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Wednesday 23 August 2017
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What To Do at the End of a Car Lease

What To Do at the End of a Car Lease

I hear daily from people who are coming up to the end of an automobile lease and just simply do not know what to do. This can be a confusing time for many and many do not know what their options are, or even how to start the process. I am going to give you some good tips on how best to figure this out.

Step one is to understand your options.

With most leases, you can purchase the car for the residual value that is on the contract. That number is set in stone. Or, you can use the walk- away option, which allows you to turn the keys over for a small termination fee plus any normal wear and tear. Or lastly, you can trade the car in to avoid the walk-away option.

Before any decisions are made, you really need to know where you stand in the vehicle. By that, I mean what is the true value of the leased vehicle versus what you will owe on it at lease end. Many people never take the time to find out this information and lose equity that could be used for the next vehicle.

I often recommend you run your car by a good dealership to find out what their cash offer would be. Looking at the online websites will not be of much help, they are generally way off on values, either high or low. As I always say, a car is only worth what someone is willing to write a check for. Finding out the true value should be the deciding factor in your decision on how to proceed.

If the car’s true value is equal to or exceeds the residual value, then you will want to use the leased vehicle as a trade-in.

This keeps you from paying the termination fee and eliminates any wear and tear charges. It also makes it much easier and less time consuming for you.

If the true value is lower than you would have to pay for the car, then you’ll want to exercise your right to walk away from the car. In this case, you would have to pay the termination fee. Your lease company will arrange for an inspection in advance to get details on any wear and tear they find. You will always want to get these things fixed prior to turning the car in. You can do the repairs for a lot less than they will charge normally.

If you have thoughts of buying the car yourself, and a lot of people do, this is another reason to get a true value on the vehicle. You don’t want to over-pay for your own car, you have paid for this car for probably three years or more, so to overpay now is a tragedy. If you are only paying slightly more than the value, it is probably worth it just to know the history of the car, but to grossly overpay for your own car defeats one of the real benefits of leasing.

Check with your dealer at lease-end to see if there are any special incentives for returning lease customers, this is not uncommon. The manufacturers want to keep you in one of their products, so many times they will give you compelling reasons to stay with them, and they know when you are forced to make a decision.

Timing-wise, you want to start looking at options between 30 and 60 days before the end of the lease on the old car.

This will give you plenty of time to make a good decision on how to best dispose of the leased vehicle and what to replace it with.

For those that have leased in the past and are used to just turning their car in at lease-end, do yourself a favor and get a true value. Numerous times in the past couple of months, I have helped people realize they had as much as $5000 in equity they would have lost if they had simply turned their car back in. If there is equity in your lease, you sure don’t want to give it away.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock



86 thoughts on “What To Do at the End of a Car Lease

  1. Jaymie

    Can you review on your show the details of leasing:
    – Is lease payment per month based on the price you negotiate (not the MSRP)?
    – Is the lease payment also based on the residual value percentage?
    – Am I only paying tax on the residual value percentage?
    – What is the typical interest rate on a lease?
    – What is “Money Factor”?
    – What is an “average” termination fee?
    – How does the dealer make money on a lease?
    – Are some brands better to lease than others (such as brands that hold their value – increasing the likelihood you will have equity at end of lease)?
    – If I lease a vehicle and have equity at end of lease, can I turn in the car and get a check from the dealer for the equity?
    – If I go over my mileage (say by 2 or 3,000 miles) or I have a few extra scratches or dings in the car…can I better leverage the dealer to not charge me for these items in the event I buy or lease another vehicle from them?
    – What if my needs totally change and I need a different vehicle (perhaps even a different brand) in the middle of the lease? How do I exit the lease?
    -When I trade in a car that I previously purchased I know how to negotiate the price of the new vehicle and the price of the trade – I feel uninformed to know if I am getting a good deal on a lease – and uninformed to determine what is best course of action at end of lease.

    Sorry for the lengthy email. Leasing seems to have some good qualities, but you tend to fear that which you do not understand.
    Note: I have been the owner of a Nissan Titan since 2004 and VERY tired of the continuous problems and VERY high cost of ownership. (break rotors, electric windows, AC, ABS sensors, seat belt recalls, exhaust manifolds, front and real axle leaks, emergency break, rebuild of entire rear axle, etc,) . The vehicle has only 85,000 miles, but yet again needs over $3,000 in various repairs. Safe to say I will not be purchasing a Nissan.

    Kind regards,
    Jaymie
    Glendale, AZ

    Reply
      1. Elizabeth Nelson

        Elizabeth I am leasing a

        20014 Nissan Sentra, because I could not afford a used car and found I have damage on the bumper. To have it fixed my deductible is $900.00. If I decide to keep the car at the end of three years do I have I have to have the damage fixed?

        I would appreciate any help you could give me. I am on a limited income and truly do not know what to do.

        Thank You
        Betty

        Reply
        1. Michele Sanders

          Betty, if you purchase the car, you don’t have to worry about any damage, wear & tear, or even mileage. It’s that simple!

