How to arbitrage lease turn-in?

How exactly can you handle lease turn-in if the buyout figure is less than the market value of the vehicle?

Besides reselling the vehicle privately, can you negotiate with the dealer to purchase the car from you at a higher figure than your buyout figure? Do you shop dealers for turning in the vehicle? I’ve heard of this opportunity but I am not familiar with the details and I wanted to start a thread to pool some of the considerable knowledge here.

The easiest way is to take it to Carmax as they do all the paperwork for you. The problem is that you probably won’t get the best price.

i believe some car companies like Ford do not allow you to sell your car to CarMax

Yes and yes (if you mean getting higher price), assuming it’s the same brand dealer. Otherwise - leasing company may not allow trade-in to a different brand.

@Ursus can you go into a little more detail how you would do that? How would one even determine market value of the car?

I did it twice and got $500 (I think) both times, but I’m always under miles. Basically, I looked up KBB/Edmunds trade-in. It was higher than my pay-off. Then I shopped around (including Carmax and other brands) and asked dealers for some equity.

@ursus wow thats great. Never thought of doing it. Well most of the time the payoff is higher anyway but def a good move. So basically as long as your payoff is less than KBB trade-in, a dealer might be inclined to buy it because they will resell at retail?

With the Forester it was a no-brainer for the Subaru dealer. They didn’t even fix dents/scratches, nor certified it and still sold it for profit. VW CC - Volvo dealer took it because I was buying a new Volvo from them and CC was well under miles. They also made a profit and did not send it to auction.

But once the lease vehicle is ‘grounded’ , can’t the dealer just buy it directly from the leasing company? or it doesn’t work that way.

@skotty4 i guess he can pick which dealer to turn in the car.

I forgot to mention that I did it 3-6 month before my leases ended. Don’t see why it can’t be done during turning the car in at the lease end IF you buy another car from that dealer.

I’m going to run this by my dealer. See if they are interested in buying. Since i’m going to lease again from them.

Any pointers greatly appreciated.

I recently leased a new Dodge Challenger. I was at the end of my lease on a BMW. The BMW was part of the Takata airbag recall so a year ago I was able to extend my lease by a year while they awaited parts for the recall. In doing that they recalculated my residual value which benefited me since the new residual was lower than the market value for the vehicle. When I went to Dodge I told them that for me to do the deal they had to buy the BMW and that I had equity that I wanted to use. I was able to get around 2k from them. They purchased the vehicle from BMW financial so there is no turn in at that point.
Do your research and if you truly have equity you can use it towards a new vehicle.