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Lease Termination Fees and other costs

I have a lease that I need to end was a 42 month lease for a Nissan Pathfinder that is over mileage ($1320 according to the Nissan dealer)has a cracked windshield and bald front tires. I need to end the lease early as I am starting a new sales job and the mileage that I will put on a car will be extensive. I am nearly locked in on purchasing a Nissan Altima, however I feel the dealers fees are unreasonable for my early termination. They are saying $1972 for the remaining payments on my lease PLUS an early lease termination fee ($350 included in the above figure) AND mileage overage. Isn't there a way I should be able to negotiate these fees down or off entirely since I am purchasing another Nissan? I've heard that people have done this. Please advise! I think I'm getting taken advantage of!


  • landru2landru2 Posts: 638
    I would be very surprised if those charges weren't outlined on the lease contract that you signed when you got the Pathfinder.

    You did read the contract you signed, right?
  • Hi patsy7. I am sorry to hear that you need to get out of your current lease early. It is usually fairly expensive for lessees to get out of their current deals many months prior to their scheduled termination dates. The dealership that you are working with does not have the power to just make your current truck disappear. If they help you pay the penalty that you will have to pay for ending your lease early, it will just cut into their profit on the Altima and hurt your ability to negotiate an attractive deal. The least expensive way for you to get out of your Pathfinder would probably be to purchase it from the bank that you are leasing it through and sell it on your own or trade it in on your new car. To find out if this is a feasible option, you need to place a call to Nissan Motor Acceptance Corp., or whichever bank you are leasing your Pathfinder through, to find out exactly how much money it would cost you to buy it right now. Certain banks are actually willing to negotiate lower lease-end purchase prices in some instances, but since you are trying to get out of this deal early that will probably will not be the case in your situation. Once you know how much it will cost to buy your truck, you need to compare that figure to what one could realistically expect to get for it on the open market. You can get a pretty good idea of this vehicle's actual value by looking up its True Market Value in the Used Car Appraiser section of this site or by stopping by the Real-World Trade-In Values discussion where one of our most knowledgeable community members, Terry, is often kind enough to give consumers an idea of what their vehicles are worth. If the difference between your Pathfinder's actual value and your cost to purchase it is less than what you would have to pay to just break your lease at this point then you may want to consider buying it and selling it or trading it in.

    By far, your least expensive option would be to keep your Pathfinder and if you are way over your mileage allowance, just purchase it at the end of your term and continue to drive it.

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  • grandtotalgrandtotal Posts: 1,207
    You're going to have to repair or replace the windshield and replace the bald front tires too.
  • ksurgksurg Posts: 48
    I'm 30 months into a 36 month Audi A6 4.2 lease. I'm under mileage but have some minor body damage which I can fix for about $1000. I was surprised to learn that with early termination I was responsible for a "garage fee" for the remainder of the lease and any difference between the anticipated residual and the actual residual( sort of blows away the concept of a closed end lease). I'm willing to make the remaining lease payments but being responsible for the residual and the garage fee seems unreasonable, especially since they will clear it at auction almost immediately. Oh and BTW this has not been a typically termination clause based on the 4 or 5 leases I have had previously. It is particularly sad given it is a standard VW financial lease. Even BMW is more friendly( I plan on taking delivery on a 04' 745i in about 4 weeks). Any suggestions, or should I just take my lumps and get out?
  • Hi ksurg. If you are going to have to make all of the remaining payments on your Audi and are way under your allotted mileage, why not just keep it for the last couple of months and drive it occasionally? Of course, you will have to continue to insure it, but I probably would choose to keep the car rather than turn it in if I had to pay for it anyways. If Audi is going to charge you all sorts of early termination fees, you always have the option to purchase your leased vehicle and sell it on your own or trade it in on your next vehicle. You may find that your vehicle is actually worth close to your purchase option price if you are way under your allotted mileage. In order to find out if purchasing your car is a realistic option, you need to figure out what it is realistically worth on the open market right now and then compare that figure to a purchase quote that you get from the bank that you are leasing it through.

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  • To change the thread... The lease on my '01 Pathfinder is almost up. I am trying to find out what to expect when I walk in to buy-out the lease. I want to turn my [non-permissible content removed]-u-mes into something I can rely on.

    -My assumption is that since I Leased from NMAC, I can return at a different dealer?
    -What kind of 'fees' can I expect to be charged? In looking at my contract, I will be responsible for the $150 buy-out-fee and the end-of-lease buy-out price of 16,563.80. Taxes and title fees on top of this- will I have to relicense with the state (Colorado)?