          Hope this helps you.

          Jerry Reynolds, President
          Car Pro Radio Network

          Reply
        2. Phil and Harriet Ryan

          I am 60 days from the end of mu Mercedes Benz, it is in excellent shape always garaged and maintained by Mercedes,low milege ,no dings. It is also in the most favored color{ RED] We are retired and looking to trade down to a less expensive vehical..What do you suggest

          Reply
          1. Michele Sanders

            Should be easy considering the low miles. You’d simply trade the vehicle in. Click the FAQ tab on this website, under Leasing read the article I wrote on WHAT TO DO AT THE END OF A LEASE. That will help you a lot. Use the Certified Dealers on this website, they’ll help you! Thanks for listening.

            Jerry Reynolds, President
            Car Pro Radio Network

    1. David

      If you want to lease, get whatever you want. If you want a vehicle to own for a while, get something with build quality. I am a Ford/Mazda fan myself, but I drive a Toyota for the build quality. It has close to 70k miles on it currently, and nothing, I mean nothing besides standard fluid/filter changes and a new set of tires and brake pads, needed to be replaced. If you keep the cheap brands, like Hyundai and Nissan, your going to pay not much in the beginning, but a lot in the end. A Toyota you won’t see a lot of problems with until after about 15 or so years, when rubber parts start to dry-rot and fail. Yeah there may be a lot of recalls for Toyota’s, but it’s only to make your car better, on Toyota’s dime. If you get a BMW or MB, your paying a lot up front, and a lot in the end, and you will have expensive problems usually after the manufacturer warranty is up, but some people want to show off so they can deal with it. Ford is ok, but I dislike the transmission problems they have, and things start to fall apart and fail after about 6 or 7 years or so. So it really all depends on what you want, and what you want to deal with in the long run. For me, I don’t want to deal with anything, that’s why I daily drive a Toyota and keep the Ford for some nicer days.

      Reply
  2. David

    I am leasing a 2013 Ford Explorer. My lease ends in May (it is a two year lease). I think I have heard you say on the radio that Ford leases are different with respect to using the leased vehicle as a trade-in on a new vehicle. Can you explain the difference for Ford leases?

    David
    Spring, TX

    Reply
    1. Jerry

      Ford leases are different in that you have to let them know 90 days in advance of lease end if you plan to buy the vehicle, or trade it in. It takes a little advance planning with a Ford lease.

      Let me know if I can help.

      Jerry Reynolds, President
      Car Pro Radio Network

      Reply
  3. Tony

    My audi lease is up. I am way under mileage. The guy mentioned trading it in. Since I leased it, how can I trade it in?

    Reply
  4. Dionisio

    Can you trade-in a leased car with equity to any dealer?

    Example

    VW 2012 SEL Passat with equity – very good condition and very low milage (10,640)

    Can I trade it in for any make or do I need to trade it for another VW?

    Thank you

    Reply
  5. Edwin

    I have about 90 days left on the lease of my 2012 lexus IS 250. I am about 6k miles under. I leased in california, but now live in texas. Do you know if there is any penalty for the out of state return. Also, if I don’t want to go back with lexus, can I go with any other brand? My car was also in a wreck, it was repaired by an approved lexus body shop. Will this count against me?

    Thanks
    Edwin

    Reply
    1. Michele Sanders

      Edwin, good to hear from you. There is no penalty for turning it in out of state, you’ll want to try to trade it first and if that doesn’t work out, then turn it in to the closest Lexus dealer. And no penalty for the wreck either.

      When you decide what you want next, let me know from the website what you want and where you are. Thanks for listening.

      Jerry Reynolds, President
      Car Pro Radio Network

      Reply
  6. Remi

    I have over three months left on my lease (2012 Honda Civic coupe) and the dealership calls me every now and then and sends tons of letters trying to convince me to lease a new vehicle (I’ve been making my payments on time every month and I go to the dealership for oil changes). The car is reaching the 36K mileage mark and I’ve heard of people paying not only mileage penalties but also for wear and tear to vehicle even if its minor. The dealership has convinced me to come in again (they realize I have no interest in a new car, I either want to buy this one outright or hand over the keys) and they’re claiming the residual value is $12K, they’ll add the tax from that to the monthly payments which “might” be lower than what I’m paying now and that I have equity. So many of my friends are anti-lease and have told me to either get rid of the car before the lease is up or hand over the keys at the end and find another car.

    Reply
    1. Michele Sanders

      Click on this page: http://www.carprousa.com/faq Read the articles that talk about leasing, and the end of a lease. What you do depends on if you want a payment from now on. If so, lease. If you want to pay a car off and keep it a long time, then buy the current Honda at the end of the lease, and plan to keep it. There is no penalties for mileage or wear/tear if you purchase the car, only if you walk away.

      If you want to lease again, you can do it any dealership and we have great Honda dealers everywhere. Let me know if I can help.

