Selling Your Leased Car Could Mean Big Profit

By

Automotive Content Editor

Meghan Carbary has been writing professionally for nearly 20 years. A published journalist in three states, Meghan honed her skills as a feature writer and sports editor. She has now expanded her skill-set into the automotive industry as a content writer for Auto Credit Express, where she contributes to several automotive and auto finance blogs.


, Automotive Content Editor - September 2, 2021

When an unpredictable market raises resale value above residual value, it becomes a seller's market – this could mean big profit ahead if you buy out your lease now.

If you've hit lease end, now could be the time to buy it out. A recent study from iSeeCars found the average three-year-old leased vehicle to be worth around 31.5% more than its predicted residual values – that's an average of $7,019 more.

Lacking chips from the still persistent semiconductor shortage, production of new vehicles has slowed, causing the value of used vehicles to soar – especially three-year-old models coming off lease. This could mean big profits for you if you decide to buy out your lease now and then sell your vehicle. And the top 15 models aren't just worth more to you if you're leasing, they're worth a lot more. The difference in their residual and resale values is 1.5 to 1.9 times the average.

iSeeCars compared projected three-year residual values for new 2018 models to current used car prices to find the ones that have the biggest profit margin. Of the most popular cars sold in 2018, the top five are all seeing at least a 40% increase over predicted residual values.

Vehicle by Popularity $ Market Value Increase % Over Market Value
2018 Nissan Altima $6,228 49.4%
2018 Jeep Cherokee $7,418 46.3%
2018 Ram 1500 $10,493 42.5%
2018 Honda Accord $7,056 40.6%
2018 GMC Sierra 1500 $12,609 40.2%

Some other highlights from the study include:

  • 2018 Dodge Charger. Worth 55.9% more than predicted. Potential profit: $11,806
  • 2018 Nissan LEAF. Worth 48.3% more than predicted. Potential profit: $6,167
  • 2018 Chevy Malibu. Worth 48.2% more than predicted. Potential profit: $6,392
  • 2018 Kia Forte. Worth 46.7% more than predicted. Potential profit: $4,913
  • 2018 Ford Expedition. Worth 45.8% more than predicted. Potential profit: $15,830

The 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan topped the charts, coming in at a whopping 61.3% increase over its predicted residual value, and a lot of them sold that year thanks to a redesign from VWs 2017 Tiguan model. To see if your lease is among those getting top dollar in resale, check out the iSeeCars study.

If you're coming up on lease-end and want to put some extra cash in your pocket, buying out your leased vehicle could be a good way to do it. Remember, though, that it's a seller's market, so expect to need that extra money to put down on your next car.

With used vehicles selling for so much more than projected, you'll want to find the best deals you can if you intend to replace your vehicle with something else.

Check out used car listings in your area

, Automotive Content Editor

Meghan Carbary has been writing professionally for nearly 20 years. A published journalist in three states, Meghan honed her skills as a feature writer and sports editor. She has now expanded her skill-set into the automotive industry as a content writer for Auto Credit Express, where she contributes to several automotive and auto finance blogs.


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