    Aside from those questions I need to find out what kind of 'phases' I will go through in buying the lease out? e.g., Buying a new car generally involves three phases: actual car price negotiations; trade-in credit; last, finance dept. I would be shocked if it was just, "'Here, take money.' 'Here, take keys.'" I am already expecting the pitches for the extended warranty (Don't want) and in-house financing (Getting outside financing from CU). What am I missing or should be aware of either money or other?

    Thanks for the help:)
  • If you're buying out, you don't need to "walk in" anywhere. Just call up Toyota Finance (I assume you leased through them) and tell them you want to buy it out. They'll tell you where to send the check, and when they get it, they'll send you a title. No dealership involved. You _might_, though, want to see if you can negotiate the buyout price. Check with Terry (rroyce10) over in Smart Shopper/Real-World Trade-In Values and ask how much your truck is actually worth. If it's less than the buyout, you might be able to convince Toyota to lower the buyout. If I remember correctly, they rarely, if ever, do, but it can't hurt to try.
  • Thanks for the advice. I called NMAC and got a payoff faxed over (Residual is non-negotiable:( ). My CU is going to do a loan for 4%. Best of all, no yahoos to deal with at a dealership.

    The regional Kelly Blue Book is about $1500 above residual and locally about $2-3,000 above residual.

    I'm shocked- Take Money- Take Keys- Good to go:)
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    If you have to pay the lease payments for the Audi, why not just keep it until the end of the lease? You only have 6 months left. The BMW 745 will still be there in July.
  • rroyce10rroyce10 Posts: 9,359
    ....... Good point, it's not like anyone is beating a path to buy the new "7", it might even be the same one sitting there with a nice rebate in the trunk .......... :)

  • bobputbobput Posts: 22
    I would like to know what "damage allowance" may apply by American Honda- I've seen $1500, 1200 & 500 on various postings, but don't find anything specific in my 3/01 lease (42mo). Over mileage by 7-8K --do they always stick to the 15c/mile in the lease, if vehicle is worth more than the residual? Anything to negotiate anywhere? All else equal, leasing an '04 or '05 would please my wife.
  • atlgaxtatlgaxt Posts: 501
    With the high resale values on the MDX, I would buy it and sell it or trade it. I'm not sure about the damage allowance, but they will probably try to stick it to you for the mileage. I think some of these factors used to be more negotiable upon a trade in, but it seems they have been getting pretty tough lately.

    I bought a car two months before my last lease was up. I tried to make the last payment and give it back. They did not want it until the lease was up. I was right at my mileage limit, so I had to park the stupid thing and pay insurance for two months. It made no sense to me. They said if I brought it in early, they would take it to auction and I would have to pay the difference between that and residual, which probably would have been thousands (I guess I did OK leasing their in the big picture - they took a big hit on the bad residual). But their policies at the end are ridiculous.
  • bobputbobput Posts: 22
    Thanks for the response--What was your leasing co?--That's what I'm trying to get a feel for--sorry yours was so inflexible-before the MDX I leased 2 Windstars thru Ford, & couldn't complain-- there "damage allowance" seemed weird: $250 allowed on each quarter of the exterior! but still would like to know AHFC Honda policy and $. WORST thing is Lease says will only tranfer MDX directly to MY name--so I guess the sales tax on residual price would have to be paid by me, and then again by any buyer-- unless I become a licensed dealer--Any way around this??? Thanks
  • bobputbobput Posts: 22
    I also forgot to ask if AHFC does extensions--since my lease is up Sep 3, if I wanted to trade into a 2005 model, a 2-4 mo extention might be good-Ford did this for me more or less automatically.
  • Hi BOBPUT. AHFC does extend its leases for a few months for consumers who wish to. Place a call directly to AHFC and they will tell you exactly how to do so.

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  • atlgaxtatlgaxt Posts: 501
    I was leasing through Provident Bank. They gave me a good overall deal (there were no special or subsidized deals from the manufacturer at the time I did it), but I guess because it was a bank and not a car company, they were less flexible at the end.

    Upon inspection, they noted minor damage on our car and the fact that it had been wrecked and fixed. The wreck was not our fault and was paid for by the other insurance company, and the inspector claimed it was not fixed right. I thought I was going to be in for a fight, but then they just waived all the damage that the inspector identified.

