Advice on Upside Down Sitch + Current Lease Offer - South Fl (Miami-Dade/Broward Co)

Hello all,

Current sitch:
I have a Mazda CX-5 2018 with fairly significant body damage. I owe $17366 payoff amount at 8.5%
I have 24 months left on it (I’ve had it for 3) and refinancing would be for 48 months at 4.5% . I don’t want to keep this car for 4 more years.

I’ve kept up with the maintenance. I took a hit due to covid and while I’ve been able to make the min payments on it; the bodywork (quoted at $1060-1600 local detail; Mazda detail: $3500). I’ve not been able to afford to get it done.

I did not file a claim as it is all hit and run damage and my insurance claims are at 0 with my payments decreasing each term and I want to keep it that way. Plus my deductible is $1000. It will need new tires soon as well as a new battery soon. Other than that, it runs great.

Right now, the best I have on my trade is $12,500 from Mazda going into a CX-30 2021 base which does keep a high residual; however, it’s still rolling in $4800 NE which doesn’t seem smart to me; plus their MF is not competitive (.0012). Their best offer is $400/mo $ 0 DAS including maintenance & NE; plus I save $100 on insurance with them.

Although, it’s been humbling to drive around for months with $1600 worth of exterior damage, I’m willing to do what’s best for my financial health.
I am worried about continued depreciation & possible maintenance issues approaching over 3 years that will make me regret not getting out sooner. Just not sure if leasing is the smartest option here.

I know, I know. Why did I sign at 8.5%? It was my first finance with beginner credit, let myself get talked into it being my only option & them adding in a shit maintenance package. Ya live, ya learn.

I am going to Carmax tomorrow for another quote I can bring back to Mazda to match. My other thought is to slowly get the bodywork done - $200 here; $200 there or see if a payment plan is available.

Advice is appreciated. Anyone know a very high rebate lease with low MF for Dec 2020 in South Florida?

Or, should I continue to make payments, try to get it all up to date, and then see about refinancing later?
Many thanks for reading!!!


I would get the damage repaired by insurance and refi the financing if I was in your situation.

There’s no reason to light $5k on fire to keep from spending $1k for your deductible.

  1. Welcome back!

Appreciate that you didn’t jump the gun back in August, and that you’re trying to find the smart way out of this.

  1. The problem with rolling your negative into another Mazda: they don’t have any incentives, or I believe loyalty right now. You really need something with incentives to eat that negative.

Have you driven a Ford (Fusion) lately?

If not, can we at least look for something with incentives to wash the negative?


Haha just about to type this…Ford fusion to wash the negative real quick. Much easier to flip out of or trade into something later on.

I would even be interested to see what a instant flip to carvana or vroom would be like on the fusion. Possible with the high resale values to these companies this could be wash in a months time.


In short, I would

And pick out a nicely equipped Fusion (if you need AWD, a gas one, otherwise the regular Hybrid) and drive it until you can

Whether it was a month or 3 years, it’s still an improvement.

Flipping to carvana is much harder to do cost effectively with an accident on history

On the individual’s CLUE or on the vehicle? I would trade the CX5 for the Fusion (let a Ford dealer send it to Manheim)

Let me rephrase… The discussion of selling out the Mazda to carvana/etc is unlikely to make much financial sense because of a very depressed purchase offer as a result of the accident history of the vehicle


Agreed. It’s an auction piece

Luckily it’s not been filed. It was hit & run and I never called police or filed a claim.

I’m still hesitant to do so! I was irresponsible in my younger 20s and all of my prior claims have fell off.
I’ve been enjoying a normal monthly payment again and worried this is going to spike it.

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While a claim may make your rates go up a bit, I wouldn’t expect a not at fault claim to cost you anywhere near the thousands of dollars you’re talking about getting hit with hear by dumping the car. Don’t spend dollars to save pennies.


