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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I leased a 2014 Volt back in August 2014; the lease allows for 36k miles. The leasing company is Ally, in case it matters.

The odometer is at just under 21k miles. The car is in great condition except for the driver side mirror, which was recently damaged from backing up and hitting the garage wall on the way out.

It bugs me that I'll be turning in the car with 13k miles unused, and I'll still get charged (or have to fix on my own) the driver's side mirror.

Clearly I should have looked into swapping out of this lease 9 months ago, but I was busy. I have more time now and want to figure the best way to handle the next 3 months. I've never leased before (nor swapped), so I'm open to ideas on what I should do...

Should I try to swap? Could I get someone to take the damage off my hands in exchange for all the miles they get to pile on three months?

Just keep the car until lease end (and fix the side mirror)?

Other ideas?
 

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I leased a 2014 Volt back in August 2014; the lease allows for 36k miles. The leasing company is Ally, in case it matters.

The odometer is at just under 21k miles. The car is in great condition except for the driver side mirror, which was recently damaged from backing up and hitting the garage wall on the way out.

It bugs me that I'll be turning in the car with 13k miles unused, and I'll still get charged (or have to fix on my own) the driver's side mirror.

Clearly I should have looked into swapping out of this lease 9 months ago, but I was busy. I have more time now and want to figure the best way to handle the next 3 months. I've never leased before (nor swapped), so I'm open to ideas on what I should do...

Should I try to swap? Could I get someone to take the damage off my hands in exchange for all the miles they get to pile on three months?

Just keep the car until lease end (and fix the side mirror)?

Other ideas?
Think of purchasing mileage like purchasing insurance...Would it bug you that you paid for term life insurance but the policy never had to pay out because you're still alive? In this case you purchased more mileage (or "insurance") than you needed...It's all part of the gamble, many go over their mileage...

Ally used to not allow swapping, the current lender GM Financial started to allow swaps but you couldn't swap during the last 12 months...I believe there's a 99% chance you CANNOT swap but don't listen to me or anyone else, call Ally and get actual answers in a quick 5mins...Ask Ally:

1. "Is my vehicle eligible for a lease swap?"
2. "What is the damage waiver amount?" <often it's $500, $750 or $1000 and could cover your mirror>
3. "What is the likelihood of a pull ahead lease?"

So first you'll find out is swapping is even an option, next you'll find out your damage waiver and it's possible the mirror is covered and if not an used mirror on ebay is like what, $125 shipped? Lastly you'll see if pulling ahead is an option...Despite the mileage, sounds like you moved on from your Volt so if you can't swap perhaps you can turn it in early and have the remaining payments waived if you're itching for another vehicle...

Otherwise maybe it's time to start taking longer and more frequent road trips during these last three months to get more out of the Volt and feel less "bugged" about the situation...
 

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Unfortunately I think this goes into the "lessons learned" category. Too complicated to find the person you're looking for. Though it's not always possible -- life happens -- getting the right number of miles on a lease is desirable. Had you signed up for 10K miles a year your monthly would have been lower. However, this is not a huge deal. Likely only a point or two on the residual. So not a hugely expensive lesson.

I do think that many people get more miles than they need, driven by an irrational fear of going over on the miles. If you signed up for 10K miles and, at the end of the lease, used 31K or 32K miles, you'd be better off than getting 12K miles on the front end.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Think of purchasing mileage like purchasing insurance...Would it bug you that you paid for term life insurance but the policy never had to pay out because you're still alive? In this case you purchased more mileage (or "insurance") than you needed...It's all part of the gamble, many go over their mileage...

Ally used to not allow swapping, the current lender GM Financial started to allow swaps but you couldn't swap during the last 12 months...I believe there's a 99% chance you CANNOT swap but don't listen to me or anyone else, call Ally and get actual answers in a quick 5mins...Ask Ally:

1. "Is my vehicle eligible for a lease swap?"
2. "What is the damage waiver amount?" <often it's $500, $750 or $1000 and could cover your mirror>
3. "What is the likelihood of a pull ahead lease?"