      Jerry Reynolds, President
      Car Pro Radio Network

      Reply
      1. John

        Salesman told me if we are trading car in mileage is not a factor. It would just be taken from trade in value that they offer at time of trade in. Example I drove 43000 miles but had 15 k per year for three years so I am under. But if I had 12k per year I would of gone over. Salesman said if I am re leading a new vehicle it is treated like a trade and miles will not be changed even if I had a 12 k plan. Is this right?

        Reply
        1. Michele Sanders

          John, that is true. The only time mileage or wear and tear comes into play is when you use the walk away option. This is why I encourage people to try to trade their lease, instead of terminating it. You also find out if your have equity that can lower the next lease payment. I still encourage you to get the appropriate amount of miles in case you are not able to trade at the end of the lease.

          Thanks for listening to the show.

          Jerry Reynolds, President
          Car Pro Radio Network

          Reply
  7. Josh

    I am wanting a new jeep unlimited because the 2012 are basically the same price. So my question is if i lease this vehicle and i want to buy at the end. The total i will have to pay will it go down a lot. I have looked at what a 3 year old jeep they sale for almost the same. Payments to buy one is a little steep for me right now.

    Reply
    1. Michele Sanders

      Josh, good to hear from you. The residual value you can purchase the Jeep for at lease end is set UP FRONT and won’t vary, so when you are looking at the figures, ask what the residual value is, and you’ll know what you can buy it for at the end of the lease.

      We have some great Jeep dealers, check our website under Certified Dealers, they’ll save you some money.

      Jerry Reynolds, President
      Car Pro Radio Network

      Reply
  8. CharlesYates

    Jerry longtime follower ,I have 2013 Cadl. XTS leased, ending Jan 2016. Where is a good dealer to receive an estimated value in Ft Worth area. Will have some 18 k on allowed 32k. Prefer to walk away at end of lease.
    Thanks for all your help in past.

    Reply
    1. Michele Sanders

      GOOD to hear from you. Look under CERTIFIED DEALERS and Dallas Fort Worth on this website. You’ll find Sewell in Grapevine, they are good folks. Feel free to drop my name!

      Jerry Reynolds, President
      Car Pro Radio Network

      Reply
  9. Kim

    I have a 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee Altitude 4×4. The residual on my lease is $23,400. To determine how much equity I have am I looking at the blue book value or what a dealer will pay (I assume they want to pay less as they likely can’t sell for more than BB) I have 12,000 miles on the Jeep and it’s in excellent condition. Blue Book is around $32,000 though I can’t find my exact package as it’s a limited edition. Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Michele Sanders

      Hi Kim! Click on this page: http://www.carprousa.com/faq

      Under leasing, look at the article, What To DO At The End of Your lease. I think that will answer your questions. Not sure where you are located, but CarMax will give you a free cash offer and they are generally aggressive. This will give you a true value, especially since none of the online sites are very accurate.

      GOOD LUCK!

      Jerry Reynolds, President
      Car Pro Radio Network

      Reply
  10. Patrick Brennan

    Hello,

    I have a 2013 Wrangler lease ending March 2016. I originally had no intention of turning or trading in and was going to finance remainder at lease end. However I considered trading in.
    I was told by sales guy after an hour of working numbers on something different, that because my lease is through Fusion Auto Finance, that if they were to take jeep in as a trade-In, I would have to include in new finance the over mileage fee of $5380 because I have 61,000 miles on a lease allowing 30,000.

    Is this true? I thought the only way I would have to pay the over mileage fee is if I decided to turn jeep in to fusion and walk away at lease end? I did not think I would have to pay mileage fees when trading into dealership on something else.

    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Michele Sanders

      It doesn’t sound like he is explaining this properly. You are correct, you only have to pay mileage and wear and tear if you walk away. However, if you trade early with higher miles, you will probably have to roll negative equity into the new loan. I suspect they need cash to obtain financing on the new vehicle.

      If you like the current vehicle, I would go ahead and purchase it now so you start building equity, finance it for as short a time as you can,, then look at trading it just before you get to 100,000 miles.

      Hope this helps.

      Jerry Reynolds, President
      Car Pro Radio Network

      Reply
  11. Mike Dore

    Read a number of your FAQ’s regarding leasing. You noted that at the end of a lease a person may have equity in the leased vehicle. How does one have, or build, equity in a lease vehicle?

    Reply
    1. Michele Sanders

      It’s more about the market than anything. Sometimes there is nothing you can do, but keeping your car clean and as low a mileage as possible always help. Gas prices are a big factor in resale, and none of us can control that.

      THANKS for listening to the show!

      Jerry Reynolds, President
      Car Pro Radio Network

      Reply
    2. Kathleen Cormack

      I can’t believe that FMC Credit has added to their lease verbiage that if you don’t notify them in advance, you have no choice but to turn the car back to Ford, and give up any equity you may have. In my case, it’s $6k, which would have gone toward my lease (with a different brand). I have leased other cars in the past from FMC, TOYOTA, & LAND ROVER with no problem in using my equity with a different dealer. I now understand that it’s in their newer leases, but such a big change should be pointd out to buyers. Fat chance, right? Do I have any recourse at all? Thanks for your help.

