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I have been leasing a Honda Civic LX 4 door Sedan for several years now. The lease is almost up so I have been looking at 2012 cars to start a new lease. There is some damage to the Civic. Scratches on the roof and side and a deep scratch/dent on the left side lower panel. This is causing concern for the dealers who see my car. If I fix the damage to the car, then I won't have any money to put down on a replacment. I have about $1500 saved to put down on a new car. It seems that I cannot afford a used car due to the monthly payments required, so I probabaly have to lease again to keep the cost down. My current payment is $202/month. Many of the dealers are telling me that I will need to put down $3000 and my monthly payments are still likely to be above $200/month. Also, my teenage son is 6'3" and still growing. We are hoping to get a hatchback with enough leg room for his size that is affordable for me, but I'm getting very discouraged. I can't really afford the down payment that seems necessary to acquire a 2012, nor can I really afford to have my monthly payments go up. An older used car makes me feel unsafe and I'm afraid I might encounter costly repairs with an older car. Any suggestions on a car that might be in my price range or a dealer in the Boston area that would work with me? I'm running out of time as the lease ends in September. I did ask the finance company if I could extend the lease, but they frown on that because then the car doesn't have a warranty to protect it. Thanks for any guidance/advice.

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Cherie Watters, President of Sales and Marketing at Hi Susan, One suggestion that I might have is for you just to purchase your current lease. You should have the option. You need to find out with the car is worth and compare to your lease buy out price. There are a number of manufactures offering very low lease payments including Honda. Hyundai, Kia, Toyota and VW all offer rebates and that can help with any cost you may have against you Honda. Please let us know about your lease buy out option for you Honda and let's see if we can come up with some ideas.

Jessie L Thatcher, F&I and Sales Specialist at Reynolds and Reynolds Company  (Retired) You need to check your lease contract for the purchase option that should be included in the original paperwork. If not you might want to consider getting the scratches fixed, make certain the tires are good and the car is immaculately clean BEFORE you take it back to the dealer to terminate the lease. Your payments are based on the vehicle you choose so do your research on line. I don't know anything about Boston dealers but most of the information you need is online.

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