End of Lease 2018 Rav4 Hybrid: Sell now for equity or buy out myself?

Trying to make the best of a good situation here. My lease on a 2018 Rav4 Hybrid LE is up. My RV is $16,100 and CarMax has offered me $23,500. I figured I’d take that money and try to negotiate a similar lease on a new Rav4 hybrid, but this market is absurd. My current lease payment is/was $260 on a 36 month, 12k lease. It looks like I’d be paying significantly more if I lease again, as dealers are quoting me well over MSRP and are unwilling to negotiate.

So do I buy my current leased Rav4 and be happy that I have some built in equity for the future? Or do I take the CarMax money and put some toward a down payment on a new lease (which I swore I’d never do)?

What kind of answer could a group of internet strangers realistically offer you here?


Sorry, I thought this was a place to hopefully gain insight into something I might not be thinking of in this situation from internet strangers who have done this sort of thing before.

Your evaluation of the situation is pretty much correct. Used values are way high, so there’s equity to go around. Likewise, new prices are way high, so you’ll have to pay significantly more for something new.

There’s no way to know which will break first, so only you can decide if you’d rather keep what you have or get into something new that’ll eat up all your equity.

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I think the craziness with used car market will end soon…

How did you come to that conclusion from an article that has people in industry saying ita going to be at least until the end of the year for chip makers to get caught up, much less auto makers and pent up demand?

" Semiconductor Manufacturing International’s first-quarter conference call held May 13 offered another ray of hope, saying that supply constraints will last “until the end of the year.” While that means there are months left of supply constraints, it also means an end is indeed coming"

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I would take that $7000+ and finance a new car.


If you want to absolutely maximize your financial return the best bet is to sell the car and then accept whatever cheap lease you can get. Base Camrys and Corollas are still leasing ok as are some other sedans, mostly in cheaper less desirable trims.

Then either hold that lease until it matures or at least until you are back to even equity wise (which may or may not happen).

Now if maximizing return isn’t priority one and you aren’t willing to accept a cheap sedan (which is totally reasonable) it’s probably all a wash. I guess I’d sell the lease and use those proceeds to help fund my new lease but you probably will be in about the same place financially either doing that or buying out current lease and then selling it when prices normalize - keeping in mind that when that happens your Rav-4 will also be worth much less.


You won’t have jack when the bubble bursts.


As Steve Miller would say, “go on, take the money and run”.

This is just my 2 cents but have you got any quotes on new leases you’d be interested in? $7400 of positive equity is pretty significant. Let’s assume you find a new lease for 36 months, but it’s $100 more a month (so you have a $360/mo budget). Take $100 per month from the $7400 you just netted and you still have $3800 remaining.

Now 3 years later, you still have $3800 sitting to apply to yet another 3 year lease.

So I’m this scenario you’re constantly driving a < 3 year old vehicle under full warranty and most maintenance if you stick with Toyota for the next 6 years likely around your current payment of $260 if you spread your net gain over the course of 2 more leases.

If you decide to buy your current 2018 lease out, you owe $16,100 or $223/mo over those same 72 months for a vehicle that will be out of warranty, you’ll need to pay maintenance out of pocket and it’s now 9 years old. Assuming you’re positive equity is always going to be there isn’t a good idea. Also if you get in an accident it’s going to be screwed.

Things to consider:

  1. I don’t know CA tax but if you buy your current lease out, will you owe tax on the $16,100? Factor that in. Also if you finance it you’ll pay some interest.

  2. If you do take the gain form your current lease and apply some to a new lease, take the higher payment, don’t throw it in as a down payment.

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Buyout current lease:

16,100 / 72 months = $223/mo (not including tax or interest). More liability, older vehicle, warranty will run out.

Take $7400 net gain, divided over 72 months:

+$102.77 per month to apply to two new leases.

+benefits of a newer vehicle, less liability, warranty, etc.

To @mllcb42 point - we can’t answer “what should I do?” (Which we now get several times a day) without knowing your goals and more about a situation.

If you are trying to capture the equity from this lease, unless you have another car or can Uber until this returns to normal, you are also going to spend more getting-in

Me too tbh

A set of keys and N more lease payments.

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This was my original plan until I started contacting dealers about a new lease. I can’t even get most of them to email me quotes. The only one who has is outrageously high at $200-$300 more per month, it’s based on market pricing, and wants $2 or $3k down.

A few years ago, it was super easy to get quotes, have them compete, and know I was getting a decent deal. Hell, I even had the dealer deliver it to my house so I never set foot in a dealership. Obviously, it’s a different game now.

You’re right on tax. If I do the buyout, I’d be paying a little over $1200 in tax.

That guy sings with heavy breathing lol.

But like others said, there are no equity if you don’t take the buyout. If you finance a new car, interest rates are still low and the risk you take on is over paying the sale price in the current market. So maybe now you pay MSRP or close to it and in good times you can get 10% off, for a 35k car you are still really pocketing over 3k and getting a new ride with less maintenance.

take the money. you’ll be hard pressed to get a 7k net positive again. if you really need a car, take over a lease or rent one long term.

mike leake highlights GIF



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