      Reply
      1. Michele Sanders

        Not to my knowledge. I don’t like the rule either, but they notify people by mail and phone while there is still time to make these decisions. Unfortunately, in this busy world, too many people ignore stuff like this.

        I wish I had a better answer for you, sadly more lease companies are going to this.

        Jerry Reynolds, President
        Car Pro Radio Network

        Reply
  12. Jorge

    I currently have a lease and 2 days ago I thought I was driving out of a parking lot exit but ended up driving off the sidewalk, I kept driving because it felt fine but now I noticed one of the arms might be damaged. If I take it to the dealership, what are the results?

    Reply
    1. Michele Sanders

      orge, not 100% sure what you are asking. If you are asking if you have to repair it before turning it in, the answer is yes. You might consider trading it in if possible, instead of just walking away.

      Under Q&A on this website, look under LEASING and read about what to do at the end of a lease.

      Good luck.

      Jerry Reynolds, President
      Car Pro Radio Network

      Reply
  13. steph

    My lease is just about up on a Nissan, I have kept it really neat and clean, No damage. Under mileage. Never was late on any payments. My credit score has gone into the toilet do to medical reasons and i had to use credit cards to pay some medical bills. Will the new low credit score affect a new lease?

    Reply
    1. Michele Sanders

      Probably not if you get another Nissan. They will see your willingness to pay and will probably be happy to keep you as a customer. I have good Nissan dealers all over, I am sure they would be happy to assist!

      Jerry Reynolds, President
      Car Pro Radio Network

      Reply
  14. Doris McFall

    Hi, I leased a 2014 550i BMW with the M option (18″ wheels,etc.), for 36 mos., (I ordered the car via BMW dealership & signed the contract 9/22/13)..put down $6,000, Gross capitalized cost on contract $68,000, Residual Value shows $41,000, my mo.lease $864 (tax+int). I only have 11,800 miles on it as of today Jan,2016. Lease ends this yr, 9/22/16. In this scenario, with me paying $6,000 down and paid 3-mo lease, is this a no-brainer if I want to buy this? (the $41K residual). This is my 4th leased BMW..I really like this model better than all the other 3 leased. Thanks.

    Reply
    1. Michele Sanders

      Doris, good to hear from you. I agree that in your case, buying the car makes good sense. I don’t usually recommend it, but with the miles that you have, and a favorable residual, I think it’s a good idea.

      Thanks for listening to the show!

      Jerry Reynolds, President
      Car Pro Radio Network

      Reply
  15. Victoria

    Hi, I have an Red Lease 2014 Toyota Corolla Le with 18,886 miles on it and my lease will be up September 2016. Its in good condition, but I want to end my lease early and get an Lease 2016 Honda Accord EXL with navigation and Honda sensing going for $27,822 ITS A Must since I’m going to lease first to buy later it later. My buyout for my Toyota is price is $13,563, another dearlship would give $11,770 trade in I want my monthly payments to be around $300 something. Should I wait to almost my lease ends in June or just give up my car when the lease ends in September. They told Toyota didn’t hold its residual value so that’s why my trade in is around $11k it needs to be higher. I cant apply equity even though its got low mileage on it. If there’s any Tips, Tricks, or suggestions I really appreciate that. Do you think If I return my lease Toyota when the lease ends and still have mileage on and have equity at end of lease, can I turn in the car and get a check from the dealer for the equity?

    Reply
    1. Michele Sanders

      The missing piece of the puzzle is what you owe on the lease NOW. You can get that number by calling the lease company. That will determine whether you should do something now, or turn it in at the end of the lease.

      I would suggest getting me the payoff, and emailing me back from our website. I’ll be happy to help.

      Jerry Reynolds, President
      Car Pro Radio Network

      Reply
  16. Chris

    I’m interested in learning more about my options. At the end of my lease, if I’d like to trade it in/sell it in order to avoid termination fees, would it be best to sell the vehicle (if so how would this work if you don’t technically own it) or would it be best to use a service like Lease Busters to get someone to take over the lease. I realize that if I have someone take it over, then I wouldn’t be getting any money back, but it sounds like if I sell it or trade it in with a dealership I may get cash towards another vehicle. Some examples on scenarios as to how this would work would be greatly appreciated! Thanks for the great article!

    Reply
    1. Michele Sanders

      Chris there really isn’t much more to explain than is in the article. I don’t recommend lease busters or the like unless it’s a last resort. As I suggest, get a real value on the car and the current payoff to see where you stand. That will help a lot. Once you have specific numbers, feel free to email me from this website.

      Jerry Reynolds, President
      Car Pro Radio Network

      Reply
  17. Raul Mercado

    I lease a Kia 2014 Sorento and I double the mileage, what options do I have? I would also like to trade it in for a different make model such as Nissan. Please Advice.

