This is a big lesson I’ve learned from leasing my car…

I’m exactly 2 years into my lease and I’ve got 2 more years to go, but here’s the thing…I no longer need my car.

Back in October, my wife and I moved closer to her job for a couple of reasons: we wanted to downsize from a 3 bedroom home to a 1 bedroom apartment and to cut her 2-3 hour round trip commute, all in an effort to save anywhere between $800-$1,000 monthly (savings from a smaller rent versus our mortgage, reducing fuel and tolls, and utility costs). Don’t worry about me because I work from home.

One thing we did not even consider is that we have 2 leased vehicles, my wife now walks to work or I occasionally drop her off in the morning and I work from home and only have the need to drive 2-3 times a week. This means we literally are paying for a monthly lease and auto insurance for a second car that is BARELY being used.

Let me tell you this, you know you don’t need a second car when you wake up in the morning and have to give thought on which car you’d like to use for the day. Like common, it is so ridiculous. It’s a great problem to have because we have made the necessary moves to reduce our cost of living but now here is the tough part…

Getting out of a lease is nearly f-ing impossible!!

I’ve been trying to get rid of my car since December 2017 and we are now in March 2018 and I’ve clearly been unsuccessful at this project. Here is everything I’ve considered:

Sell it to Carmax

I’ve sold other vehicles to Carmax in the past and truth be told it has always been a great experience. So why not try it with my lease. Well, well, well, those were the fastest 5 minutes I’ve spent in Carmax because this option was outright ridiculous.

I literally walked in, asked the question and walked straight out. Their offer was short $12,000 of the buyout price GM Financial has on file. So I would have had to cough up that cash if I wanted to sell it to Carmax.


Sub-lease it

The problem with this is I would take a gamble with a complete stranger driving my car, under my name and my credit and HOPE that they will pay me monthly and on time for the car. Look, I’m trying to reduce exposure and risk in my life and not add more stress. So this option is out of the question.

Give it back to the dealership

I tried pretending I was undergoing financial hardship and told the dealership I couldn’t afford the car. They straight up told me, well you would still need to pay the difference and what you owe which would be about $11,000. I think I told the guy on the phone, “nah, I’ll keep paying it. I’m good.”

Craigslist and Facebook marketplace

I took some decent pictures and posted my car on both Craigslist and Facebook marketplace. I have gotten interested buyers but 90% of them want to sublease it. So I changed my posting title to be “LEASE TRANSFER ONLY – 2016 Cadillac ATS”. Since then, it’s been radio silent. lol. I guess people don’t want to run their credits and be able to drive a car risk free.

I posted my car on this marketplace that only advertises leases you can transfer to other buyers. I thought, BINGO! I’ll definitely be able to get out of my car if I list my car on this site. I had to pay $200 or so to list my car on the site and it includes my car being featured in a newsletter targeted to Florida buyers. You must be reading this and think, I hope this post ends with you finding a buyer and getting rid of your lease, right?

The answer is no.

My car has been on the site for 3 months and I’ve even included a $3,000 cash incentive for whoever wants my damn car!!!

MY car is still in the garage.

In the end, I’ve decided I’m just going to suck it up and deal with it. I’ll wake up every morning playing eeny meeny miny moe to decide which car I’ll drive for the day for the next 2 years until my lease is up. The only way this car will make “financial sense to keep it” is if our circumstance changes, such as new jobs that require commutes or we move from this apartment.

The bottom line is to consider my misery before you lease a car (lol). Getting locked into a 3-4 year lease is a big commitment and it’s very difficult to get out of it. It’s hard to project 3-4 years down the road to consider if you’ll get a new job, move to a new city/state, but if you think there is a slight possibility then don’t get into a lease. From a financial perspective, it possibly may be a better decision to lease versus buying/financing a car, but you forfeit the flexibility to get rid of it if needed and this is a big lesson for me.



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