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Tesla Model 3 Lease Buyout - My experience (Canada)

Hi all,

I wanted to share my experience here of doing a dealership lease buy-out in Canada, as I hope it could benefit others in the future.

Due to moving into the city and no longer needing two vehicles, I no longer could justify keeping my leased 2020 Model 3 purchased in Sept, 2020, SR+ in midnight silver metallic / black interior with 14,000 KM, with one accident of $1,800 damage. I had originally put $5,000 down and had $8,000 in BC + federal rebates applied to the sale.

Tesla currently does not allow leasees to purchase their Model 3 or Model Y, but they have other options. Either of these processes can be started from your lease account through the Tesla website:

1) I could transfer the lease to someone. This would cost $650 ($150 credit application fee + $500 lease transfer fee). I would have to find someone with good credit that was willing to take over my lease and payment. This works similar to other manufacturers.
2) I could do a dealership buy-out. This is where any licensed motor vehicle dealer agrees to purchase the vehicle from Tesla. Tesla will then sign over the vehicle to them once full payment is made for the lease + a $350 documentation fee. On the Tesla website, it will automatically generate a quote for the full buy-out amount once you enter a dealership's name and email address.


I decided to go with option 2. I posted the vehicle on Craigslist with some photos, with a clear description that it was a lease buy-out and that only dealerships could buy the car. I had 11 responses within the first hour, all from different dealers. The best offer was $48,000 from a local new car dealership. This left me with positive equity in the car based on the buy-out quote from Tesla. The dealership agreed to cut two cheques, one to Tesla, and the remaining to me.

On the Tesla website, it says that the response time is 24-48 hours. However, that was not the case. The dealership and I submitted all of the paperwork on September 8th. It wasn't finalized by Tesla Finance until September 23rd. I had been calling nearly every day to follow-up as Tesla Finance is terribly unresponsive unless you proactively follow-up with them. All of their customer service agents are based in the US and many are clueless about Canadian things like GST/HST. Nevertheless, it all worked out and I ended up getting rid of the car, and getting a cheque back for more than my original down payment.

I was thinking, this could be also useful workaround for anyone who wants to keep their car at the end of the lease. Find a dealership that's willing to do the legwork to buy out the car from Tesla, then immediately sell the car back to you for a small fee. It baffles me why Tesla allows this, but not allowing the customer to directly buy out the leased car...
 
Last edited:
Hi all,

I wanted to share my experience here of doing a dealership lease buy-out in Canada, as I hope it could benefit others in the future.

Due to moving into the city and no longer needing two vehicles, I no longer could justify keeping my leased 2020 Model 3 purchased in Sept, 2020, SR+ in midnight silver metallic / black interior with 14,000 KM, with one accident of $1,800 damage. I had originally put $5,000 down and had $8,000 in BC + federal rebates applied to the sale.

Tesla currently does not allow leasees to purchase their Model 3 or Model Y, but they have other options. Either of these processes can be started from your lease account through the Tesla website:

1) I could transfer the lease to someone. This would cost $650 ($150 credit application fee + $500 lease transfer fee). I would have to find someone with good credit that was willing to take over my lease and payment. This works similar to other manufacturers.
2) I could do a dealership buy-out. This is where any licensed motor vehicle dealer agrees to purchase the vehicle from Tesla. Tesla will then sign over the vehicle to them once full payment is made for the lease + a $350 documentation fee. On the Tesla website, it will automatically generate a quote for the full buy-out amount once you enter a dealership's name and email address.


I decided to go with option 2. I posted the vehicle on Craigslist with some photos, with a clear description that it was a lease buy-out and that only dealerships could buy the car. I had 11 responses within the first hour, all from different dealers. The best offer was $48,000 from a local new car dealership. This left me with positive equity in the car based on the buy-out quote from Tesla. The dealership agreed to cut two cheques, one to Tesla, and the remaining to me.

On the Tesla website, it says that the response time is 24-48 hours. However, that was not the case. The dealership and I submitted all of the paperwork on September 8th. It wasn't finalized by Tesla Finance until September 23rd. I had been calling nearly every day to follow-up as Tesla Finance is terribly unresponsive unless you proactively follow-up with them. All of their customer service agents are based in the US and many are clueless about Canadian things like GST/HST. Nevertheless, it all worked out and I ended up getting rid of the car, and getting a cheque back for more than my original down payment.

I was thinking, this could be also useful workaround for anyone who wants to keep their car at the end of the lease. Find a dealership that's willing to do the legwork to buy out the car from Tesla, then immediately sell the car back to you for a small fee. It baffles me why Tesla allows this, but not allowing the customer to directly buy out the leased car...
Very good info - thank you for your post!
 

sdorn

Director of Awesome
Supporting Member
Oct 9, 2016
1,046
1,062
Georgia
I am trying to do something similar in US but am being told that as of 9/22 Tesla is no longer permitting sales of leased cars to dealers. It is really going to screw me as I already bought a new car and was going to get rid of my Model 3.
 
Hi all,

I wanted to share my experience here of doing a dealership lease buy-out in Canada, as I hope it could benefit others in the future.

Due to moving into the city and no longer needing two vehicles, I no longer could justify keeping my leased 2020 Model 3 purchased in Sept, 2020, SR+ in midnight silver metallic / black interior with 14,000 KM, with one accident of $1,800 damage. I had originally put $5,000 down and had $8,000 in BC + federal rebates applied to the sale.

Tesla currently does not allow leasees to purchase their Model 3 or Model Y, but they have other options. Either of these processes can be started from your lease account through the Tesla website:

1) I could transfer the lease to someone. This would cost $650 ($150 credit application fee + $500 lease transfer fee). I would have to find someone with good credit that was willing to take over my lease and payment. This works similar to other manufacturers.
2) I could do a dealership buy-out. This is where any licensed motor vehicle dealer agrees to purchase the vehicle from Tesla. Tesla will then sign over the vehicle to them once full payment is made for the lease + a $350 documentation fee. On the Tesla website, it will automatically generate a quote for the full buy-out amount once you enter a dealership's name and email address.


I decided to go with option 2. I posted the vehicle on Craigslist with some photos, with a clear description that it was a lease buy-out and that only dealerships could buy the car. I had 11 responses within the first hour, all from different dealers. The best offer was $48,000 from a local new car dealership. This left me with positive equity in the car based on the buy-out quote from Tesla. The dealership agreed to cut two cheques, one to Tesla, and the remaining to me.

On the Tesla website, it says that the response time is 24-48 hours. However, that was not the case. The dealership and I submitted all of the paperwork on September 8th. It wasn't finalized by Tesla Finance until September 23rd. I had been calling nearly every day to follow-up as Tesla Finance is terribly unresponsive unless you proactively follow-up with them. All of their customer service agents are based in the US and many are clueless about Canadian things like GST/HST. Nevertheless, it all worked out and I ended up getting rid of the car, and getting a cheque back for more than my original down payment.

I was thinking, this could be also useful workaround for anyone who wants to keep their car at the end of the lease. Find a dealership that's willing to do the legwork to buy out the car from Tesla, then immediately sell the car back to you for a small fee. It baffles me why Tesla allows this, but not allowing the customer to directly buy out the leased car...
could you post the number you called for tesla finance? I'm in a very similar situation, I started the dealer buyout process and got a quote, but now I feel like tesla is ghosting me... noone has followed up.
 

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