    Best,

    Reply
    1. Michele Sanders

      Raul, talk to any one of my dealers on this site. From the home page look under CERTIFIED DEALERS, they’ll do all they can to help. Good luck!

      Jerry Reynolds, President
      Car Pro Radio Network

      Reply
  18. Berni Lewellen

    I leased a car in July 2015. In November 2015 a car rearended me, totally his fault and his insurance paid $6,000 in damages. I am located in Florida. I was told I could file a claim with his insurance for lost equity in my leased car because it will not be worth as much at the end of my lease as it would be if it had not been damaged. Is this true? If so, when doing file the claim, now or at the end of the lease? Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Michele Sanders

      I have a Q&A page on this website with an article I wrote on DIMINISHED VALUE. Since it is leased, you’ll need to talk to your lease company, the money may go to them if you don’t purchase the car. There are probably some diminished value experts in your area you can talk to also. The laws on this vary from state to state.

      Good luck!

      Jerry Reynolds, President
      Car Pro Radio Network

      Reply
  19. David

    Hi,

    Thanks for all the info. Question for you. I have a 2013 Chrysler T&C. I have 2 months left in the lease and I am about 4,000 over the mile limit at .25 per mile. I will make the last 2 lease payments and stop driving it so I stop putting on additional miles. My residual value is 21,324. So, to turn it in I have to pay the additional miles and disposition fee which comes out to about $1,395.

    My old Honda had equity but this one doesn’t so really I’m seeing the only option is turning it in and charging the fees since I don’t want another Chrysler. My question is if I use the same dealer but buy a different brand from that same dealership, will they be able to cut me some slack with the mileage overage fee without leasing another Chrysler (I know if I leased a Chrysler or Jeep the mfg would probably work something out). So, same dealer but lease different mfg from them and still get a break on miles overage, is this possible? Thanks for your help with this 🙂

    Reply
    1. Michele Sanders

      The dealer cannot do anything about the miles or termination fee if you walk away. That’s between you and the lease company. ANY dealer can try to trade you out of the lease and avoid both charges. That’s what I would pursuer first, it may well be cheaper.

      Let me know if I can help.

      Jerry Reynolds, President
      Car Pro Radio Network

      Reply
  20. Tim

    Jerry, my wife and I just leased a 2016 Hyundai Sonata. It was our first time leasing a car. We tried to do the best research before leasing and have decided that we want to be able to drive a new car every 3 years with the latest technology.

    One thing the Hyundai salesman mentioned is that if we decide to trade-in the lease (at the end of the lease) for another lease we would NOT owe any mile overages. Is that true? He said that it’s common in leases. He was adamant about it as we were making sure that we would not owe the 0.20 per mile if we went over 10,000 after the 3 years – which we will.

    So, my simple questions is, at the end of the lease, if we decide to get another lease, will we owe any overages in miles?

    Reply
    1. Michele Sanders

      Technically what he says is true, if you trade, there is no mileage penalty. However, there is NO guarantee you can actually trade it in, the higher mileage will affect the trade-in value for sure. If the value is less than the residual amount at the end of the lease, that overage amount will have to be rolled in, which will affect the payment on the new car.

      Technically what he said is true, the reality at the end of the lease, may hurt you.

      Jerry Reynolds, President
      Car Pro Radio Network

      Reply
  21. Peter

    Hello,

    I leased a 2014 toyota Corolla LE on August of 2014 and my lease will end August of 2016. I would like to know: what if my car has a higher value than the residual value on my lease end contract, what options would i have if decide to keep the car or decide to trade in for another toyota? What can be done with that higher value when that time comes and i have either of those two choices. Its a 2 yr 24000 miles lease and i am halfway to 14000 miles on the vehicle.

    Reply
    1. Michele Sanders

      Peter, good to hear from you. From the homepage on this site click on Q&A. There is a section titled what to do at the end of your lease. I think that will answer all your questions.

      Thanks for listening to the show!

      Jerry Reynolds, President
      Car Pro Radio Network

      Reply
  22. Kassie

    Hello,
    My neighbor friend lease’s a Lexus every 3 to 5 years. He will be turning in his 2011ELS in June. He states his buyout is $14,500. I was considering buying it from him as he’s going to lease again. He said the dealership refuses to handle the transaction and will only sell to him. I don’t want to have to pay sales tax, registration, license, etc on the vehicle twice. Dealership to him, and then him to us.
    My question, is this true, the dealership can refuse to handle the sale? I wouldn’t be opposed to transaction fee. I’m just surprised the dealership would be so unwilling when he’s a making another purchase and a long term customer. Any suggestion’s on how to handle this transaction w/o paying the costs twice?
    Thank you for your time!

    Reply
    1. Michele Sanders

      Not totally surprising to be honest. I am guessing you are in Texas somewhere which has screwy lease rules. Your friend would have to buy the Lexus and pay tax to get it in his or her name, then you would buy it from them and pay tax again. There is no way around it.

