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Purchase my Subaru at end of lease?

Hey guys,

The lease is up on my 2008 Subaru Impreza Wagon (manual trans) in November, and I was simply just going to hand in the car and walk away. But today I carefully read my lease contract, and it says the purchase price is just shy of $10K. I KBB’d the price with mileage (20K), and it’s coming up about $16K in good condition.

My question is, how well does KBB hold up these days? I haven’t sold a car in over 4 years, so I’m hesitant to believe I can get that much. But even if I only got $13-14K for it, I’d rather me pocket the extra money than the dealership (the wife and I are planning on buying a joint Prius next year, so a down-payment boost would be nice), even if it comes with some car-selling hassle.

Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks!


Edmunds says the value at trade is about $11,500 for a stripped 2008 hatchback with 20,000 miles. You could sell it for around $12,800. If you have any options, that will increase the value. You might consider getting any emissions or safety inspections required by your state before you sell it so that the new owner only has to register it. BTW, when you buy the Impreza, you will have to pay taxes, registration, licence and any other fees required to take possession. That might be $1000 or more. Figure that you might make $1000 to sell quickly.

Put an ad in and see your response. You could sell it before you buy it.

This is one way a lease can work out - if you like your car, you now know exactly how it was cared for (unlike buying most used cars), and in your case it sounds like a good price, so I would buy it and drive it for many more years. You’ve already paid for the majority of the depreciation, it only gets better from here.

It was maintained ‘by the book’, right?

Thanks for all the info. Keeping the car isn’t really an option as I bike to work now, so we don’t need two cars.

The hassle of selling the car to make $1K isn’t all that appealing to me. If it were $2K or more, I think that would be a benefit. But I know the possible pains of local car selling, so I’d rather not deal with it for $1K.

I do like the idea of testing the ad on Craigslist a couple weeks before I’m scheduled to turn it in. That might give me the best indication of where the value is before the least ends.

Congratulations on finding a way to get to work without a car! You’re the big winner.

Oh, no interest in the car = turn it in, avoid the problems with selling it, for me.

Another consideration is sales tax. You don’t mention where you live. Sales tax in Denver is about 8.5%, or $850 on the $10,000 purchase price you will have to pay at the time of purchase. If you flip it for $12,000, you will only net $1,150. The new buyer will also have to pay sales tax on his purchase price.

Used car prices are high now due to strong demand for used cars. Your Subaru is popular as it gets good mpg. The buy price for the lease was set years back and isn’t reflecting the high prices currently for used cars. It just might be a good move financially to buy the car off lease. In your case the matter is worth more time to investigate on your part. You might have to go to your bank or credit union to secure financing to complete the deal unless you have $10K hanging around in your savings account.

Wow, lots of differing opinions! I do have enough savings to buy the car outright, but again, I’d only do it if I could make at least $2K on it. The time and hassle isn’t worth a grand to me.

I live in California, and the state sales tax just dropped to 7.75%. But the city I’d purchase it in has a rate of almost 9%. Not sure which would be applied here.

Another thing to consider is warranty. The car will have around 20K miles on it when the lease ends, but I’m not sure if the purchase price would include a warranty or not.