Wow - I guess I'm buying my 2018 leased Mazda


Brand new here, just discovered after a bit of research what the state of the used car market means for my lease ending in March. From what I can tell, I should buy out my lease. I really like the car, so that’s good. My questions:

I can’t find a copy of my lease agreement, so I don’t know what residual was specified. Is there a typical amount I can assume? Can I ask the dealer for a copy? Or would that tip them off that I’m thinking of not turning it in - and would that be bad?

Is the best approach to pay the balance in cash? I could do this, though it would take a good chunk of my savings (which is earning less than interest on a loan, so still better?). I wasn’t really planning on this expense, so it definitely hurts. But I guess I could look at it as instead of monthly payments - though the sum of my payments the last 3 years is less than what I’d pay (so maybe less than the next 3 years?), so not 100% sure it’s better.

Any other tips on how to handle things? I’ve leased 4 Mazdas, I’m really happy with their cars, but this is a big departure from what I usually do, so I want to know what’s the best approach.

Thanks so much! So happy I found you here!


You can request the residual and current payoff from your leasing company (guessing Chase based on when this was signed). You don’t need to wait until the lease ends to buy it out if that’s your preference.

No need to deplete your savings, you can finance the balance. Shop around for the best rate, check your credit union, etc. Interest rates are low as long as your credit is solid.

In NY with Chase you should be able to send the payoff to the captive without involving a dealership at all, which will save time and money.


You’re right, it’s Chase. You’re saying I can contact Chase to find my buyout amount? And pay it off directly with them? Just want to make sure I understood correctly. That sounds …optimistically easy?

Should be yes and yes

There’s one thing that I’m not clear on. If I buy out the lease, I’ve basically paid the full value of the car (which is the same as what it’s going for now - on Kelley, my 2018 Mazda is going for the same as the full price then and now for a new 2022 Mazda 3.) So it seems, but I could be confused, that the only way this is beneficial for me is if I sell it, get that full price, and can turn around and buy a new one for the same price. If I keep the car, it’s said I’m getting that car for the residual price. But I already paid the other half, so…? Someone straighten me out?

Ignore KBB, your car is only worth what someone will pay you for it. You can get quotes from the car buying services:

There is at least one thread discussing this dilemma

Your current car might have equity, but its replacement will likely cost more than what you paid nearly 3 years ago, and/or your selection is limited, and/or a new one may be decontented.

If you buy out your lease today, you will have paid (upfronts + sum of lease payments) + payoff amount (in cash or financed), and you can tell us if that’s more or less than MSRP on a new one.

And you can turn this one in and lease another, most likely at a higher payment.


Get your ducks in a row but don’t actually buy it until the end of your lease. Never know what happens between now and then.


“The cheapest car on the road is the one you already own.”


Thank you, everyone, all of this information is so helpful!


Chase is one of the easiest to deal with. I just recently bought out my wife’s lease, but only after a 6 month extension.

Worth noting, if you extend for (up to) 6 months any additional payments you make will continue to be applied to your payoff.

Also worth noting, Chase is one of the few that will allow 3rd party buyouts for the same payoff you are entitled to -whereas other banks charge 3rd parties market value.


Thank you, @soflacarguy! 3rd party buyout means I sell directly to someone else while in the process of buying out my lease? Or does it just mean selling it privately rather than to a dealer? Thanks!

I contacted Chase, and it was indeed easy to get my payoff amount - I didn’t even have to talk to a person!

My payoff amount is $13373, including taxes. My lease ends at the end of March, so if I understand correctly, I can deduct the remaining payments from that amount, correct? So my payoff would be $12,722.

It looks like my next step is to get quotes from other dealers. I’ve so far only used sites that let me enter a make and model rather than the VIN. (I’m already getting people contacting me without giving even more info!) Would a quote be so much more accurate with the VIN number? Or is that just a way to enable them to contact me?

The quotes I’ve gotten so far are in the range of $22k. So I guess what I’m trying to figure out is: is it better to buy out this used car for +12k and

  1. keep it - I know everything about this car and really like it
  2. sell it - from the initial quotes I’ve gotten, I can sell it for around 22k, which is actually what my dealer is listing a 2022 of the same model.

So is that the jist of it? Sell this car for around $22k then go buy a new one? What if I wanted to lease the new one? Would that cancel out what I’ve gained?

3rd party meaning a dealer, carvana, carmax, autonation, etc. Do your due diligence and find out who is willing to pay you most if you decide to sell. Then, they cut you a check for the difference of their offer from your payoff without you actually having to buy the car.

Note, wherever you plan to get a new car from- very important- negotiate the new car lease/purchase completely separate from the sale of your car.

At the end, if you love the car - keep it. You negotiated that deal in a buyer friendly market. Sure, you sell high in today’s market- but you will likely lose your gains and possibly more on the replacement vehicle. This is why we bought out 2 of our leases in the last 6 months.

Ah, now that sounds like what I need to do. I understand what you’re getting at (I think). Buying a new car will mean losing something at some point. I think that’s where I was getting stuck.

I do like the car. I was thinking of buying it out even a year ago, before things went crazy.

Thanks so much! I’m so glad I found you guys. You’ve been wonderful. I’ll let you know what happens!

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If you buy it out-your warranty is probably about to expire at 36K miles, if you sell it you can pocket $10K and perhaps get a lease on a Kia Niro or something similar and use that $10K+ for a One-Pay lease (save on taxes depending in which state you’re in) or just use it to pay monthly for the new lease

Your payoff they gave you is your current payoff if you were to purchase the car now, if you make payments till March then payoff goes down if you decide to buy in March-but also price of car may change if you try and sell in March vs now

I’d also look into a 2022 Toyota Camry LE or SE for purchase not lease, a few thousands more than the Mazda but a bigger car than a Mazda 3 and better resale values

Only you can make that decision and what works best for you

Check with @AutoLeaseNinjas for your region and here is their excel, you could get a Subaru for the next 3 years practically for “FREE” if you use that equity $$$


Go buy the new one.

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I recently sold my 2018 Mazda 3 lease. My dealer payoff (no tax) was $11,383 and I was able to sell it for $21,870, which is higher that the original MSRP. I was able to pocket over 10K, but it was a process! I found out the hard way that most dealers will not pay you until the physical title is received which took about 45 days for me. Luckily I didn’t need the cash to buy a new vehicle, but if you do, keep that in mind. Also if you pay it off yourself (finance or cash) and don’t sell it to a dealer directly you will have to pay tax. That might decrease your net about 1K or so.


What is a One-Pay lease? Is that something you actually setup at the time of lease or are you just sending in one payment that takes care of the lease?

Yes, has to be set up from the get go. You’re agreeing to a lower mf in exchange for paying the entire lease in a single payment up front.

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