    Typically leases will extend beyond expiration on a month to month basis on the same basic terms, but you would have to look at your contract to see the exact language. Sales tax varies by state to state. I believe in Georgia (my state), I would have had to bay taxes to buy the car, but there are no taxes on private party sales. I am not sure how your state operates. Sorry I can't help more, but issues such as your original lease contract and the laws of the state you are in will control your specific circumstances. I used to do OK leasing, but in the last few years I have been doing to much driving, so I am back to buying.
  • garigari Posts: 10

    I've got a 2003 Nissan Xterra with 19 months left on the lease. I'm moving back to NYC from Cali. and don't really need the vehicle. I've looked into the lease trading sites and was wondering if anyone has had any experience - good or bad, with them? I know that I'm still on the lease even if I transfer. All of the lease trading services offer an "insurance plan". What I'd like to know is: are these plans really reliable? does anyone have a success story?? ANY info would be helpful!!

    Thank you.
  • normineznorminez Posts: 1
    Our lease will be due in early September. We leased our 2001 Honda Civic for my 18 year old son's birthday as a new vehicle. We have a predicament: we just found out that my our 2001 Honda Civic will need a transmission which will cost at least $1,000. The car never gave us a visual warning/indicator that something was wrong. Could this be a defect? According to the CARFAX report, the last odometer reading was reported on 12/2/02. However, we have been taking the car for tune-ups and maintenance service at the Honda Dealer on a consistent basis. Is Honda Repair Service supposed to report this to the CARFAX? CARFAX also estimates that the Honda "has 4 months or 10,349 miles remaining on the basic warranty which provides bumper-to-bumper coverage." Is transmission problems part of the basic warranty?

       In addition, my son was in a minor accident. In 2002, a few days before his 18th birthday, the car was hit on the left back side by an uninsured and unlicensed motorist. Three estimates indicated an average cost of over $3,000 to repair the damage. Unfortunately due to our bad judgment, my husband and I were the only insured drivers and my two teen-aged sons were excluded due to high insurance rates. Can you give us advice in dealing with these problems since the lease will be due in September?
  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,770
    good news: the transmission is covered.
    bad news: you have to have the body damage properly repaired, at your expense.
    good news: it's a lease, so as long as it's repaired right, you walk away from it. even with the best possible repair, the car has taken a hit in value with the body work, but that is the leasing company's problem.
    this is the only advantage of leasing that i am aware of...

    so you're altogether not in bad shape... have the repair done right, spend the $3k, and figure you saved a similar amount by not paying insurance for your son.

  • hpoohhhpoohh Posts: 35
    2002 Corolla, 5 months remaining on a 36 months lease, term is 15k/yr.
    But the car has only 31k as of today, and i don't think i can put on another 14k miles in 5 months.
    I will probably lease another Toyota after this one.
    Do you think if i can get some incentive or a better deal on the next car?
    someone suggested to buy it and sell it in the open market. But the residual is $8600 and the TMV from is around $8200 for trade in. It make no sense to pay the $8600 + 8.25% tax in CA and resell it for $8200.
    Any idea?
  • Hi hpoohh. Unless you are absolutely positive that your leased Corolla is worth more on the open market than it would cost you to purchase it at the end of your lease, you should not buy it. There would be nothing worse than going through all of the trouble of purchasing this car, selling it on your own, and losing money on the whole ordeal. Banks do not refund money to lessees for unused mileage. So unfortunately, you will not get any sort of consideration for the fact that you will have over 10,000 allowable miles remaining on your Corolla. If you do lease again, as you mentioned you would in your post, you may want to consider leasing with only 12,000 miles per year.

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  • hpoohhhpoohh Posts: 35
    Thanks Car_man

    I am pretty sure that the leased corolla is worth LESS than the open market. So what i am going to do is to drive the hell out of it and use as much mileage as possible.

    My other 2003 4runner's got bad mileage anyway 16-18mpg so i can save some gas $$$

    My last leased VW Golf was 8K miles over when i return it. That's why i opt for 15k/yr when i leased the corolla. But somehow, office moved to like 8miles from my home instead of 35miles and that's how i get the extra mileage.

    Thanks for your advise.
  • You're welcome, hpoohh. It's always better to be under mileage than over :).

