Autos

The Best Leased Car to Sell for a Profit

Car leasing is a relatively new way for Americans to drive. For most of the history of the American car, people paid cash for cars or borrowed money for them. A few decades ago, car companies put together packages so that people could lease a car without owning it. At the end of the lease, the car was returned to the dealer.

Car prices have skyrocketed in the past year. One reason is pent-up demand from the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Another is low car loan rates. Yet another is that car inventory has collapsed because of a lack of semiconductors that run auto electronic systems. This problem has even shuttered some assembly lines, most recently Toyota’s. The price of used cars has risen as new car inventories disappear.

One of the options people who lease cars generally have at the end of a lease is to buy the car at a prefixed price.

iSeeCars reviewed 10 million cars for a new study. They looked at what the “average three-year-old used car is worth 31.5 percent or $7,019 more than its residual value estimated at the beginning of its leasing term.” So, the three-year-old cars used for the comparison were 2018 models. iSeeCars Executive Analyst Karl Brauer commented:

Dealers calculate a vehicle’s residual value based on its projected depreciation, and this value is locked in at the beginning of a car’s lease. With used car prices at record highs, the market value of leased cars is substantially higher than their residual value, which means that lessees can buy the car at the end of their lease term and sell it themselves for a significant profit.

The leased car people can buy back and sell for the highest profit is the Volkswagen Tiguan, which has a profit level of 61.3%, or on a dollar basis, $8,677. The Tiguan small sport utility vehicle gets fairly good ratings. This includes an 8.1 out of 10 from U.S. News for the 2021 model and 7.3 out of 10 from Edmunds.

These are the 15 best leased cars to sell for a profit:

  • Volkswagen Tiguan: 61.3%
  • Dodge Charger: 55.9%
  • Chevrolet Camaro: 52.9%
  • Nissan Altima: 49.4%
  • Volkswagen Passat: 49.3%
  • Chrysler 300: 49.2%
  • Nissan LEAF: 48.3%
  • Chevrolet Malibu: 48.2%
  • Hyundai Elantra: 47.9%
  • Mazda MAZDA6: 46.8%
  • Kia Forte: 46.7%
  • Jeep Compass: 46.4%
  • Jeep Cherokee: 46.3%
  • Nissan Versa: 46.1%
  • Ford Expedition: 45.8%

Click here to see which is the fastest-selling car in America.