      If you are NOT in Texas, shoot me an email, jerry@carproshow.com. Either way, thanks for listening!

      Jerry Reynolds, President
      Car Pro Radio Network

      Reply
  23. Jeremy

    Hello,

    This is probably a stupid question but haven’t been able to find an answer. My lease is up August 3rd and I’ve found a new vehicle to purchase. I would like to turn in the leased car ASAP as it will just be sitting in my garage from now on. I plan on making the final payment and disposition fee but how early can I return the car and avoid the early termination fee? This is on a Fiat 500e if that helps.

    Thank you for your time!

    Reply
    1. Michele Sanders

      Jeremy, if your lease was up August 3rd, you can turn it in at any time. Take it back to the dealer yu got it from, and they’ll process the paperwork.

      Thanks for listening to the show.

      Jerry Reynolds, President
      Car Pro Radio Network

      Reply
  24. Kevin

    Hi Thank you for all the great info!

    Question for you, I am currently leasing a 2014 Hyundai Sante Fe which will be up April of 2017, at the time of the lease i selected the 36000 3 year deal. If I keep driving what i am currently driving per month at the end of my lease I may be over 3,000 to 4,000. Also three months after i got the car we had hail which left a few hundred dents on the roof and side of the SUV. (not huge, but obviously imperfections all over the top and side) also a small crack in the front windshield of the car that I had sealed but clearly it’s there. I did go through my insurance and received a check that I have been sitting on, for when I turn in the car. my question is should I have the hail dent fixed and other imperfections? or wait to talk to the dealer at trade in. I plan on leasing or buying another car from the same hyundai dealer. would they wave the damages and over millage penalty? in your opinion what options would I have.

    Thanks!
    Kevin

    Reply
    1. Michele Sanders

      Kevin,

      I would go ahead and get the hail fixed in case you end up walking away, not trading it in, otherwise they may ding you for more than the check you have. Same with the windshield. The dealer cannot waive your mileage or damage, only the lease company can, and they won’t do it.

      Thanks for listening to the show!

      Jerry Reynolds, President
      Car Pro Radio Network

      Reply
  25. Carissa

    Hello, I have leased a 2014 Ford Explorer and the lease is coming to an end this December of 2016. We put about $5000 down at the signing. We have excessive wear and tear & excessive mileage. I have a 6″ crack in the drivers side front quarter panel. Also, the passenger side from front to back has a long crumpled dent along the bottom. There is a chip in the windshield from a rock. We are missing the second key. And I am currently 5000 miles over my mileage limit with 4 months still to go on the lease. Our plan is to get into another Ford Explorer after this car. Do you recommend buying the current vehicle at lease end or getting it fixed through insurance and turning over into a new lease? I fear my insurance will go up a lot because of all the work needed. Also that doesn’t help the mileage overage costs. We are it in a position to pay out of pocket for much. Any advice is helpful!!

    Reply
    1. Michele Sanders

      Go to this website, near the top right, click FAQ. Under leasing, click what to do at the end of a lease and follow my instructions there. WHen you get the two needed numbers, holler back. That will let me know how to best advise you!

      Jerry Reynolds, President
      Car Pro Radio Network

      Reply
  26. Audrey

    My daughter is leasing a Nissan note. She has 9-10 months left. My husband called Nissan to make offer to buy out right. Don’t understand why they can’t do until lease is up?

    Reply
    1. Michele Sanders

      Audrey,

      Call them back, somebody gave you bad info. Ask for a 10-day payoff, they’ll tell you an exact amount that you guys can pay to get a clear title. Sounds like a miscommunication. 10-day payoff is the proper term.

      Good luck!

      Jerry Reynolds, President
      Car Pro Radio Network

      Reply
  27. Jerry Miller

    Automobile lease situation is really difficult to understand and article really awesome way to understand every asset so thank for sharing with us. I agree your article truly answered many question related to Automobile leasing.

    Reply
  28. Leann

    Hello,

    I’m a year away from the end of my lease and being this is my first time leasing, I’m unsure of what to do. I read the article above however, my situation is a little different.

    I leased a pricey vehicle and traded in my car ($5,000) and put an extra $5,000 cash on it, total $10,000 for the down payment on a lease. Some have said that’s crazy , but I loved the vehicle and I wanted a payment I was able to afford and they said the bank wouldn’t approve unless I put more down.

    At the end of my contact, buy out price is around $33,000. I would love to trade it in for the new model but:
    1. Will I need to put another down payment on the new lease?
    2. Will I get to keep my same monthly payment?

    I’m undecided if I should just buy it, considering I put so much money down or does the money I put into it carry to the next lease to keep the same payment?

    Reply
    1. Michele Sanders

      Leann,

      I can’t answer your questions. I have no idea what kind of vehicle you leased, so I can’t know what you want to lease next. I wish I could be of more help, I just don’t have enough info.

