Automotive

End of lease (Audi) coming up - next (Audi vs Tesla) options - looking for advice

  • Last Updated:
  • Jan 30th, 2022 9:54 pm
[OP]
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Jul 18, 2012
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End of lease (Audi) coming up - next (Audi vs Tesla) options - looking for advice

Have an Audi S4 for which the lease comes due in a few months time. I’m debating whether to buy the car outright at the end of lease - or look to finance another vehicle in cash. Looking for some guidance from auto-experts here.

1. Currently have the 2018 S4 with a Technik trim model and has had services (by dealer) done on time
2. It was bought for my daily commute to the local (Oakville) go station + weekend errands + dropping kids off to school when the missus can’t
3. Pandemic has meant that pretty much all of the 3 above never happened and so its mostly sat around collecting dust - its only been run for 19k KMs!
4. We have a second vehicle, SUV, which is generally used for road trips and Long haul travel (most of which also has been severely curbed over the past year and half)
5. Residual end of lease price is about $30k . Market value (from auto trader) is about $40k-$46k
6. I’m seriously considering pivoting to EV - and have my eyes on the Model 3. Model 3 spec’ed out for me comes to about $53k cash
7. Historically, I’ve been a “leasor for life”, but want to “settle” down mostly because I have cash flow to buy outright
8. Would like to have my next vehicle for 5-7+ years at least
9. Use cases won’t really change much - I know I can go for a cheaper EV or gas option - might consider it after I’ve thought through this choice first.

Looking to get some feedback on

1. Given the low mileage of Audi and the residual price - does it make sense to buy it out and drive through for the next 5-6 years. I could try to purchase an extended warranty for peace of mind - or just take it to get serviced/repaired from a non-dealer shop given I own it
2. Does the Tesla last? For 5-7+ years usage - what is the typical repair or maintenance cost I could expect?
3. Do tesla do trade ins? Wondering if I can trade in for higher market value and get credit to total cost of M3.

Any other suggestions or guidance would be welcome!

Tia.
43 replies
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Jul 30, 2007
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Will you continue to work from home for the foreseeable? If yes, can you do with just one family car ?

Even if you buy out the Audi or getting a new Tesla, it will just sit on your driveway and you will still be paying the operating costs. This will certainly make little sense, imo. You could use this money for investment purposes.
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Dec 24, 2009
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Even if you don't want to keep the S4 buy it out at 30k and private sale it for a profit. Used car prices are crazy right now. Tesla unfortunately is the worst for trade it values, not worth trading to them.
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Mar 6, 2003
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Tesla trade in values are basically the wholesale book value.. I didn't find it much worse than if I took my car to a stealership who claimed "I was a valued customer and want your trade, we give top dollar value". For my case, my tires were worn and it needed new brakes and selling it privately would have come out the same or worse (you save taxes on the trade in value difference)

But if your car is somewhat better than average, you might be better off selling privately.
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robbiemurray wrote: Have an Audi S4 for which the lease comes due in a few months time. I’m debating whether to buy the car outright at the end of lease - or look to finance another vehicle in cash. Looking for some guidance from auto-experts here.

1. Currently have the 2018 S4 with a Technik trim model and has had services (by dealer) done on time
5. Residual end of lease price is about $30k . Market value (from auto trader) is about $40k-$46k
One idea is to buyout the lease and sell it--since yours is low kms you will get close to the higher end of that so let's say $13-16k netted due to the crazy market.
robbiemurray wrote: 6. I’m seriously considering pivoting to EV - and have my eyes on the Model 3. Model 3 spec’ed out for me comes to about $53k cash
7. Historically, I’ve been a “leasor for life”, but want to “settle” down mostly because I have cash flow to buy outright
You mean lessee for life. The lessor is the one that leases the car to you. If you have the cash here's one thing not to do with it. Waste it on brand new cars lol. Really you can just buyout the S4 @ $30k and right there that's $23k saved over buying a Model 3. Much better things to do with the money than waste it on a brand new car, which despite the current bubble, will eventually depreciate badly. Even if you were to sell the S4 what you should do with the profit from it is just buy a used car for like $20k or so. Esp. for a car that's not driven much, why would you bother?
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Keep the S4. Build quality of the Tesla is still not up to par imo. No point in getting a new car if you barely use it.
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Oct 26, 2008
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Wouldn't HST apply on the buyout? That $4K would reduce the attractiveness somewhat of the buyout and immediate private resale option.

Another avenue to consider is finding a 3rd party who is looking for a cash deal on a 2018 S4 - as long as the leasing company cooperates on 3rd party buyouts.
They might be more than happy to pay you , say $36K, and then they pay the HST, not you.
Removes the headache of multiple unqualified people doing test drives.

