Getting out of 21' RAV4 lease

Man, I’m really sorry. I just refinance my house for the third time, and I just signed everything without reading it. But I would never do that at a car dealership. The typical lease doc is about 20 to 30 inches long and I read every inch of it. Welcome to leasehackr, and learn from your mistakes.

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I get it: some people leave Vegas married to someone they had never previously met. :man_shrugging:t2:

You are now in a committed monogamous relationship with this RAV4, so focus on what you like about it.

Your credit score sounds like it needs some attention. It may be something small/simple, or a crime scene. Make sure you check all three bureaus for errors and their respective FICO scores before you try and lease again.

Cancel any warranties / add-ons you can,

be grateful you leased something that is so reliable it will bore you to death, see if switching gas helps. But drive that thing until you clean up your bureaus and educate yourself on a good deal, because you got railed (which - as a potential customer of yours, I’d be more horrified at this deal than what you are driving). But anything you do will cost to transact, just minimize that for now.


Thanks for the links to the credit forums. Thankfully this car over the last 7 and a half months has boosted my credit up to 720. Also yes, both me (and my son who is a car nerd) are both horrified at this deal. At the time this was all I could get so I took what I could get. Hopefully when the time comes around I’ll know a good broker to help me insure this doesn’t happen again.


Going into a dealership is either to test drive a car or pick it up. I am sure you are aware that all paperwork can be signed remotely. I just did that for my lease back in early May.

What was it when you signed this deal?

Might be too late since OP has had this car for months now.

@1cjqmes - Have you reviewed paperwork regarding cancellation/refund policy for the $4500 in protection plans?

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Car is getting serviced right now … all paperwork is in glovebox. I’ll be sure to check once I get it tmw morning

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Care to answer this?

With a credit score of around high 600’s, you could have purchased a used car for around 12,000 (yes, you could have found a good one for in this price range) and put the $4500 down as down payment. You could have joined some credit union, or a bank, or even the dealer (if you bought used car from them) would have financed you! Maybe high interest, but you wouldn’t be as bad off as you are now!


Side note, never do this. Keep the paperwork somewhere at home. Registration and insurance card at most in the glovebox.


Others have already weighed in more than enough on the baffling amount of oversight for someone who allegedly works in an arena where paperwork and deal-making are integral to the operations.

Luckily, all of your “complaints” about lack of speed and image are entirely within your own perception - and therefore your control. Adjust your mindset, look at the positives of having a reliable car in a tough market and learn for the next time!


Believe it was somewhere like 470… maybe 510.

Will do from now on

That’s exactly why some dealers build in an inordinate amount of red tape and wait time for a consumer. Wear you down.

Plus if you were happy with the down payment and monthly payment knowing what you knew then, hard to say the deal is somehow different now that you know the residual is higher than you thought (but didn’t verify on the paperwork you signed).

I think that the realtor image issue is in your head. Seems like the image with a RAV4 is that you’re practical and a not a car guy. It’s a very inoffensive car and won’t turn off either liberal or conservative people. My (successful) realtor differentiates herself by heading up food and clothing drives for the local homeless population. She drives a very unimpressive older Volvo but it’s not what she wants to be known for.

In this market, if you’re available to and aggressive for your buyers, they won’t care. Sellers won’t think twice as you’re not driving them around.

How long is this lease? Maybe just suck it up for a year or 2 and put yourself in a better position for the future. If the real estate bubble bursts, I’m guessing lots of realtors would feel fortunate to drive a newish RAV4.

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Wow. Did not know you could get approved with a sub-600 credit score.

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Wow, this single car has nearly doubled your credit score - you ought to be thanking Toyota for taking the risk here, not complaining.

For that down payment, consider this a fair exchange for setting your financial life on a much better course! Keep it until the end of the term and grow to love it, as it is doing you an incredible service on multiple levels. And there are far, far worse cars to be “stuck” in.


lol trust me realtors are horrendous when it comes to contracts. Thats why I always tell my real estate agents to focus on being an agent & my lawyers to focus on being a lawyer lol.

This so true!

I was in a similar situation many decades ago when I was young and had to endure the high MF, high down, etc in order to get into the car. Was not a ideal in price, but it got me a much better score at the end of lease and graduated to top tier rates with zero down.

If the OP wants to get out of it, offer it on Swapalease or rent it out on Turo and make some money…

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Renting on Turo would violate his lease agreement under commercial use.

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What were the other “random *** protections?” You can actually get your money back in some of the instances you listed (when it comes to Toyota/Lexus). Make an appointment with the finance department. Then nicely demand cancellation of these “protections.” The return will of course be prorated and may take 3-6months.

Source: I had a Lexus lease and did some of this. I had excess wear and tear and also wheel and tire protection. I later decided I did not want those.

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Do you have all of the docs you signed in finance? In original post you said that you told finance, “no, I don’t want those packages.” Then at the end you said they threw them in for free, but they charged you for them. Did you sign for all of the extras? Hence asking do you have ALL of the docs signed in finance.

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