What to do with my GTI SE Lease

Hi y’all,
So I leased a loaded GTI SE (manual trans) in late 2019 for $400 (incl tax) with 2k down.
Currently it’s only got 5500 miles on because of the whole working from home situation.
The buyout right now is a little over $23k, and if I take the lease to term, the buyout will be $18k.
While I really love the car, I’m wondering if you guys think the move is to buy it out now or later and sell it?
Also is $400 even a good deal on this car? I thought it was at the time, but not sure and that’s why I’m asking the expert community here. Thanks for your time!

Without knowing how much Carvana / Carmax will pay you can’t really think of doing anything.

Carvana’s buyout offer is a little over 28k and Carmax is around 25k.

Very close. You will have to buy it out $23k + 2.3k = $25.3k
After a month or so to get the Title, will it still be worth 28k? You are rolling the dice.

Is the 2.3k the taxes I’ll have to pay to buy it out?

yes, it’s less than that 10% but because of last minute fees it’s over sales tax.

Thanks, really helpful. Never heard of last minute fees before.

To your point about it possibly dipping in value? What would cause the car to be worth less after just one month?

It’s rolling the dice, no one can predict how much it’s going to be worth in 30 days.

nobody knows how long this will last, but it’s unlikely to resolve in 30 days.

in CA if you plan to buy-out for resale, you have 10 days in which to not pay that tax - timing is the issue

the biggest challenge you have is finding a replacement. i can’t speak for normal times, but many would give up a lot for a $400/mo gti right now. and your 2019 has the much longer warranty.

My plan is to maybe be without a car for awhile and then upgrade to an R when it comes out if things work out. I mean the GTI is a great car so could just hold on to it.
I don’t know. What do you think?

If you want to max out your equity and sit out the insanity, and you can, great.

With this information, I would start contacting VW dealers (others have reported success with kbb offers/auction to dealers) to see how close they come to 28k, and avoids the resale/sales tax.

I guess I would see what the easy-out looks like and go from there. :man_shrugging:t2:

Ahh thank you. Good intel.
Do you think there’s any chance a dealer would offer more than Carvana or is that an idiotic question?

I have no idea, someone else might have more insight. I would definitely suggest a little more pricing research but keep in mind that anything before April is probably useless.

Not dealers, but we have reports of the third-party’s paying as high as MSRP for some used cars. As you know (I had one also), GTIs are rare/sought-after, and manuals even more-so. I have no idea what the competition would be among the used car dealers for something like this especially since it’s under the original warranty for another six years.

Very curious what others would suggest in this market. I would probably take 2-3 good photos, get the email of the used car managers at some local stores (I’d personally start with 2-3 of smaller ones) and send each an email that you’re looking to sell this car, is it something they would be interested for their used car inventory at X price? - where X is a researched and reasonable number.


Thanks, John. Appreciate the thoughtful response. I’ll start reaching out ASAP.

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Good luck. Keep us posted.


Higher than zero chance, but not by much.

More than likely the question should be: how far below Carvanas offer will a VW dealer be? How close can they get? If it’s closer than the sales tax on the RV, you’re better off that route.

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A good metric is to take a look of the inventory of your car on their lot. If they got lots, you gonna get squat.

Sorry but what’s RV stand for?

Did a quick search of the bigger VW dealerships in and around LA and seems like no one has this car, new or used.

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