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Anyone trade in their Model 3 lease to another dealer?

idealdreams

Member
May 10, 2019
82
85
USA
I leased my Model 3 in May 2019 - long range, all wheel drive, and 12k miles/year.

For a large list of reasons, I am wanting out of my lease early (about a year and a half early...). Does anyone have any experience trading their Model 3 into another dealer? I am planning on leasing a Prestige Audi A5 next so I would end early and trade in to Audi.

I may wait until I'm closer to lease end but that all depends on what the dealerships are willing to get me into for trading in. I'm not stuck on Audi, BMW & Mercedes are both options as well. All would be a lease.

Anything I should watch out for/be aware of? And in case anyone is wanting to know why I am ending early:
  • Tesla service and customer support are true garbage. I wish I could find harsher language to convey my absolute disdain for Tesla in this regard. Can't reach a person or schedule service, can't get a loaner vehicle when you do, trying to get mobile service is like pulling teeth, the list goes on.
  • The car is so heavy that it ate through the $300/tire OEM tires after 20,000 miles. Michelin doesn't offer tire warranty on OEM tires. So had a nice out of pocket charge of $1,200 to replace the tires.
  • Horrible vehicle quality. Paint is the thinnest paint on any vehicle I've ever owned and is riddled with paint chips from driving in normal suburban areas (not talking country gravel roads, here). Doors don't align and the rear doors stick out farther than the front doors. Missing paint underneath hood and trunk.
  • Lack of luxury features for a luxury car. No rear cross traffic alert, 360º birds eye view camera, head-up display, configurable ambient interior lighting, tri-zone climate control, ventilated seats, real blind spot monitoring, real rain-sensing windshield wipers, real auto-high beams, hands-free operated trunk, XM radio, CarPlay. Again, the list goes on.
  • Lack of leasing options - only up to 15,000 miles/year to lease
 
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clerks

Member
Jan 18, 2021
267
74
Pittsburgh
How are you going to terminate your lease early? Typically, they will charge you for all of the remaining payments. It is my understanding you cannot buy out a Tesla lease so a trade in and payoff may not be possible.
 
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idealdreams

Member
May 10, 2019
82
85
USA
How are you going to terminate your lease early? Typically, they will charge you for all of the remaining payments. It is my understanding you cannot buy out a Tesla lease so a trade in and payoff may not be possible.

You are correct - the lessee cannot purchase a Model 3 or Model Y at the end of the lease. Car dealerships are allowed to. From Tesla's own website - "Purchase your Tesla. You may be eligible to purchase your leased Tesla. Review your lease agreement to see if you qualify. Eligibility. Model 3 and Y are not eligible at this time, unless a third-party dealership is purchasing directly."
 

clerks

Member
Jan 18, 2021
267
74
Pittsburgh
You are correct - the lessee cannot purchase a Model 3 or Model Y at the end of the lease. Car dealerships are allowed to. From Tesla's own website - "Purchase your Tesla. You may be eligible to purchase your leased Tesla. Review your lease agreement to see if you qualify. Eligibility. Model 3 and Y are not eligible at this time, unless a third-party dealership is purchasing directly."
Gotcha. What a strange rule. Well with the strong resale maybe you can get out whole but usually the earlier you try the harder it is. In any event, sorry to hear you are so disappointed in the car. I’ve had my M3P for two weeks. Already have some paint chipping and need a paint repair in the hood that was flawed from the factory. Hoping I didn’t buy a headache.
 

clerks

Member
Jan 18, 2021
267
74
Pittsburgh
To answer your question it should not be any different than trading a car in. They’ll give you a price and compare it to your buyout. Should be pretty simple would be my guess. You could have equity or negative equity so I would try to gauge trade in value v lease buyout.
 
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CapeOne

Member
Jun 14, 2016
880
568
New England
II may wait until I'm closer to lease end but that all depends on what the dealerships are willing to get me into for trading in. I'm not stuck on Audi, BMW & Mercedes are both options as well. All would be a lease.

While it is possible to have a third party dealer buyout your lease, the way Tesla constructed its leases makes it less likely to be financially worthwhile to do so. They added the federal tax credit (which would've been $3,750 back in May 2019) to the residual instead of using it to lower the cap cost. Doing so made the LEV artificially high and therefore would make a lease buyout number high.

Depending on your state's sales tax laws, you may also have to pay sales tax on the buyout number.
 

clerks

Member
Jan 18, 2021
267
74
Pittsburgh
One more thought trading in a lease in a lease is going to be complicated anywhere you go. You will probably do better trying to sell you M3 privately
Cant see it now? I just searched the Tesla leasing calculator. Anyways, it is too late for me, but I purchased for the exact reason that I may want to get out before 2-3 years
Yep me too. Every time I lease I regret it. Hate being locked in.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
9,474
10,632
Riverside Co. CA
One more thought trading in a lease in a lease is going to be complicated anywhere you go. You will probably do better trying to sell you M3 privately

Yep me too. Every time I lease I regret it. Hate being locked in.

The OP cant sell it privately. That requires them being able to buy it out, which they cant. Only another car dealer can buy the leased vehicle.
 
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jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
9,474
10,632
Riverside Co. CA
Yep my bad. I meant to delete that.