      Jerry Reynolds, President
      Car Pro Radio Network

      Reply
  29. Jamie

    “For those that have leased in the past and are used to just turning their car in at lease-end, do yourself a favor and get a true value.”

    How does one get the “true value”?

    Reply
    1. Michele Sanders

      Jamie, you can get a cash offer from a dealership, or a place like CarMax if there is one in your area. You are looking for the amount they’d write a check for, that will give you the true value.

      Thanks for listening to the show.

      Jerry Reynolds, President
      Car Pro Radio Network

      Reply
  30. lily

    I was wondering what should I do. I read your article on what to do at the end of a lease but im stuck between purchasing and giving back the vehicle. I have a 2015 honda accord ex with navigation and leather. My lease option is for 15,000 a year. Im currenty on the 2nd year and it has 19,000 miles on it. My lease is up on 10/27/2017. My payoff amount for the car is 25,565.82. No accident just minor wear and tear and small scratches. Is it worth it to keep it or should i just start looking at other options to trade the vehicle in? thanks

    Reply
    1. Michele Sanders

      Lily, good to hear from you.

      I don’t see any reason to do anything until you get closer to the end of the lease since you are doing so well on miles. You’ll have more equity toward the end of next summer.

      Holler back in August and let’s look at your situation at that time. Thanks for listening to the show!

      Jerry Reynolds, President
      Car Pro Radio Network

      Reply
  31. Zack

    Jerry,

    How does hail damage that has been professional repaired affect the residual value when it comes time to end the lease. If the car was repaired how the insurance wants, does it have an impact?

    Reply
    1. Michele Sanders

      Not at all assuming the repairs are made properly. Normally you don’t run into any problems.

      Jerry Reynolds, President
      Car Pro Radio Network

      Reply
  32. Liz

    I have a 24 month lease and am about 14 months in. I project I’ll go about 4,000 over on the miles, not a ton, but a bit. I know my current car is in pretty good demand.

    I am thinking about trying to turn my current car in a few months early, and before I run over my miles. The thing is, I don’t really want another Buick.

    The dealer group I got my car from does have a Honda (what I want) dealer in the dealer group as well. How do I approach the situation?

    I am thinking going to the Honda dealer and telling them what I want to do…? This is the first car I’ve ever personally owned/leased so I want to make sure I’m doing this the right way.

    Thanks so much!!

    Reply
    1. Michele Sanders

      Good to hear from you. This should be fairly easy actually when you get a little closer. Think of it as if the car were purchased and you still have a balance on it.

      When you get ready, go to the Honda dealer and tell them you want to trade your leased car. If you owe more on the Buick than it is worth, you can roll that in or if cheaper, run out the lease and pay the penalty.

      Click on the FAQ tab on this website, I have a whole section on leasing, that will help you. Thanks for listening!

      Jerry Reynolds, President
      Car Pro Radio Network

      Reply
  33. Loryn Jacoy

    Hi!

    I have a 2013 lease Mini Cooper, and its coming close to the 36,000 miles. Lease isnt done until Feb 23rd.

    The payoff amount is $14,001 and I looked up the TMV and it is $11,520

    I’m not sure what to do at this point, and I do not want another mini. I estimate I will be at 38,000 miles or so at least end, therefore paying mileage penalties. Wondering if it’s better to pay the mileage penalties and get out of the lease.

    Reply
    1. Michele Sanders

      I would try to trade it now, and not deal with the mileage and disposition fee, plus you’ll eliminate any wear and tear charges. Click the FAQ tab on this website, under Leasing read the article I wrote on WHAT TO DO AT THE END OF A LEASE. That will help you a lot. Use the Certified Dealers on this website, they’ll help you! Thanks for listening.

      Jerry Reynolds, President
      Car Pro Radio Network

      Reply
  34. Aniela

    Jerry,

    So let me see if I understand this correctly.

    I am leasing a 2015 Toyota Rav4

    1) I should get equity assessments from a few different dealers before returning to my leaser. If I have equity, I show them the proof and they either a) pay me the equity and I walk or b) I use that towards a down payment on my new leased vehicle (with the same dealership as before).

    2) Can I go to another dealership (Say Nissan) and provide them with the same proof of equity and use that as a down payment for a new Nissan rather than a Toyota? If so, will Nissan handle everything for me (e.g. returning the Toyota)?

    3) Is the equity a negotiable amount? Will Toyota try and negotiate the amount that is owed to me?

    4) Should I go to Toyota dealerships to get the equity value?

    Thanks!
    Aniela

    Reply
    1. Michele Sanders

      You almost have it correctly. You want to get real world bids just to see where you stand. If there is equity, you can use the RAV as a trade, especially since you are armed with the true trade value. Just bear in mind, the dealer you trade with may be a little higher or lower than the bids you receive. If you’ll use one of my dealers, they’ll stretch out on your trade. RAV is popular, you should be fine no matter what kind of vehicle you lease or purchase next.

