I have been reading that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, auto inventories are high and dealers often do not want lease returns. Wholesale auction prices are reportedly plummeting even as of a couple weeks ago. Because of this, I have heard that it should be possible to negotiate a lower buyout price than is quoted on the lease web site.
Is this really a thing, and would it be possible for me to take advantage of it to improve my personal finances? My lease is up in under a month, but I don't know how I would do such a thing - presumably I would have to call and talk to somebody, but I don't know the magic words to say. For comparison, I am the guy who hears that he can save money on his cable bill by calling and telling them he wants to cancel his service to get connected to the retention department, and instead of saving money they are following through on the steps to cancel his service!
Is the used car market still in a spot where it is possible to improve one's position by getting a lower lease buyout? I am skeptical, because I am offered a (slightly) higher price for my car from places like CarMax than my lease buyout, but in turn I don't see any good used car deals anywhere.
I was really hoping to buy out my lease, but financially it would make sense to either renegotiate a lower buy-out value (it would either wipe out my savings or get me into another loan I don't need right now), or get a less expensive price on a comparable car, but neither seems possible right now. Is this whole "COVID-19 means $$$BIG$$$ SAVINGS on used cars" I see all over the place fake news? And if not, how can I get in on it?