Fiat 500e Lease trader-in to another dealer (am I liable for ETF?)


I have a fiat 500e lease. Lease ends march 2018. I’m looking to trade it in for a bolt, the people at chevy says that’s “not an issue because I only owe $800”. My lease contract says that I might be liable for “thousands” -I’ll update this thread with the exact wording later- but it doesn’t explain any further. When I called FCA, they told me that if I terminate early, they would sell the car at an auction and that I would be responsible for many thousands… The contract doesn’t mention an auction.

I told this to the chevy dealer and they said the same thing again, that I could trade it in for a Bolt, and that I would not be liable for any early termination fees.

Is chevy right? If so, what do I need from chevy to be 100% sure of this?


Has anyone traded-in a leased fiat towards another car?

Are they taking the car as a trade in or just giving you a check for the remaining payments?

If it is the earlier you should be able to call the leasing company and get a “dealer payoff” and know exactly what the payoff is vs what your getting for it. If it is the later your just going to pay the remaining payments and turn the car into a dealer that accepts FCA vehicles. If you towards the end of your lease there should be no early turn in penalties. I have only had 1 out of several leased vehicles with an early turn in penalty (leased with US Bank), and the penalty was over after I was 50% of the way through the lease.

Either way you should call your leasing company and verify what your obligations are now. Only you can be responsible for what is going to happen. People on the Forum cannot see your lease or know what terms you agreed to when you signed your original contract.

Be very careful. The residual value on your car is around $23k. 500e are selling at auction for $5-6k (that’s not a typo). Chrysler can and will come after you for the balance, from what I have read. Probably better to just park it for a few months if you aren’t using it. It’s also become harder to turn in the vehicles as many of the Fiat dealers have closed, at least in the SF Bay Area.

Thank you both for your help. I’ll call fiat again, but it seems to me like they don’t want the lease terminated early, even if I’m offering to pay the ETF. I hope they don’t play games when I’m ready to turn in the lease.

No sane person will want to do that since, as mentioned earlier, these fiats have a tremendous amount of negative equity. If you just turn in your car to FCA, you will be liable for the difference between auction and residual (possibly as high as 15k). If you trade it in at Chevy, then they will have to roll the negative equity into your new lease.

Best is to park the car and turn it in, on schedule, in March 2018. A lease works well when it protects you against large negative equity, and in your case, that’s exactly the benefit you got out of leasing the Fiat. Let FCA deal with having to write off its 23k residual to 5k when you turn it in on the contractual date …