So first you'll find out is swapping is even an option, next you'll find out your damage waiver and it's possible the mirror is covered and if not an used mirror on ebay is like what, $125 shipped? Lastly you'll see if pulling ahead is an option...Despite the mileage, sounds like you moved on from your Volt so if you can't swap perhaps you can turn it in early and have the remaining payments waived if you're itching for another vehicle...

Otherwise maybe it's time to start taking longer and more frequent road trips during these last three months to get more out of the Volt and feel less "bugged" about the situation...
Thanks for your reply. Your approach makes sense.

I didn't realize there was a damage waiver amount. When I leased I received a wear square that shows what size scratches are allowed. I did not buy the extra protection when I signed the lease. Is the damage waiver something else?
 

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A lot of people get angry for paying for term life insurance, cancer insurance, disability insurance, and health insurance without a pay-out. I get the frustration of purchasing miles and never burning through them. The reason that healthy young people hate to pay for health insurance and want Obamacare to go away is that they do not need coverage ~ yet.
 

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I say it's time for a few cross-country road trips. ;)
 

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Thanks for your reply. Your approach makes sense.

I didn't realize there was a damage waiver amount. When I leased I received a wear square that shows what size scratches are allowed. I did not buy the extra protection when I signed the lease. Is the damage waiver something else?
Here's your answer, pick up the phone and call:

1-888-925-2559

Mon – Fri, 8 am – 11 pm ET
Sat – Sun, 9 am – 7 pm ET

https://www.ally.com/contact-us/

One more random thought I had, while again I believe you have moved on from the Volt, if you see any benefit to going on frequent roadtrips you could actually consider EXTENDING the lease by a few months...

Regardless, please post after you call which will help out others who have questions about their Ally lease...
 

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If you like the car, why not start negotiating with Ally for a reduced buyout price? You've already bought down the residual by paying for 36k miles, so see how much lower they'll go.
Agree with this. They know what they will get for a Volt at auction and even with lower mileage like yours, it isn't much. Even US Bank is negotiating buyouts these days. There is a thread where someone got USB to come down 10k from their original residual. Based on that thread I decided to try to make an alternative offer as well and with just a couple calls they agreed to a 12.5k buyout on my '14 vs the original 20.5k residual on the lease contract. In retrospect I should have gone a bit lower even still. Give it a go, doesn't hurt to try, worst they say is no.
 

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If you like the Volt I would consider waiting for a good pull ahead offer and maybe going for 10k on your new lease. IMHO I dont think a buyout will be worthwhile, I think the buyout on my 2014 prem was 22k, and I am pretty sure I could find one for 16k or so with the same equipment and mileage or better. I did a pull ahead and with the $1k there and $500 Loyalty I actually dropped my payments $70 month, to change from 2014 Prem to 2017 LT.
When the 2018s are out there may be some great offers on the 2017s or maybe a 2018 LT with safety?
 

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Otherwise maybe it's time to start taking longer and more frequent road trips during these last three months to get more out of the Volt and feel less "bugged" about the situation...
A quick calculation, long frequent road trips means 144 miles per day to consume that 13k miles. So 2+ hours per day at highway speeds, probably not likely. Just let it go, don't feel bad about leaving miles on the table.
 

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A lot of people get angry for paying for term life insurance, cancer insurance, disability insurance, and health insurance without a pay-out. I get the frustration of purchasing miles and never burning through them. The reason that healthy young people hate to pay for health insurance and want Obamacare to go away is that they do not need coverage ~ yet.
Everyone who is married and has children should have term life insurance until the kids are grown and moved out of the house and you have a big enough nest egg where you can self insure. Cancer insurance is a gimmick - you are covered with health insurance. Long term disability is often free from employers but short term is not needed if you can save an emergency fund containing 3-6 months of expenses. Everybody needs health insurance. Going without is a great way to scramble your nest egg if something health issues arise. Whether it's Obamacare or Trumpcare doesn't matter, you need something to avoid bankruptcy if you get some sudden serious illness.

Though not mentioned, auto insurance is also needed, and in most states, required.
 

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Good luck with negotiating with Ally. They sent me a letter offering me a reduction of $4500 on my buyout price, but it still put the car at $4k over most "blue book" prices I looked up. I called a few times to see if they would move any more at all, and each time the answer was that the $4500 offer was non-negotiable.

