Selling my Pilot before the Lease is up

So my lease is up in a few months. The current buy out figure is $23,000. The KBB on a private sale is $28,500.
Is it practical to think I could find a buyer to write me a check for $28.5K ?
Provided they find I am a trust worthy homeowner and family man that will not scam them.
I leave the car in the driveway take the plates off-maybe even give the plate to the buyer.
Write the leasing company a check for $23,000 plus pay the 6.5% sales tax $1495.
When the title comes in the buyer brings back the plates I give them the title and car.
I walk with $4000 in equity to use for my next lease or purchase?

Thank-you for any input or help you can provide.

Good luck getting the “private sale” price. And what would entice a potential buyer to tie up almost 29 grand with only some stamped metal plates as security? Unless you have a lien free title you don’t even have the right to sell the vehicle! If I was a buyer I would do one of two things. One, I would make you a lowball offer that makes this crazy deal worthwhile to me. Two, I would run away from this deal FAST!!!

I would have to wonder about the legality of this. You’re selling something that you don’t own.

You can’t sell it until you own it, and I imagine that’s what you have in mind. As long as you get more than you pay for possession, taxes, and registration, you are ahead. You can continue to drive the truck until you sell it, then do whatever you want. Let’s say you put it on the road in your name for $25,500. You could make up to $3000 in the transaction, but you probably will make less. The longer you are willing to wait for the right buyer to arrive, the better your chance of getting the $28,500. BTW, don’t fool yourself into thinking the Pilot is worth more than it actually is. When you price it on line, don’t use condition excellence. Clean condition is more like it since the car has well used tires and likely hasn’t been detailed. Complete fluid changes would also be needed to qualify for the excellent designation, and new wipers too. It all adds up.

First of all it is not your car to sell. If you do not want it after the lease is up just turn it back in and do something else. BLUE BOOK is a guide line .

You can’t sell it. You don’t own it. You have absolutely zero ownership of this vehicle, zero equity, even after all these years of payments. Welcome to leasing.

I can’t speak for the legalities of where you live but I do know this:
A. Price guides can be optimistic and it still comes down to right buyer at right time; whenever that is.
B. No way on Earth would I hand anyone 280, 2800, 28k, or 280k dollars for the promise of a car and title even if the plate were to be handed over to me personally by the local sheriff.

The cleanest way out IF you think you can get 28k out of this is to borrow money from the bank to pay off the lease and then recoup your investment.
Of course if these 28k buyers are suddenly lost in the tall grass then you’re on the hook for the 23 and praying daily.
You say the car is worth 28 and the buyout is 23. If the bank doesn’t see it that way then obviously the figures are not as cheery as you think they are.

And jtsanders is correct about the “excellent” designation. Hardly any car meets that criteria unless it has 500 miles on it and has been in the garage most of the time.

Even if your plan was legal, my experience has been that it is difficult to sell a late model car for what it is worth. My in-laws had a late model Mercury Grand Marquis that we had to sell when they gave up driving. I got no response to a newspaper ad. A neighbor finally bought the car. We gave him a very good Price’s wholesale book as I remember. On the other hand, I had an old Rambler that the dealer didn’t want as a trade in. I advertised the car for $295. The first person that looked at it offered me $250_which I grabbed. I immediately canceled the ad in the newspaper and still got call a week later… I don’t think you want to try this scheme.

I thought like the posters above, until a friend who had a leased car with mileage overage. He didn’t want to pay the extra, so took it in to carmax and they paid him a few extra hundred dollars and bought it from the lease company. So it could be done. You just have to figure the correct way of doing it. A private party is very unlikely to be willing to pay that kind of money and deal with the headaches. You have to go to carmax or find a dealer, but they will not pay you retail.

KBB gives very optimistic prices. You simply won’t get that $28.5k. CarMax is an option to consider.

This car has many good years of life left. If you really want to come out ahead as much as possible, buy the car out yourself, drive it for the next four or five years, and put the amount of your current lease payment in the bank each month in preparation for a purchase (not a lease) when the time comes.

I am with OK4450 on this one, pay off the $23K, own the car outright with title in hand, sell it for $28K and bank the profit less taxes etc. If it was this easy, a lot of folks would be doing this. You will be very fortunate if you can find someone to pay top dollar for this car.

He will need the lease payment money to make the car payments on his used car purchase…If he had 28 large he would not have leased (rented) it to begin with…CarMax MIGHT offer more for the car than the buy-out the lease company is offering,

Ahhhh. You can’t sell a car you don’t own. That might be illegal. The leasor should have the title. Who would be dumb enough to hand over a check without immediate access to the tittle ??? If you wrte them out a bill of sale, that would be fraud without clear ownership at the time.

You’ve got a good idea but your timeline is wrong. You need to pay the residual and then sell the car at a profit when you have ownership. Until the title is in your hand all you’ve got to sell is a big piece of blue sky. And that ain’t worth much.

As for the license plates, leave them on the car. If someone took the license plates off of a car I just bought I’d call the police right then and there.

In most states, the plates belong to whoever bought them, they don’t go with the car…The new owner goes down to the DMV and buys a plate (temporary or full term) or he drives it home with no plates at all…

That would vary from state to state. In the states I’ve lived in the plates belong to the car unless it’s a personalized plate, and it’s illegal to drive a car with no plates. You buy a car, then go and register it in your name. Unless it’s a car that hasn’t been registered here before, in which case the dealer issues you a temporary.

I never understood the “plate stays with a driver” system…it seems like I would always have a plate without a car or a car without a plate.

@asemaster - The “plate stays with a driver” system makes it easier for law enforcement and photo systems, such as tolls, to identify the OWNER of the car. I live in a state where the driver, not the car, owns the plates and I have always insisted that car buyers bring plates to pick up their vehicle purchased from me. That way if they get caught skipping a toll (or robbing a bank) law enforcement doesn’t come knocking on my door. Yeah, yeah, I know that you can always prove that you sold the car but that often requires an appearance in court.

RE: The “plate stays with a driver” system, I didn’t know there was any other system…

One problem is that your plates get very old and beat up. My plates are 30 years old and barely legible. (Actually “plate” since it dates back to the era when the state only used one plate on the rear, no front plate). And, they are a different color than the newer plates.


Out here on the west coast the plates stay with the car. Try to put a car for sale privately without license plates on it. Half the people would walk away just because of that, seems like you’re trying to hide something. In fact often one of the selling “features” is often something like “license plate tabs good for another 6 months”, telling a prospective buyer he won’t have to renew the registration right when he buys the car.

One problem is that your plates get very old and beat up.

Yes, faded and lose their legibility and reflectivity. For that reason a few years ago the state implemented a regulation that license plates over 7 years old get replaced. You can pay a small additional fee to keep the same license number but most people just opt for new plates and number. This sucks for me because the primary method for tracking vehicle history in my shop management software is by license number.