differently but generally in the case of a total loss or stolen vehicle, the insurance money will be applied to the current payoff and you’ll get back whatever is left over. If there is a deficit, the GAP will kick in if there is that coverage. I don’t know of any surprises in these cases.

I hope this helps.

Jerry Reynolds
I currently have a leased vehicle and most likely will be under the alotted mileage when I turn it in. If at lease end and I want to continue leasing can I lease a car of lesser value without any out of pocket costs?
The Car Pro
Kay, every vehicle is different on a lease. Sometimes a car with a lessor MSRP will have a higher lease payment, there are a lot of factors, including incentives. Read my END OF LEASE OPTIONS here: http://www.carprousa.com/faq.

This should help you, and also use my dealers for your next lease, they’ll insure you get the lowest possible payment.

Jerry Reynolds
If I understand your article on leasing. I can lease a truck , go over miles and if I trade it in for another car/truck, then I wont be charged the additional miles.
Do I have that correct?
The Car Pro
Correct. You can trade it in OR purchase it with no penalties.

Jerry Reynolds
Is the only way to exit a Mercedes lease is to pay the sum of the lease payments?
The Car Pro
You can trade the Mercedes in and avoid making all the remaining payments if you are close to break even. Read my END OF LEASE OPTIONS article on my FAQ page.


Jerry Reynolds
Will BMW allow customers to take advantage of a lease pull ahead if the replacement vehicle is a factory certified pre-owned and financed through BMW Financial Services?
Amy P.
Honestly I don't know. That's a question you'll need to ask one of our Certified BMW dealers.

Jerry Reynolds, President
Car Pro Radio Network