Careful- Audi Financial- different buyout at Dealer than Private Party

For what it’s worth- we learned something new last week when taking our 2018 Audi Q5 w/ 10 mos remaining to a Porsche Dealer as a trade in.

They offered to match Vroom’s offer to buy the car. Our payoff amount from Audi FS website was $36k. Vroom and the Porsche dealer offered $34k. We accepted- we’d owe $2k. But - at the dealer we (and they) discovered

  1. Audi FS quotes a different buyout price to DEALERS, even another VW company dealer
  2. the won’t tell the dealer the buyout over the phone- we and they had to wait 1 hour for a fax
  3. the buyout price to the DEALER was $40k… WAY above what the car was worth (wholesale or retail). $4k MORE than our buyout price. So we left the dealer after a couple of hours “empty handed”

We called Audi FS- and they said “yep- we can charge dealers more. We don’t necessarily want to give a dealer a good price. But… that won’t happen if you buy/lease another Audi from an Audi Dealership…". This seemed clearly designed to prevent someone from trading in an Audi to lease another make.

So, we purchased the Q5 ourself, paid Audi $15 to get title fed-ex’d to us, and per CA DMV had10 days from the receipt of title to sell to another party without having to pay use tax. So we drove back to the Porsche dealer and made the same deal a week later.

We are sort of “smarting” from this. It was our 4th Audi lease. We won’t lease from them again. Anyway be aware everyone… John


A lot of other leasing companies have different private vs dealer buyout but I haven’t heard anything about CA having a 10-day flipping period?


yeah I found out about that from a post on a really helpful website (-:


The presumption may be rebutted by evidence that the sale was not for resale prior to use.
So it’s not a sure thing if they suspect you’re reselling?

When you bought from Audi, they didnt add the sales tax on top of buyout ?

@slol tax is added to each payment- in that you pay tax on the amount the car depreciates every month. If you buy it out- you owe tax on the buyout amount (unless you sell to a 3rd party).

@02cic I’m not sure how one would find evidence that the sale was not for resale… we resold it the day after we got title, with exactly the same mileage on it when we bought and when we sold… so…?

here’s another discussion on this point- with later posts saying a dealer doesn’t actually have to re-register within 10 days

It takes about 2 minutes to get a buyout… I work for Audi. The dealer has an option and also your own option to buy and we can choose. I’ve done maybe hundreds and never seen what you experienced. Let’s see buyout was 40k for me and 41k for you usually the case I can charge you 43k…literally have the option to do so.

That dealer can be pulling your leg.

You do know Porsche is VW group…

hmmm… well the Porsche dealer bought the car exactly one week later at exactly the same price. So I don’t see any reason for “leg pulling”

They too said they’d never seen a dealer buyout that much higher than a personal buyout.

And at the dealership, we thought there must be some mistake. So we got on the phone with Audi FS, and so did my salesman (SA), and so was finance… So

On the phone was

  1. the Dealer- my SA who is selling us 2 cars and has sold friends two prior. We’ve been working with this guy 6 months on a special order so he is known to us
  2. the Dealer- Finance office employee
  3. US- calling from the dealership- 2 separate calls to 2 different people while at the dealership

and we were all getting the same answers.

Also as to an incentive to “pull our leg”- the Porsche dealer didn’t have to buy from us. We were going to go with Vroom. The offered to match and we even asked “are you sure we’re fine with Vroom…?”

I reminded the person on the phone that VW owned both. I also reminded him this was our 4th Audi FS lease. Didn’t change anything though…

  • caveat emptor *
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Thanks for the information and I am in the same situation of selling a leased Audi. I wonder what was the process for you to get the sales tax back?

Lucky you have that option in CA

This is super weird. When I traded in my leased Macan, personal buyout was actually higher because it included tax, dealer buyout was lower, so exactly opposite from your experience

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Yes. Audi, VW Financial purposely go out of their way to make it difficult for a dealer to buy out a customers lease. The hour long phone wait blamed on Covid19 is a farce at best. You have to wait on hold for 45 to 60 minutes, just be told they will fax the payoff 30 minutes after that. You know we are living in the 21st century now, other banks just give the 10 day payoff over the phone with account # and last 4 of SS#. Audi Financial is Super Weak when it comes to transparency. The customers payoff is $52500. If I want to pay off the vehicle, I have to pay $54500. $2000 more for what? Your Super Weak way of trying to keep your vehicles on Audi lots for resale to rip people off more for this overpriced VW. Farfenuegen Dude.

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This just happened to me as well. And I even remember liking this post when it was originally created! My payoff on the A5 was 38,888 and the payoff sent to the dealer was 40,548. I had to buyout the lease on my end and trade it into the dealer we’re working with to capture our equity. The whole process is needlessly complicated. And after you’re on hold for one hour, they refuse to tell you the dealer buyout!

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Just experienced the worst financial institution in the auto industry. Took a visit to my local CarMax to sell my S4 due to not needing a 2nd car. Payoff was 38k. After CarMax had to wait 45 minutes to get thru to someone and then another 1 hour 30 min because Audi said they will fax the dealer payoff - it’s 2020, who faxes anymore?

Audi finally faxed over a dealer payoff of 42500 - 4,500 higher than my payoff.

So if market my value for my car was lower and payoff was higher - Audi would lower my payoff - yeah right.

Not thrilled about this policy Audi has - anyone else experience this? I’ve seen a few posts similar as well.

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They do it, because they can. I too have wasted countless time waiting on a phone que just to talk to someone at AFS to tell me that they will only give that information to the dealer directly.

My experiences:

Non-branded dealers are offered “market rate”.

Branded (Audi) dealers are offered the same as your personal payoff- minus the sales tax.


Just had this same thing happen on my wife’s VW Atlas. Dealer buyout was $4,500 higher than ours, and we’ve already made our last payment on the vehicle. Ridiculously frustrating and a deceitful approach to business. Yes, I get that they can do it, but how is this good customer service? If you want to keep me with your brand, make great cars at solid values. Will never touch an Audi or VW in the future. Btw - I was looking at the buyout because we’re over on the miles, and vroom had a solid offer.

Side question- anyone know if the sales and use tax grace period noted above for CA is also in place in other states? I’m in MN. Thx

Only california to my knowledge

It’s a joke & while I get they make a bit more money I highly doubt they are factoring in the customers who would never buy another VAG product due to this and it even happens within VAG so if you have an Audi and want a Porsche they will still hit you with it. Absolutely shady.

Mine ended up being only $800 higher but it’s left a super bad taste in my mouth

Yep. Happened to me too in November. AFS quoted me 38880 and they gave a quote of 41500 to Volvo. I waited on the phone for over an hour to talk to someone and they refused to even confirm the number they gave my Volvo dealer. I had to end up buying the car out myself to trade in. It makes us very weary to lease any other VAG product in the future.

As far as car finance companies go I would rate AFS somewhere between rotten garbage and dog excrement. I say that after 12 Audis.