Doesn't sound to me like keeping it yourself is the best option. German cars don't seem to prosper as garage queens. They need regular vigorous exercise.
Maybe look for a good used 2018 Leaf as your migration path into EV ownership.
A Model 3 doesn't sound like a good value proposition for your circumstances.
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Dec 5, 2020
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Whatever option you choose, just don't return the car to the dealer.

That S4 is probably worth ~$40-42k in trade value to an Audi dealer (plus tax shield).

Personally, I'd buy out the S4, slap on an extended warranty, and drive it for 3 - 4 years, then revisit the EV option.
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OP, I 'm at the same boat with a C43, 41000 Km with 72k allowance, Couldn't drive much due to lockdown. I just drive the car once or twice a week to local groceries errands for the last few months before Ontario is re-opened.

I checked the used car market for the same car, with mostly have more KM than I do....and selling 5 to 10k more than my cost (buyback + hst)

I can potential resell it for 5-8k profit, or I may just keep the car afterall. I still have a couple of month to decide.

Back to your scenario, Bobblehead is right, You going to have 2 cars siting at home.
Do you forecast yourself to drive a lot month in the coming months?
I wouldn't rush to buy another car right now.....and trade in to dealer is an horrible idea.

I also agree with @Mando11 on this. Buy it out and keep it or sell it (if you don't need a 2nd car).
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One thing I forgot to mention is that while the used car market is crazy right now, we don't know what it'll be like in a few months. I read some reports that supply is expected to ease as production of new vehicles pick up. I reckon another COVID wave and restriction may result in people selling their cars too in order to make ends meet. Not everyone is as lucky as us where we still have our jobs and am able to make car/insurance payments while the car is collecting dust. I've heard of stories that while CERB/CRB and savings helped, it's a given it won't last forever.

Some automakers are also requiring it so that your only option is to either buy back the car or return it to them at lease end. They will not let someone else take over the lease or buy the car from you. Reason is because of the used car market being so hot so the manufacturers want to make some money off their lease returns as well.
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Everyone in the dealership world is hoping that supply chain constraints ease later this year, but the reality is that there is still no certainty around this (especially given the surge in delta variant cases worldwide).

The other issue we face in Canada is that even as supply starts to slowly tick up, the expectation amongst Canadian dealers is that a greater proportion of allocations will shift towards more profitable geographic regions (i.e. US, Asia, etc).

All to say, that 16,000km 2018 S4 is going to be worth a lot for the foreseeable future.
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Jun 2, 2009
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Echoing a lot of folks comments here. I did the same. Car underutilized, and will likely be WFH for several more months so bought out the lease and sold it.

Whether or not you decide you need an extra vehicle in your fleet, turning in the lease will not be the savvy move.
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poker838 wrote: Echoing a lot of folks comments here. I did the same. Car underutilized, and will likely be WFH for several more months so bought out the lease and sold it.

Whether or not you decide you need an extra vehicle in your fleet, turning in the lease will not be the savvy move.
Mind to share what car was it and how much profit you made? How long it takes you to sold it? is there tons of interest?
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buy it out and keep it for now....or sell privately with the market hot then pay cash for Tesla.

But don't just return it.
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Sell private party, or find private buyer to take over lease and hand you cash. I guarantee that Tesla isn't going to offer you enough for your non-Tesla trade.

Tesla demand is currently the strongest it's ever been, resale values on 2 year old vehicles are essentially the same as new pricing.

LOTS of upsides when you go from Audi to Tesla and a few downsides.

Tesla EASILY has better ergonomics, tech and performance. It's also a larger vehicle (Model 3 vs A4) with FAR more space for luggage and centre console storage.

Audi has better cupholders (spring loaded but VERY poorly located) and better blind spot indicators (they're perfect IMO). I also prefer the look of the A4 steering wheel (Tesla steering wheel is pretty bland).
Last edited by Rob_EV on Aug 9th, 2021 4:05 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Keep the S4. You aren't driving enough to justify the extra cost of the TM3.
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[OP]
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Thank you all for the super insightful responses.

1. Wife is on the road end of this month - so primary car will be making trips across ON
2. Second car is necessity for kids drop off and pick up plus my imminent return to work via Go station in about a month (unless plus plus hits us with another wave).
3. Tesla have quoted me $41k for trade in today - I’ve yet to call back and speak about details.
4. I understand the investment vs attritional return on a vehicle - and certainly something to look into further.
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41k is actually not bad consider it also help you saving tax on the new Tesla and hassle free.

Something to think about.
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Excellent trade in value (surprisingly)
Do need a second vehicle soon
Dream of owning a Tesla

Looks like a go for the Tesla Thumbs Up Sign
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Bought my Tesla used. 2020 with less then 20000km from a Ford dealer. Only way to get fair price for your trade.
I would sell the S4 and buy a used car until the pandemic situation is more stable.
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