Why Does a Dealer Buy a Lease End Car?

by Mark Ivanko

So you're wondering why a dealership would want to buy that three-year-old car that you're giving back to get the newest and best model available. Well, that used lease may be worth more than you think.

Used Car Manager's Dream

Most cars that come off lease are first looked at by car dealers to see if they can be sold in the used car department. A low-millage lease return could be a gold nugget for a dealership.

Keep Your Manufacturer Happy

Manufacturers like to see dealerships buying back lease returns, since it helps keep the make with a dealer that has both the resources to sell and to maintain the vehicle. This also helps retain the vehicle's value, since you know that the car has been maintained by a dealership it's entire life.


Some manufacturers actually give their dealerships extra cash for buying back lease-end vehicles. Dealerships will usually list the lease returns certified for resale. Manufacturers will often demand that dealerships sell certified vehicles to meet certain quarterly requirements.

Keep it Local

Most used car buyers like to know where their used car was before they are buying it. A used car that was owned locally and only by one other owner will have a big advantage to a potential buyer over a similarly equipped vehicle found elsewhere with two or three owners.

The Costco Method

Dealerships will sometimes be able to buy vehicles for less than their residual values if they purchase a set number of lease returned vehicles at once. Remember the banks want these cars sold as quickly as possible after they return off lease. Storage fees can add up quickly.

About the Author

Mark Ivanko is an experienced automotive and technical writer. He has been working in the automotive industry since 2005. He specializes in European automakers, but keeps his ear to the ground on anything and everything automotive. Ivanko attended New York University, where he got a bachelor's degree in mathematics.

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