Lease maturity question: 2017 Toyota Highlander Limited

I got a lease maturing on my 2017 Highlander. Buy out is 28.5k. First time leasing so not sure what is best option:

  1. buy at 28.5k. Origianl negotiated price was 43.7k (gross cap cost) with payments of 19.6k over term of lease. Kbb has a private sale value of 27k.
  2. return car with nothing
  3. see if dealer will negotiate buy out (heard that this is not possible)
  4. see if they can offer incentives to get me into 2020 lease.

KBB does not buy cars, and dealers usually do not go by KBB. With everything that is going on, best of luck to you getting anything close to that from places like Carvana, VROOM, etc. Is that buyout including taxes and fees? If not, it will be more than $28,500.

Not a big deal if you return the car IMO. Then again, refer to the buyout information.

They could, but chances are dealers may not want to take in used inventory at a higher price then what the market is currently reflecting. I don’t see the harm in asking but don’t get your hopes up.

You need to figure out the deal before you sending it out to the dealer. Discount, Incentives (these you can find on Toyota’s website), RV (Edmunds), and MF (Edmunds) should all be added into the calculator with a reasonable discount (look around the forum for what other people have gotten).

Best of luck!

You should return the car with nothing.
Dealers will always buy a car for their suggested whole sale price, not the private party price.
Currently they don’t have any incentive on leasing.
So, you should just get rid of it and make sure it does not have scuffs, scratches, and dents before you return it!


I tried carvana and they offered 25k. So when I look on auto trader or to see what the sale price of my car is it varies from 29k to 33k. So from that perspective my buy outbdoesnt seem bad but no one really pays sticker/asking.

Buy out was not 8ncluding taxes.

I am mostly leaning on returning but I feel bad walking away from something that I put almost 20k into and walking away empty handed. But yes I know if the market value is lower than buy out it is a non starter.

Wouldn’t dealers have an incentive to not take back more inventory though?

Nope. Way that the situation’s working out right now, dealers don’t want to buy at all

So they don’t want to buy my car but wouldn’t toyota rather sell me at something lower than the buy out since they aren’t moving many cars and last thing they want is more inventory?

It’s not the matter of dealership buying your car. You are only letting them buy the car if you are trading it. But what I am suggesting is you ground the car, meaning you go into the dealership, and leave the key and walk away. And I am sure they will ground it for you because it is the easier process. But if you want to trade, they will low ball for sure.

Used car markets are supposedly hot right now because of COVID-19. They are buying cars from whole sale auction, not from trade ins because they rare get them right now. Because the auction cars are tend to be more cheaper than the trade-ins, they will buy the auctioned cars and sell them cheaper than what they got it for at the auction, if it makes sense for them to add F&I products and make money on customers on the rate.

If you’re referring to the residual price then yes that cannot be negotiated.

What does grounding mean? Is that me just returning it?

Yup! That’s what it is.

Ok still don’t understand why they would rather take more inventory (in my car) rather than cut me a deal?

Whether I return or trade in they are taking more inventory. I can’t imagine with 40m unemployed the outlook for big purchases like cars are on the rise.

When you return the key, the car will probably go into the auction. Now, that will depend on the dealership’s decision, but it will probably go into the auction because the dealership won’t take a loss on repairing and reconditioning the vehicle before selling it.

You are confusing a lot of “they”.
You car belongs to the leasing arm of the manufacturer - Toyota Fiancial.
Dealership has no interest in your car, nor does it affect their (dealership) inventory. They are a middle man (post office) between you and Toyota Financial.

Upon getting your package (return lease) Toyota Financial will instruct Dealership to send the car to the Auction. Think of it as Amazon Warehouse deals for Dealerships.

That’s where Dealership will buy your car for $25k and sell back to you for $28, making their 20% or so gross on used car sale.

Toyota financial doesn’t care negotiating lower buyout price to sell the car to you. For once it would set a precedent essentially in form of hostage negotiations - everyone would them try to negotiate lower buyout upon lease return as a form of acquisition cars for lower price. So you just don’t open that door.

Second, whatever you think they (Toyota Financial) is loosing by not selling car to you for lower than $28k buyout and selling it for $25k at auction is already backed into Toyota Financial accounting. They have already accounted for that paper loss.


What he said.

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Hey, there are some minor scratches or dents ( smaller than credit card ) allowed.
This is from Toyota website.

So, what your point?

Yes in this case it seems you would have come out ahead if you had purchased the car with a loan payment rather than made lease payments. As you stated, you put in almost 20k but the buyout from tfs is still 28k.

If you had purchased the vehicle at 43k and made around 20k of payments, you would have around 3k equity in this car.

But here you can walk away by just turning in the car whereas with a purchase you would have to look for a buyer or trade in.

Toyota doesn’t make final inspection but I have never leased Toyota. I guess i am lucky. LOL

TFS is going to use the third party company to take a look at the vehicle that is being grounded, not themselves. Once they get the report from the company, they will assess the damage and etc. The problem is they will almost always charge something.