Maybe I'm an idiot, but I don't get how Equityhackr works

Of course I keep reading all over how valuable used cars are, sell your lease for profit, etc. etc.

I leased (3/30) a 21 BMW 330i Xdrive with the M Sport package in March 2021. I put $3500 in MSD on it and my payment before taxes is $498.70. Residual is $30986. I am under mileage and the car is garage kept and basically perfect.

Seeing as how work from home became permanent for me, I don’t really need this car anymore. While I definitely love it, I also like not spending money needlessly too.

So I put through a request on the front page here, and got back a quote for $39000. I don’t get what this is. According to BMW Financial, my total payoff right now is $42354. So aren’t I responsible for the difference, which would certainly not be any profit at all. Am I missing something?

Can someone explain this a little more to me?

The simple reply is-

Your car is worth only what someone will pay for it.

What you owe on it is a fixed amount.

There’s no guarantee what someone will pay is greater than what you owe.


Yes, what it “is” is that you don’t have equity in your car unfortunately. Not every lease is in the money.


BMW historically has loved to inflate their RVs, so even in the time of practically every lease having equity, many BMWs do not.


BMW leases, historically, had often ended underwater; there is a reason many BMW customers lease.

Unfortunately, you signed your deal in the middle of Covid…which was/arguably is still the craziest vehicle market we’ve seen in years. You’re likely not sitting with a great hand, to be playing the equity game.

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Damn it all.

Got beat by a second. It also looks like I had plagiarized, as we used similar wording. :joy:

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Is your total payoff including sales tax? If it is and you sell to a dealership (or equity hackr) you should be able to reduce the payoff by the sales tax amount. Also shop a few places that can buy a BMW lease (BMW dealers, AutoNation or other larger dealerships that have a BMW store in the family).

However 3 series were not known to have equity in the last few years when other cars did.

Ok thanks all, I’ll just sit on then probably. I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing something obvious and huge.

I remember at the time I was lining it up, the huge car shortage stuff wasn’t quite in the news yet.

You could also just transfer the lease. You;re likely somewhere between $400-$450 pre tax, which is arguably much better than the $600 plus tax quotes most folks are getting for a base 3 series. MSDs might make it tricky, but you’ll certainly have better luck than selling it outright.


Keep in mind that EquityHackr is only one fish in the sea when it comes to who can buy your car.

If you’re serious about selling then get quotes from all your local BMW dealers as well as any of the major groups than can buy BMW’s. And while you can’t sell to Carvana/CarMax/Vroom etc. you can still get quotes as a reference point.

While it’s unlikely you’ll have a lot of equity I wouldn’t stop trying yet just because one buyer came back low.


You have to consider all of your remaining payments plus the residual. Unless you got a great deal off MSRP, then you will most likely not have equity in that car.

This ^. Generally the people with substantial equity are the ones that got good deals either pre-pandemic or before say 4/2021 (date is not exact, varies by model).

If you your price paid includes the mark-ups so common over the past 12-15 months, you probably aren’t going to have much equity in either a lease or purchase.

Disclaimer - doesn’t apply to some EVs or people who got very in demand cars at MSRP by ordering them and waiting for delivery.

Honestly I think it’s just because it’s a BMW 3 series.

Historically aren’t a car that retains value (challenge me on this, that’s my observation), and have an inflated residual from bmwfs

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I think its definitely because OP didnt get a pre-covid deal…sold my pre-covid m340 to a bmw dealer for 5.5k+ equity

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before or after you made x number of payments?

had 5 months left on the contract, so after 2.5+ years of payments

I think both can be true. Yes, a 3 series purchased at a good discount off MSRP pre-pandemic may well not have much equity today. Similarly a telluride might not have any equity now if you paid 7.5k over MSRP for it 8 months ago.

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I think one of the brokers on the site mentioned that a few mos ago (or maybe as far as ~1 yr ago), so it’s not just you. :slight_smile: Esp w/ a 330i.

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I’ve been running appraisals on many 2019 and 2020 3 series vehicles and 9 out of 10 times they come back as $1k to $3k under water.

BMW is one of those brands that never really stopped production during the pandemic, unlike Lexus, Dodge, Mercedes…those vehicles tend to appraise much greater than payoff values.

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that is blatantly wrong. the reason 3’s and 5’s have no value is because they were underwritten at inflated residuals to get to cheap monthly payments.