Even if there’s no technical accident history? If it’s all purely cosmetic, how bad would it be to go through local detail w/o insurance? 2 wheel mouldings, 1 side mirror and paint/dent on the door and front bumper paint and small crack. I can upload pics if anyone wants to see them.


The fusion is an idea I haven’t looked into yet. Still recommended to go through insurance for the damage first?

To be completely and embarrassingly honest, the issue has been coming up with the $1000 upfront. Been a bit behind, but work is picking back up.

May take me a couple more months to implement this strategy.

Appreciate all the advice guys, thanks a ton!

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You said it’s $1600 in damage, I assume you got an estimate?

I may have changed my mind in the last 10 minutes: if I was chasing a Fusion, I would probably see what’s the best deal I could make before the Dec programs end without repairing, and see the numbers. Timing.

But agree with @mllcb42 that you pay for insurance, and the difference between the deductible and the negative may be big enough to get it fixed with insurance, if you aren’t chasing a Dec program.

The question is:

What would that be if the car was fixed (vs never damaged)? That’s the difference you’re chasing.

If it’s a $1000 deductible and they’d put $13,700 on the trade, I wouldn’t fix it. If deductible is $1000 and it’s $14,500+ (unlikely) I’d fix it.

If you don’t have the money for the deductible or the local detail, it probably doesn’t matter (and no shame/judgement, again I’ve been there) - you’re looking for someone who will put the most on the trade after you’ve negotiated the best deal on something that has incentives.

Yes - I got 3: - 1 for $1060, 1 for $1600 and Mazda Parts quoted me roughly $3500.
The first two local quotes came recommended, but I’m still a little nervous there will be a mismatch in the paint or something that will further depreciate it which is why I’ve held off. I’m a bit of a nervous nancy as you can tell lol.

No that’s for the car as is. They are willing to do $13,500 if I can get a 24-hr comparable quote from CarMax.

My :heartpulse:! Thank you for that. It’s been humbling like I said.

Def will look into the Fusion!

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Sorry I misread that. I see what you’re saying now. Understood

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You might call the Mazda dealer you looked at trading it (if it was recent) and say “I think my ins deductible is less than I thought, but can whomever quoted $12,500 for the trade give me a quote if it was repaired” the carfax will still be dirty, which means it cant be certified and will probably go to auction, but they may say “another $500/$1000” whatever. If you get another trade estimate, I’d ask that as a followup question

If you take @mllcb42’s advice and fix it/refinance, you’re done.

If you plan to get another car, before you spend a penny to fix the CX5, will you get back more than you put in? Personally if you fix it at all, I’d probably use an approved body shop and run it through insurance. If $1000 deductible and a week repair gets you $1200 more on trade, not worth it IMO.

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do you mean use this tactic to get


makes sense.

The only reason getting a car is more advantageous to me now is considering my financial situation…getting a lower APR than current refi options, save on new tires/battery, save on insurance and may get me ahead of possible maintenance issues that will not be covered as I’m over the 60k warranty. I could really care less about a brand new car other than the practicality it may offer in this sitch.

I think I understand all the advice everyone has shared.

Thanks everyone!
@jeisensc appreciate your time, you rock!

I’ll touch back with updates.

Best wishes, everyone!


Just be careful with an insurance claim…not to vary from the consensus above but this is FL. Insurance is bad here…expensive and easy to get dropped. Your rates will almost certainly go up on the next renewal with a claim on record. They will get their payout back (and then some over the next few years, whether the accident was your fault or not). A number of years ago the fascia on my wifes car was damaged (not her fault) and the biggest mistake Ive made with insurance is claiming it. The damage was alot more than yours ($4500), but over the next few years, magically our rates went up commensurately, and then some until they had recovered the payout :slight_smile: Even switching insurance companies did not solve this (they all share a history database of some type, which I am sure others know much more about than I).

In any case, the premiums are now “normal” (if $6k/yr for 3 cars is normal), but it took some time before things settled back out.