2017 Dodge Challenger with equity, best course of action for lease?

Hello hackrs,

I have posted before regarding my 2017 challenger GT and have realized the value within the car and am unsure what type of deal i should be targeting.

The car is financed currently with 22k left. Car is worth 27k around if i were to sell privately. Its in great shape but reaching 80k miles soon. I figure i need to make a decision in this year before I see more depreciation.

I’m originally thinking that if i sold it and kept that 5k i could use that for a new lease to make a more favorable deal. I lucked out on this one and bought it but the payment at $540 a month is a lot. Trade in value came to around 23k they said, but i dont want to leave any money on the table and have a dealership take advantage of my situation.

In everyones experience with being ahead on the equity, is it better to trade into a deal since i have value on my side, or sell myself so i see more of the cash and take it to another deal. I know prices are high for used, and would like to have something newer to ride out once more like this one and lower my monthly of 540 which i feel is very doable.

Appreciate any help! My brother also works for a Alfa romeo dealer and could possibly be a resource as a family connection. Any other info that would help id be happy to provide. Starting to set up appts and talking to dealers this week.


First and foremost, who’s the lender, I am assuming CCAP but just checking.

2nd, don’t TRADE a car in, you get screwed in the paperwork shuffle. Sell it, get a check, and buy/lease your next car in separate transactions. Edit : Some states give tax credits for trading in a car. I’m in CA where we don’t get that.

1 Like

I have mine with Capital One actually, wasn’t much better but can refinance this summer to get that more manageable. Just not sure if i should structure a lease deal now to lower payments right away and get in something new to ride out longer than if i were to ride this car out

How does MI treat tax on trades? That can equate to thousands extra in your favor if you trade it rather than sell it outright. But you have to be sharp enough to not let the trade equity hurt rather than help your deal.

1 Like

Sounds like your jumbling a few separate things together here. You need to separate the pieces and calculate each on its own.

  1. How much equity you have in the vehicle. You can get quotes from a bunch places to see what they will offer for your vehicle.

  2. Cost of the new vehicle. Don’t confuse lower payments with having a lower total overall cost. If you throw a lot of trade-in money or cash down into a new lease you will get a lower payment, but you still might be paying a lot more.

  3. Once you know how much your car is worth and how much your new transaction actually costs, you can decide if you want to sell separately and use that money towards a new car or if you want to put in the bank. Or you can go the trade in route and get whatever sales tax benefit that may net you.

The bottom line is: First, get the most out of your current vehicle. Then, get the best deal on a new vehicle. And don’t put the two together until you are sure of each piece separately.

Hope this helps.

Good point and something I didn’t look into yet. That will determine the route I go if trade in is on the table. Thank you

Thank you very much for breaking that down. I’ll start with checking the real equity given my specific car. So you’re saying just use dealerships for that part? Since they may coordinate a deal alongside the value they find out?

I figure waiting isn’t going to hurt as I put more into the loan and the car value isn’t dropping very quick. Does time make this easier if I wait it out and research? Don’t want to miss a window where I can get most for the car and keep it attractive, I’m assuming I have all this year without consequences, and can keep an eye on what leases well over that time.

I’ve loved the AWD challenger especially in Michigan winters and can’t seem to find anything I’d rather have besides updating and getting an AWD SXT since they didn’t have that lower trim in AWD back in 2017.

Mine was $45k sticker when I got it and those are looking like $35k but not much differences

This isn’t always the best advice. If the delta is less than the tax credit and or you get a fair price do it

1 Like

That’s true, I completely forgot that other states offer tax credits and OP has financed his car and didn’t lease it.

1 Like

Differs by state but another issue is if you want to lease, to get that tax credit do you have to basically put the money down. In my limited experience the dealer said we had to apply the value of trade in as a CCR to get tax benefit. Although I am Admittedly not an expert on this since Virginia doesn’t do trade in tax credit.

Exactly why the two things should be considered separate transactions to maximize the value you are getting, but selling to the dealer you are buying from shouldn’t be out of the question.

1 Like

There are bunch of online companies that will give you quotes and buy your car.
To name a few.

You can go to dealerships as well. But beware, as everyone here is saying, a dealer that is also trying to sell you a car can make it difficult for you to get a clear understanding of the numbers. They unfortunately have a lot to gain by confusing you.

There have been some good deals this month on the challenger. Search this forum for the brokers offering deals on challengers. You might find a deal on the SXT or better.

If you think a finance payment of $540 is a lot, you’re going to be shocked at what a lease today will cost you.