Things to Remember When Selling a Leased Car to a Dealer


The process of selling a leased vehicle to a dealer is similar to the process of selling a vehicle that you own, except it requires the dealer to purchase the car from the leasing bank. You are responsible for any balance due to the leasing bank if the dealer's purchase price isn't sufficient.

Check Your Car's Value

  • You can sell your leased vehicle for any amount that you want to. You are only responsible for satisfying the leasing bank's buyout amount, whether you sell the car, trade it or purchase it yourself. Even though the dealership will pay to purchase your leased vehicle from the bank, you should still negotiate its trade-in value to obtain the best deal. Use several different appraisal guides to determine the car's value before accepting a price from the dealer. Check trade values on, the Kelley Blue Book website and NADA Guides. Use an average of the three values to determine a fair sales price. You can keep any profit you make from selling your leased vehicle or use the profit as a down payment toward a new purchase if you're trading in the vehicle.

Money to Buy Out the Lease

  • You can't sell your car to a dealer and assume that you'll be free of any further leasing obligation. You're responsible for paying the leasing bank for the total purchase price. If the dealer offers you less money than your vehicle buyout amount, you must provide the remaining balance to the dealer or the bank to complete the payoff. Call your leasing bank yourself to determine the car's buyout amount. Once you complete the deal with the dealership, call to ensure the bank received payment from the dealer. Otherwise, you might pay penalties if the dealer takes too long to make payment.


  • Bring your maintenance records, service and repair documents to provide to the car's new owner. The dealer will eventually sell your vehicle and the new owner will want proof of the car's history. If your state sent you the vehicle's title, bring it to the dealer. Remove personal paperwork from the vehicle before you leave it at the dealership, such as your registration and insurance cards.

Vehicle Items and Accessories

  • Put your owner's manual in the vehicle. Don't remove any items or accessories from the car without first consulting the purchasing dealership. A dealer manager appraised your vehicle and offered a price assuming you'd turn in all items that were in the car when it was appraised. Items as small as floor mats can cost a dealer hundreds of dollars to replace. If you plan to swap items in the car or remove accessories, discuss your plans with the dealer before you agree on a sales price.


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