One question we get a lot here at TRED is ‘can I get out of a car lease?’
The answer is: yes—and in the current market, just about everyone should be able to sell their car for more than the buyout price. Wherever they are in their lease.
In ‘normal’ times, if you had negotiated a good enough deal when you leased your car, it was possible that you might be able to sell it before the term was up, without losing money. Now, used cars are in such demand—and prices are at such a premium—that pretty much any leased car can be sold, probably at a profit. Even if your lease is up, you should not turn it in; you can almost certainly make money if you sell it instead.
How does selling a leased car work?
When the topic of selling a leased car comes up, a lot of people say ‘but, you can’t sell a car that you don’t own’. But when you sell a leased car, you do pay the leasing company what the car’s worth, essentially buying it from them to sell to the new owner.
Each month, you can request your buyout amount—the current purchase price to buy your leased car—from your leasing company. This is great, because even if the term of your lease isn’t over, you can get out completely, transferring the title and all liability to the new buyer. But this can pose a couple of challenges:
Unless you have the cash on hand to buy out the lease before you sell the car, you won’t be able to provide the title to your buyer right away. You’ll need to collect payment from the buyer, then send it to the lien holder (the leasing company.) Then you have to wait for them to send you the title. Which usually takes 1-3 weeks, sometimes longer than that.
This makes selling really difficult, because a buyer who’s given you a large sum of money isn’t going to be very happy waiting weeks to get the title (and the car. Because you can’t properly transfer liability without the title, so handing over the keys early is not a good idea.)
This is where TRED can help!
How TRED makes it easy and safe to get out of your lease
We’ll confirm your buyout price with your leasing company, and we’ll net that out of your sale price when your car sells. If your buyout amount is less than your sale price, we’ll repay the leasing company and cut you a check for the difference. If your lease buyout is higher than the selling price for your car, then you’ll need to agree in advance to pay your leasing company the difference between the selling price and your lease buyout when your car sells.
When you sell your leased car with TRED, there’s no risk for your buyer at all. From their perspective, the experience is exactly the same as buying any other car, leased or not. Which is a great advantage over trying to sell it on your own.
A traditional dealer can also handle the lease buyout process if you sell or trade it in to them, but they’ll give you a far lower price, that will undoubtedly be significantly less than your lease buyout price.
The TRED advantage is that we can handle the lease buyout process just as easily as any dealer, but we also find you a trusted buyer—so you can sell your car as a private party (much higher than dealer trade-in) price.