I happen to agree with the basic premise though... I doubt very few have done what the OP is looking into (trading a leased model 3 in on another vehicle). Its likely going to turn into a choice of losing several thousand dollars on the new car deal, vs simply "toughing it out" another year and half.


Im interested to see what happens here, though.
 

idealdreams

Member
May 10, 2019
82
85
USA
I happen to agree with the basic premise though... I doubt very few have done what the OP is looking into (trading a leased model 3 in on another vehicle). Its likely going to turn into a choice of losing several thousand dollars on the new car deal, vs simply "toughing it out" another year and half.


Im interested to see what happens here, though.
I am going to make some phone calls tomorrow. I’ve already requested the third party buyout quote to see what I’m looking at vs. current market value.

I am going to be about 15k to 18k miles over my lease agreement if I wait it out the rest of the term so I am going to get screwed in the end anyway if I don’t trade in to another dealer. I’m just trying to do what I can do that will screw me the least while getting into a car that I’ll actually enjoy vs. hating the company that manufactures it for the reasons in my OP.
 

clerks

Member
Jan 18, 2021
267
74
Pittsburgh
I am going to make some phone calls tomorrow. I’ve already requested the third party buyout quote to see what I’m looking at vs. current market value.

I am going to be about 15k to 18k miles over my lease agreement if I wait it out the rest of the term so I am going to get screwed in the end anyway if I don’t trade in to another dealer. I’m just trying to do what I can do that will screw me the least while getting into a car that I’ll actually enjoy vs. hating the company that manufactures it for the reasons in my OP.
Perhaps you could find a third party buyer and a car dealer to accommodate the transaction for a fee. If you offered a used car dealer 500 maybe they would handle the transaction. If you know someone even better.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
9,474
10,632
Riverside Co. CA
Perhaps you could find a third party buyer and a car dealer to accommodate the transaction for a fee. If you offered a used car dealer 500 maybe they would handle the transaction. If you know someone even better.

If this was me, and I was not willing to "tough this out another 1.5 years" I would identify what car I wanted as a replacement and work with that dealer to trade in there, which is what it appears OP is looking to do. You would also want to know what the actual liability is for that dealer on the vehicle (what the buyout price would be) like OP is doing.

From OPs statements this "isnt their first rodeo" so to speak, at least it doesnt look like it from here. On almost all lease trade ins (not tesla specific) car dealers combine both deals, and pull from one side to support the other. They are not in the business of losing money, so even when they say "oh we will take care of that" its because they are getting money from "somewhere" to do that.

There may be conquest money for example, etc... but the dealer will try to keep all they can, and its likely this will be a several thousand dollar decision for the OP. The options are more limited because an individual cant buy it out themselves.

Thats why I am so curious as to how this comes out, numbers wise. The proverbial wildcard here is model 3s relatively high value compared to your general audi / bmw. If OP is targetting a late model used car from audi, for example a dealer might be able to sink more of the money loss into it, if they "got a good deal" (read -- "fleeced") the person who traded in that car.
 

clerks

Member
Jan 18, 2021
267
74
Pittsburgh
If this was me, and I was not willing to "tough this out another 1.5 years" I would identify what car I wanted as a replacement and work with that dealer to trade in there, which is what it appears OP is looking to do. You would also want to know what the actual liability is for that dealer on the vehicle (what the buyout price would be) like OP is doing.

From OPs statements this "isnt their first rodeo" so to speak, at least it doesnt look like it from here. On almost all lease trade ins (not tesla specific) car dealers combine both deals, and pull from one side to support the other. They are not in the business of losing money, so even when they say "oh we will take care of that" its because they are getting money from "somewhere" to do that.

There may be conquest money for example, etc... but the dealer will try to keep all they can, and its likely this will be a several thousand dollar decision for the OP. The options are more limited because an individual cant buy it out themselves.

Thats why I am so curious as to how this comes out, numbers wise. The proverbial wildcard here is model 3s relatively high value compared to your general audi / bmw. If OP is targetting a late model used car from audi, for example a dealer might be able to sink more of the money loss into it, if they "got a good deal" (read -- "fleeced") the person who traded in that car.
OP wants to move to a new lease though which makes it even harder in my opinion. If they had a used car on the lot yeah they can work the numbers but while a lease could have some dealer cash in it, any negative equity rolled into a lease is going to hurt. Making it worse he wants to lease an Audi which are historically very difficult to lease.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
9,474
10,632
Riverside Co. CA
OP wants to move to a new lease though which makes it even harder in my opinion. If they had a used car on the lot yeah they can work the numbers but while a lease could have some dealer cash in it, any negative equity rolled into a lease is going to hurt. Making it worse he wants to lease an Audi which are historically very difficult to lease.

Ahh I didnt pay attention that the new car is to be a lease too. I am extremely familiar with BMW leasing, but not so much with Audi. It might be harder that way.

@jmaddr , since the OP mentions it looks like they will be 15k to 18k over on the lease, it likely is not an attractive vehicle on those platforms because people dont like to buy miles at the end of their leases. (even though those miles tend to be less expensive than the depreciation on the vehicle but thats a different discussion).
 

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