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My daughter lease a 2005 cobalt. She is commuting to college which is about an hour away from where she lives. Her mileage is up and she would like to trade in that cobalt for a newer car. We've gone to the dealer from where she got the car and they tell us the only way she can trade in her car is to have $3,000 to put down as a down payment. The car is in good shape and whenever it needs servicing she's always taken it in. If you could give us some suggesting as to what to do.

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Jenny Trostel, Partner at Anderson of Hunt Valley This is one of those situations where leasing a car is a bad idea. If her mileage is up but her time is not, she may have to pay for the balance of the time left on the lease. Leasing is based on time and mileage not one or the other. Look at the original lease document to determine how much she still owes on the car and what she will pay for being over on mileage. She may want to keep the car until the end of the lease and pay for the excess mileage if it will cost her less. Do a little research before you trade in the car for a new one. Good Luck!

Marnie Kramer, Owner and Creator at EverythingCarz.com You need to call the bank and find out what the buy out on the vehicle is. Then you need to determine how many months she has left on her lease. Once you have that information you will have more information to help with your negotiation efforts. Most likely the money they are requesting is helping to pay down the remainder of the lease or is the difference between the value of the vehicle and the buyout. It is possible that there is a large amount of negative equity in the vehicle which makes it hard for them to roll that money into the new vehicle. You may want to see what the buyout is and attempt to sell the vehicle on your own. To determine if that is an option check out autotrader.com or cars.com and look at other used vehicles in your area that fit the description of your daughter’s vehicle, to see what the average selling price on these vehicles.I hope this helps.Regards, Marnie KramerEverythingcarz.com

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