Leased Car Options: Tip-of-the-Day #91


When I leased my first car I thoroughly enjoyed the freedom that leasing offered to me at that time. I didn't have to put money down and my payments were incredibly low every month. It seemed like a great way to get into the car that I wanted without having to break the bank doing it.

Three very short years later I wasn't yet ready to give back the car but I also didn't want to buy it. Somehow giving it back felt I didn't have even partial ownership in a project I'd been actively contributing to! The truth is, I didn't. It's like renting an apartment - you just pay to play, not to stay.

And so, I realized that in order to get into my next car I would have to try and sell my leased car back to the open market instead of handing the keys over to the dealership.

Most people thought I was nuts. Why on earth would I go through the effort of trying to sell a car that I could just as easily return, penalty-free? Well, because the amount I had to pay the dealership/bank to buy the car was less than what I could get by selling the car to an individual. In fact, Blue Book price minus the amount owed to the bank was several thousand dollars! It doesn't always work out this way, but some cars hold their value better than others (this happened to be a Honda Civic and very popular at the time).

I was able to sell that car within two weeks, paid off the loan and pocketed $3000 which I turned around to put down as an initial payment on my next car that I purchased.

Don't be fooled into thinking there's just one way to do things. In fact, the road less traveled is often more lucrative.

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