“Can I get Money Back at the End of a Lease?”

Kipplinger dealt with the following question: “I’m about to turn in my leased Mazda. The lease specified a limit of 10,000 miles a year for three years, but I’ve driven the car only 16,000 miles. Does the lower mileage give me any negotiating leverage if I want to lease another Mazda?”

If you’ve driven less miles than the allotment on your lease it’s likely that you have what’s called lease equity. A 10,000 yearly allotment on a 3 year lease means that the driver is allotted a total of 30,000 miles. In the above example the car being turned in has 14,000 less miles than the allotment so the value of the car will be higher than the calculated residual.

giphySo what to do next?

Some dealers won’t offer the extra cash from your lease equity so you’ll have to push the point. It helps to get a third party such as Carmax to do an appraisal. If the car is worth more than the residual you can always buy out your lease and sell it to Carmax for the difference! In the above example there is likely to be a few thousand dollars in equity as it is almost half the amount of the total mile allotment. That’s how you take advantage of the lease equity!

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