      Thanks for listening to the show.

      Jerry Reynolds, President
      Car Pro Radio Network

      Reply
  35. Robert

    We’re at our lease end, and after going in with 60 days left, we were told that our mortgage being behind prevented us from getting any financing at all, even though we were in a payment plan with the mortgage company. After busting butt for the next month we completely caught up our mortgage and were ready to try again.

    The dealer has said he can get us into a new vehicle for double the monthly payment we pay now but that we can’t buy the vehicle that we leased because it has negative equity.

    This is likely because we went over on mileage by a fair amount after an auto accident claimed our second vehicle and this one became our primary. We expect some sort of insurance settlement out of that situation, but likely not for some time yet.

    What would you suggest we do to avoid being completely without a car at the end of this next month?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Jerry Reynolds

      I can’t tell where you are located, but I would get a second opinion from another dealer before making this decision. We have good dealers all over under CERTIFIED DEALERS at our website. Also, if you have a bank or Credit union you have a relationship with, they might be more inclined to finance the leased car at favorable terms. I hope it all works out for you. – Jerry Reynolds

      Reply
  36. Monica

    I am a first time ‘leaser’ and currently lease a Jeep Cherokee but am looking at a new Ford Explorer when this lease is up. My question is – can I take my leased Jeep to a Ford dealership and trade in my Jeep and lease an Explorer? And if so, am I correct that since I’m going from lease to lease, I won’t have to pay a mileage overage fee?

    Reply
    1. Jerry Reynolds

      Monica, you can try to trade the Jeep in on an Explorer. However, if the value of the Jeep is less than the residual value, you can take it back to Jeep and walk away. There is no way to know until the time comes. Click FAQ at my website and go through the articles on LEASING I’ve written. Going from lease to lease does NOT guarantee you won’t have mileage penalties, so be careful.- Jerry Reynolds

      Reply
  37. Mike

    Hi Jerry

    First time leaser trying to figure out what to do at the end of our lease that is coming up – we have 3 monthly payments remaining with a turn in date of 10 June 2017. We have a Volkswagen 2014 New Tiguan SE and the Payoff quote we currently have is $16,864.15 and our Residual Amount is stated as $15,946.00. We are well under our mileage which I believe was 30,000 for 3 years and we are sitting at just under 20,000 total.

    From reading through all your FAQs and answers to people’s questions I am still unsure as to what would be the best option for us – hence asking directly!

    We are basically trying to figure out whether we should buy this vehicle or trade-in and lease a new one from the same dealer. We would like the lowest monthly payments possible (currently $330pm which we’d prefer to be much lower) and the long-term smartest move to make. We know that the dealer will not have our best interests at heart when putting together the new package and since we’re still new in the country and the whole leasing process would love your expert advice.

    My understanding is that we should get the vehicle independently appraised at another dealership to determine the actual value and then go to the dealer we leased from and use that number to negotiate. Is that correct?

    A quick conservative Kelly Blue Book search values the car at between $13,576 – $13,994 for a trade-in deal and $15,693 – $16,141 for selling to a private party. I am unclear as to what that means for us when looking at the numbers associated with our current lease and options moving forward. I.e since the residual value is similar to that there is no equity value for us? Could you please advise your thoughts?

    Many thanks! Really appreciate the help.

    Reply
    1. Jerry Reynolds

      Your circumstance is unusual in that VW values across the board are off due to the emission standards, even though you don’t have a diesel. It doesn’t sound like you’ll have any equity but I’d still get an independent appraisal by a place like CarMax, just to double check it. Worst case, you can use the walk-away option, but if you are basically break even, then I’d trade it and be done with it. Feel free to holler back after you get your cash offer. – Jerry

      Reply
    2. Chris Schoepfer

      We are in the same boat…..how much you put down initially? It seems like oyr down payment did not go towards equitt but only helped to get low monthly payments

      Reply
  38. Chris Schoepfer

    Hello. In 2014 we leased a 2015 Hyunday Sonata with a price around $22,000. We traded in car and got $6,000 for it. 3 year lease at $189 a mo nth and 15K miles per year. he lease is coming to an end in July. We have been contacted nonstop by the dealer about great new leases but when we talked, they asked how much we want to put down? So far we paid almost 12,000 and we are only at 37,000 miles, but residual is 14,500 and purchase price is 15,000…..Did I get screwed n the lease? It sure feels like it……apparently i have no equity in the car. I wanted to buy from the getgo t my wife wanted low mobthly payments.

    Reply
    1. Jerry Reynolds

      I can’t say you got taken, but any down payment is gone at the end of a lease. All you really did was reduce your payment. The residual stays the same regardless of down payment. You’ve made $18000 in payments including the trade value and still owe $15000, so that’s $33,000 on a $22,000 car, so it doesn’t sound like you got a great deal, but that’s behind you. Not sure where you are, but use one of my dealers next time, you will get a great deal, lease or buy.

      Reply

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