They seem to be happy to let the car go to auction because they carry insurance against the car's value going for less than their adjusted residual. They carry this over thousands and thousands of cars, so nit-picking on one or two isn't worth it. I'm not sure why US Bank is more willing to negotiate, but it means I'll be going with US Bank if I go the lease route in the future!
 

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A quick calculation, long frequent road trips means 144 miles per day to consume that 13k miles. So 2+ hours per day at highway speeds, probably not likely. Just let it go, don't feel bad about leaving miles on the table.
Correct, yet everything is an opportunity, perhaps this unused mileage can inspire the OP to cross off items of their bucket list...Based on their displayed location, lots of things they could do if they wanted to be an adventurist...

Good luck with negotiating with Ally. They sent me a letter offering me a reduction of $4500 on my buyout price, but it still put the car at $4k over most "blue book" prices I looked up. I called a few times to see if they would move any more at all, and each time the answer was that the $4500 offer was non-negotiable.

They seem to be happy to let the car go to auction because they carry insurance against the car's value going for less than their adjusted residual. They carry this over thousands and thousands of cars, so nit-picking on one or two isn't worth it. I'm not sure why US Bank is more willing to negotiate, but it means I'll be going with US Bank if I go the lease route in the future!
You don't have a choice of lenders when it comes to leasing, currently it's not Ally nor US Bank, the current GM lender is GM Financial or GMF...If nothing else, GMF does allow a same state (state driver's license required) lease swaps within a certain timeframe and charges a $595 fee...However, it would appear the OP has zero intention of keeping it since he's already said turning it in and is desiring a swap...Despite that, it COULD be in the OPs best financial interest to EXTEND the lease by a few months if they have the desire to burn through the mileage...By then all the MY18s will be out plus all the MY17s will most likely be heavily discounted...
 

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Despite that, it COULD be in the OPs best financial interest to EXTEND the lease by a few months if they have the desire to burn through the mileage...
This is probably the best advice. The OP could have swapped out the lease very easily a year ago. Not sure if Ally will allow a lease swap with so little time left as it takes about a month even if things go well. Also, if Ally will still allow a lease swap, you could advertise it for someone who is looking for an economical method to do a traveling vacation around the country. The transfer fee, registration and hassle beats renting a car or running out the warranty on your own.
 

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This is probably the best advice. The OP could have swapped out the lease very easily a year ago. Not sure if Ally will allow a lease swap with so little time left as it takes about a month even if things go well. Also, if Ally will still allow a lease swap, you could advertise it for someone who is looking for an economical method to do a traveling vacation around the country. The transfer fee, registration and hassle beats renting a car or running out the warranty on your own.
Yup, but we don't always do what's in our best financial interest, most of us here are driving Volts/ELRs/Spark EVs/Bolt EVs when we could have just purchased an used ICE Spark and saved overall...Sounds like the OP has moved on and often you'll find folks have already purchased/leased the next vehicle several months before their current lease ends...Ally used to never allow swapping and with three months remaining, there really is a 99.9999999999% chance he could swap...
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I'm the original poster, back with some updates and answers to some things that were brought up.

**Backstory...Skip if you are not interested***
First of all, we really LOVED* the car. It's awesome. The only negative (hence the asterisk) is the seats, particularly the seat bottoms. We have the fabric seats and the cushions are far too hard. They really hurt on long drives, so we use additional seat cushions. It's not ideal but it works. It would give me pause on buying this car, but that point is moot as you'll read later on.

Second, the reason we have so few miles on the car is because we have basically negligible commutes. I took the lease for 36k miles instead of 30k miles was two-fold: (1) "Insurance" -- I wanted the freedom to drive the heck out of it without worrying about the mileage. Also, in case our jobs changed and our commutes required 12k miles per year. (2) the cost difference between 30k and 36k miles was only $10 more per month ($360 total). It seemed worth it, again, insurance in case we changed jobs.

Also, this is our primary/best car. We have a 2011 LEAF, but that's limited in range so we can't use it for longer trips. It also would not be suitable for a longer Bay Area commute if the workplace does not have a place to charge.

BTW, we have taken two longish trips in the last month to visit various national and state parks in the great state of California. It's not likely we'll do a cross-country trip though in the next 2-3 months.

