California 10 day tax exempt For lease buyout

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Very insightful, thank you. What was the timeframe of the whole transaction from start to finish? Under 10 days I am assuming?

Please elaborate as much as you can - timeline (dates), which forms/docs were required, etc. It would be a tremendous help to this community. I think you are the first person I’ve seen successfully use CDTFA-101 to get a sales tax refund :slight_smile:

July 07, 2021: Sent check to my leasing company to buy the car from them
July 13, 2021: Received Certificate of joint Title from the leasing company
July 13, 2021: Visited DMV to get free and clear title in my name and paid them sales tax, etc.
July 26, 2021: DMV sent me a Certificate of Title in my name via postal service
July 27, 2021: Took certificate to another dealer and sold my car


Please see my reply to Savington. It took 20 days but I explained that I did need time to get all the things done.

Could you add how long before you turned in the form and got your refund of Sales tax?

Thanks, this is fantastic.

The most interesting part about this is that it took 20 days from initial payment to receiving the fresh title, and 14 days from receipt of the original title to sale of the vehicle, but the state still agreed to refund the tax.

This is the text from the DMV’s website:

It appears that in this case, “lessee endorses the certificate of ownership” is the actual receipt of the new title from DMV, and not the receipt of the original title. This is a logical interpretation, but I don’t think anyone has had the gusto to try it before this.

(The other explanation is that CDTFA is lenient on the 10-day rule as long as it’s clear the delay was out of your hands and you sell the car very quickly after receiving the new title)

Thanks very much for sharing your experience!


I turned in the form (mailed it) on July 28th. I called them on August 30th and left a message. They returned my call on August 31 telling me that your case is under review. They are running slow because of Covid.
They acknowledged by letter on September 28 letting me know that I will get the refund soon. I got the check on October 6.


I appreciated your information. I will do the same to my Benz if the Benz dealerships not buy back my lease. Thank you so much.

My Ford Edge lease ends in January 2022. I just spoke with the leasing manager, here in California, regarding Purchase Option at End of Lease. He said, “if I want to buy the car, they (the dealer) buy it from Ford Finance and then sells the car to me as a used car.” Actual quote. AND they will be charging sales tax and some small fees for DMV. They file all the DMV docs and I will get a title in the mail.

I asked about some of the things mentioned in this thread (10-day resale, sales tax refund etc) and he said he had never heard of that but was interested and would like to know more. (Nice guy actually)

So, I don’t see any way to avoid paying sales tax on my End of Lease Purchase since it (apparently) is me purchasing a used car from the dealer.

Mycarauction can buy out Ford leases but they charge $900, their offers are pretty high in california, you can also talk to them before they come out for inspection to waive that $900 charge, they usually do it YMMV

I read FORD FINANCIAL was not allowing third-party buyouts.

Maybe there have an in-dealer workaround? Ford dealer can still buy back leases from Ford.

Ford doesnt, they pay on behalf of you, hence they charge the $900 fee, the title comes in the mail and you sign the title give it to them and you are done, another one is autonation, get a quote from autonation, and take the quote to any autonation ford, they will cut you a check on equity. if you decide to go on your own, like buy it yourself, Ford is charging $500 dealer mark up fee, so its Residual + remaining payments and $500 on top, thats the quote you will get when you call ford finance. this $500 fee can be waived from the dealer ymmv on this one

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FYI - Alex on Autos went through this long process and shared his experience. Will be useful for anyone planning to do this

Except his whole mention of the 10 day window was like 5 seconds around the 10:30 mark.

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I believe this has changed unless the representative who called gave me the wrong information. I submitted my details to MyCarAuction. The offer is $12,400* over my payoff (that is the profit amount with registration fees and sales tax added into the purchase price - because while it would be nice, I am not relying on getting that back via California/DMV waiver). However, the individual I spoke to told me I would have to purchase my car first, and they no longer charge the $900 acquisition fee but 10% of the final cash offer, which they hold until the complete title transfer.

*This is the price based on our best estimate of what your car will make if we auction it on your behalf. The final price will be verified at the auction. The final sale is subject to your approval.

if its a ford lease, send mycarauction offer to autonation to see if they can match it, autonation payoff for ford is $500 lower than your pay off plus you wont have to go through the dmv stuff nor tax.

Heres how to do it,
Step 1) Go on autonation, and have them appraise your car online

Step 2) Wait for autonation dealer to contact you via email

Step 3) respond to autonation dealer with a screenshot of mycarauction offer, and ask if they can do any better than mycarauction

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Thank you so much for the information (and details). I had contacted AutoNation the same day and their offer was $3,500 less than MyCarAuction. I will use your advice and let you know how it goes.

FYI on MyCarAuction: I’m sure some have had a good experience but these guys are a bit strange…

The process according to them is:

  1. the pay off your lease
  2. when the lease shows $0 due, they come pick up the car BEFORE title is received
  3. they hold back 10% of the purchase amount (basically the spread between the payoff and their offer)
  4. you get title, send to them and they send you a check

Now few things here to unpack: First off how on earth is anyone comfortable giving someone a car with no transfer of title, regardless of the lease being paid off? How is the vehicle insured? Can you even do a liability release with no transfer of title? And mostly, what’s to guarantee they ever send you the remainder? Again, sounds like this has worked for some people but these are some pretty massive considerations…

It appears those reaching out to purchase vehicles at MyCarAuction are not well versed in the process. Above I describe my experience in which someone told me of the 10%, but not that I would have to wait for my check after taking the vehicle. I would never agree to that.

I was already planning to buy the car anyway - but cue AutoNation. That experience was a game they enjoyed playing with the only leverage they currently have. They sent countless emails (to which I replied I would respond when available). However, when I asked if they could match higher offers, they went silent. Knowing email can sometimes be lost to spam, trash, etc., I sent a test email to see if there was a problem (they replied). But after asking what I wanted for the vehicle (which is odd as they had made an offer and used my name and the make and model in the ask), I again heard nothing until I requested they remove me from their flood of emails. They mysteriously received that email without issue and replied promptly.

It is entertaining to see that when the shoe is on the other foot (i.e., the consumer can take advantage of them/the current market), some do not deal with it well.