Selling a leased car? Yes, you can!

So there seems to be some misconception floating around the internet that it is impossible to sell a leased car. I guess technically that is true, since the leasing company owns the car and holds the title. But you, as the lessee, can certainly arrange the sale of a leased car without much issue.

Last December, I leased a 2016 Chevy Cruze Limited for 24 months for $0 down, $85/month. About a month after I leased it, someone told me I could sell it to Beepi for a profit. I was like “WUT?! You can sell a leased car??” and decided to check it out. Long story short, Beepi bought my leased Cruze for $18.7k (payoff obligation was 13.7k), so I pocketed a cool $4k selling my Cruze. That on top of the $700 Costco gift card I received, and $300 in Visa gift cards from the dealer I leased from. All I ended up paying for that Cruze was 3 months of payments totaling $255 plus another ~$120 for insurance. :slight_smile:

I leased another car, a 2016 Spark EV, in May of this year, hoping to do the same thing I had done with the Cruze a few months earlier. However, Beepi had changed their appraisal strategy, and so I wasn’t able to successfully sell my Spark through them.

Not only that, but the $2,300 MD EV tax rebate I had been expecting to receive was denied, leaving me with a leased car I didn’t need that had 35 months of payments left. Crap!

I contacted the dealer I had leased it from, and through some nifty negotiations, I was able to arrange a Spark EV swap (out with the green one, in with a red one) and come out ahead. Even with the negative equity rolled in from trading in the old Spark, I was able to lease a new Spark EV for $0 down AND a lower monthly payment ($148 instead of $150)! The dealership agreed to give me $13,500 as trade-in value for my green Spark. So leased vehicle #2 was sold to the dealer.

However, this still left me with a leased car I didn’t need (though in a better position that I was in with the first Spark)!

What to do? List it on Ebay! I created an Ebay Motors auction for my 2nd Spark EV, and managed to find a buyer that was willing to pay an amount equal to the payoff obligation of Spark #2, and $100 bucks to me to boot. All I had to do was arrange a 3 way call with GM Financial so the buyer could get the payoff information. GMF sent me the forms I needed to fill out, I scanned and emailed those forms to the buyer to finish filling out, and then they sent the payoff check! GMF will send the title directly to the buyer in 1-2 weeks, and the buyer has just arranged the shipping for the car. All I need to do is be there when they come to load my Spark EV up on the truck. :sunglasses:

So while it is very rare to actually profit from selling a leased car, it is totally possible. Just need to be savvy and negotiation.


So is your payoff obligation the amount stated on the long paper when you signed? Or did you get the pay off paper by phoning in GMfinancial to get the number?

It would be your remaining lease payments plus the residual/buyout price (plus any additional taxes).

BUT due to not paying rent aka interest charges on the remaining payments, it would actually be less than a straight “monthly payments remaining + buyout”. If the money factor on your lease is relatively high, the actual final payout can be substantially less due to interest savings.

FYI, my information is specific to GM Financial leases, but should apply to any lease (other leasing companies may charge extra fees however).

How was the sales tax handled when Beepi bought it? In CA I think you have 10 days to register the car or pay the tax on a lease buyout. Was thinking I might see if they want to buy my 2013 Volt…

I did something similar a few years ago when I got out of my MDX lease early and made few $$.

Also, what changed with Beepi’s appraisal strategy?

No tax. Beepi just pays GM Financial the payoff amount, and that’s it (since you are in Cali, there may be some additional tax levied. I’m speaking from an MD standpoint). If there is any equity left over after they pay GMF off, they cut you a check for the difference. You never actually own the car, so no worries about any 10 day tax clock.

Beepi now offers “guaranteed” and “non-guaranteed” offers. When I listed my 1st Cruze, they gave me a flat “We’ll pay you 18.7k offer in 30 days if no one else buys it” offer, which I took.

The next time with the 2nd Cruze, they gave me a non-guaranteed offer, and it didn’t sell it 30 days. Their guaranteed offers weren’t any better than Carmax, and I had to twist their arms behind their backs to beat the Carmax offer, like they promise on their website.

Now they are no better than Carmax or my local dealer, and have actually been worse the last 2 times I used them. They are just another used car dealer IMO.

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Hi, so let me get this right (sorry I’m still new to this), so let’s say my at the end of lease pay out is $13639.60 and my total scheduled lease payments is $5597.37 scheduled over 26 months ($207.31/per month/ 26 months) and I have the paid for about 8 months. So my total would be $13639.60+ (($5597.37 - ($207.31x8)) = $17578.89. So if Beepi only offered $13k for the car current and I agree to the price, I would have a negative equity of about $4k, give or take correct? So I might as well just get rid of this car (turn in the lease early) and get another lease car for cheaper.

Almost correct. If you bought it out now, you would avoid the interest charges for the remaining 26 months of the lease…whatever those actually are. Figure at least several hundred dollars of interest shaved, if not more.

You can always trade in a leased car to a dealer (instead of selling yourself), though that almost always results in negative equity. The people (such as myself) selling Cruze Limited leases just happened to luck out (insanely cheap lease deal, stupid Beepi paying way over market rates for the Cruzes :stuck_out_tongue: )

Beepi wised up after getting stuck with Cruzes that didn’t sell without huge price chops, so they came up with this “guaranteed/non-guaranteed” pricing strategy to cover their bases. So now, at least for late model cars, they are no better than Carmax.

You should be able to sell anytime. The issue is whether it makes financial sense to do so. Your statement should list the payoff amount. Take it to Carmax and see what they’d give you for it. If it’s more than payoff, you profit. If less, you need to make up the difference. Is this an extra vehicle or your primary one? What will you do for transportation when you dispose of this one? Good luck in your job search.

Thanks for your response. Will check it out with CarMax. We have an extra car.
If this were to go through with CarMax, do you know if my credit would be affected negatively?

Your credit would be helped if you paid the liability off early.

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If you read the OP he found a private buyer for his second Spark. You should try that.

Holy zombie thread Batman!
FYI, Beepi is now out of business (has been for over a year). I guess they accepted 1 too many lopsided trade-ins. Lol


Would CarMax be paying me for equity?
Would I profit from this or walk away empty-handed?

Did you put a downpayment when you got the Pilot? If not, I highly doubt you have any equity in this. You would most likely have to pay CarMax several thousand to get out.

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most brands from my understanding allow this, you do need the total payoff not the residual amount so be careful when getting the payoff from the lease company. Ally is the worst when it comes to getting a payoff, they have 3 they give you.

Zero down unfortunately

Is below accurate?
dealer buys the car at the trade-in price. You can find that price in the Edmunds TMV pricing. The dealer will pay the leasing company what you owe and give you a check for the equity.

The thing is that you owe more than it’s worth.

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Just made my first payment. There’s less than 700 miles on the odometer. Total payments by the end of the lease will be 17K and change, the Pilot worth 35k plus when I leased it

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The Pilot is used now. It lost probably over 10% of it’s value right when you drove it off the lot.

Goto Carmax to get a quote for a definite answer.