** Updates after calling Ally **
I called Ally and found out a few things:
* I could buyout the car for $4500 less than the lease buyout price. It would be about $17,500, which I don't think is a good deal based on what I've learned on these forums and based on Edmunds.
* I could swap the lease but there is a $595 fee.
* There is no damage allowance. It's all based on the wear and mileage.

** My plan (open to suggestions/comments) **
1) See if a dealer wants to offer a pull-ahead offer. I would probably go for 10k miles/yr this time. I'd strongly consider a new Volt if the seat bottoms are better.
2) If option 1 does not work out, then I just turn the Volt in in August. I would still need to find our next primary car.
 

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First of all, we really LOVED* the car. It's awesome. The only negative (hence the asterisk) is the seats, particularly the seat bottoms. We have the fabric seats and the cushions are far too hard. They really hurt on long drives, so we use additional seat cushions.
I would highly recommend Purple cushions. They're a bit pricy, but well worth it.

https://onpurple.com/seatcushions-old

Watch the video, it's funny. Check out all their other videos for their products.

Full disclosure: I have no affiliation with Purple, I'm just a huge fan after buying the bed, then the cushion, than the mattress protector.
 

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I'm the original poster, back with some updates and answers to some things that were brought up.

**Backstory...Skip if you are not interested***
First of all, we really LOVED* the car. It's awesome. The only negative (hence the asterisk) is the seats, particularly the seat bottoms. We have the fabric seats and the cushions are far too hard. They really hurt on long drives, so we use additional seat cushions. It's not ideal but it works. It would give me pause on buying this car, but that point is moot as you'll read later on.

Second, the reason we have so few miles on the car is because we have basically negligible commutes. I took the lease for 36k miles instead of 30k miles was two-fold: (1) "Insurance" -- I wanted the freedom to drive the heck out of it without worrying about the mileage. Also, in case our jobs changed and our commutes required 12k miles per year. (2) the cost difference between 30k and 36k miles was only $10 more per month ($360 total). It seemed worth it, again, insurance in case we changed jobs.

Also, this is our primary/best car. We have a 2011 LEAF, but that's limited in range so we can't use it for longer trips. It also would not be suitable for a longer Bay Area commute if the workplace does not have a place to charge.

BTW, we have taken two longish trips in the last month to visit various national and state parks in the great state of California. It's not likely we'll do a cross-country trip though in the next 2-3 months.

** Updates after calling Ally **
I called Ally and found out a few things:
* I could buyout the car for $4500 less than the lease buyout price. It would be about $17,500, which I don't think is a good deal based on what I've learned on these forums and based on Edmunds.
* I could swap the lease but there is a $595 fee.
* There is no damage allowance. It's all based on the wear and mileage.

** My plan (open to suggestions/comments) **
1) See if a dealer wants to offer a pull-ahead offer. I would probably go for 10k miles/yr this time. I'd strongly consider a new Volt if the seat bottoms are better.
2) If option 1 does not work out, then I just turn the Volt in in August. I would still need to find our next primary car.
Thanks for following up! I googled ally and lease swaps and was surprised to see it states on swap a lease that you can up to the last 90 days! Also you did originally say "three months" so I still get a pass, ha ha...

The only lease I actually turned in vs selling, was an Acura which had a built in $750 waiver, but that's why I recommended you call to receive the answer from the horses mouth...I just googled and found a site which provides a list of lenders who do provide a build in damage waiver:
https://leasequit.com/blog/2016/07/22/stay-informed-the-best-worst-banks-to-lease-vehicles-with-2016/

Only the lender actually offers a true pull ahead offer where remaining payments are wiped clean from their books...A dealership pull ahead is often nothing more than marketing BS, they're still going to send the remaining payments to your lender, Ally, and add that amount somewhere in the new deal...Easy way to determine, start shopping leases without a your trade/turn in and get pricing...Then once you agree to a price, mention you'd like a pull ahead and watch the price increase...

Just seems like a lot of work to swap and there's no guarantee you'll find someone to swap with; you still have to pay a swap website, you have a broken mirror and there's that $595 fee plus the payments...I'd check out the lease incentives every month for a new Volt...
 
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