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  • hospsafehospsafe Posts: 4
    Ok..let me see if I understand everything posted here. It seems like every post here mentions a part of my current predicament. I have a 2001 VW Beetle GLS 14000 miles. Lease runs out in January 2005. Based on the posts here I guess I can't get out of it sooner, even though it has incredibly low miles. If I am wrong please tell me. Secondly, I have a 2001 EB Expendition will 42,000 miles. The lease runs out next May. I already know I want another EB Expedition. My guess is that Ford will not let me out of the current lease even though they could get me locked into another 3 year lease for more money. Again if I am wrong please tell me. Finally, what paperwork do I need to bring with me to the dealer if I want my company's name on the registration? Thanks.
  • jab3jab3 Posts: 1
    Just ended a lease with Provident Automotive Leasing. On the lease settlement there is a line for Personal Property Tax. Does anyone know what this is for and is this common when you turn in a leased vehicle at maturity.
  • carguy79carguy79 Posts: 23
    Personal property tax is not determined by the bank, it is required by some states. I handle lease end for several clients and this is a common fee. Most states I have dealt with, that charge this tax, collect this tax in the arrears. (2003 tax due Jan 1 2004)
  • faizurfaizur Posts: 2
    I signed a lease back in Nov. 2000 for 4 years which is due this Nov. Long story short, they cheated me and I signed the lease without understanding it, any way trying to give back the car and get couple of thousands, finally, they agreed to get back the car and will pay for remaining 3 months, but at least I want my personal property tax back and want them to address me an agreement not to charge for excess wears and tears and pay for year 2003 property tax. They might agree with some of those agreements. It is a 2001 honda accord car, 485 monthly payment, 12k/yr, 13K residual, cap cost was 27k, rent charge 9.5K, huh, shame on me.

    Now I want to know, what should I do? I need a car, but don't have any cash in hand, fair credit history, but stable job and last 45 months of Auto payment.

    I really appreciate any suggestions and good advice in this regard.
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    I am having trouble following your post. Why are you asking them to pay your property tax? What does that have to do with the car lease? Also, why would the lease company sign something stating that they will waive excess wear and tear charges? Why not just give the car back and be done with it?
  • audia8qaudia8q Posts: 3,138
    This is the line I have trouble with...

    "they cheated me and I signed the lease without understanding it.."

    why try to blame others for your own foolish decision? Why would you sign a financial contract without understanding what your singing?? Did they hold a gun to your head and say "sign or else?"

    Whatever happend to being accountable for your own actions?

    FISH8....some states have personal property tax on cars. Here in CT a $20K car will cost you $400-800 per year depending on your town tax rates.
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    Here in Ga, we have a similar tax...called ad velorum tax. But, my confusion was why would he/she expect the dealer or manufacturer to pay for the tax on the car? That is one's personal responsibility to pay if they own or lease a car.
  • faizurfaizur Posts: 2
    They put me on a lease saying buying and leasing is same which is not true. That's why I need the Property tax back which I shouldn't pay if I purchase the vehicle what I was intended at that time.
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    It is very unfortunate, but that is not the dealers fault, it is the purchaser's. It is their responsiblity to research and make sure they understand all contracts prior to signing. Here in GA, a salsman can say ANYTHING (lies) to get you to buy the car and it is not illegal.

    Also, at least in GA, you pay "property tax" whether you buy OR lease.
  • rroyce10rroyce10 Posts: 9,359
    .... ** They put me on a lease saying buying and leasing is same which is not true **

                If your Real Estate agent said: "buying and leasing is the same", would you still lease the property.? .. come on, lets be honest here, your blaming the dealer for "your" decision ......

  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    Hi hospsafe,

    I have now a Ford Windstar lease which ends in Jan. '05, and I got an offer from Ford to lease a new Freestar, and they will waive up to 10 remaining payments on my current lease, so no early termination fees or whatever - just go to the dealer, and ask them for the special offer (I think the name of the program is 'early bird') and that's it. Drive home with the new car.

    So why "guess" that Ford will not let you out of your current lease. Try to ask them, it couldn't hurt :-) Especially now, that due to the higher fuel prices, sales for the Expedition is dropping and Ford is desperate for sales, so you can get a good deal, maybe for even less money than your old Expedition.

    I'm not sure about Volkswagen, but if you want to take another VW, sometimes they will allow you to end your lease early. I know some people who got such kind of offers from them. But again, ask them. It doesn't cost you anything, except for some time on the phone (and phone charges if it isn't a 800 number :-)

    Good Luck!
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,798
    ** They put me on a lease saying buying and leasing is same which is not true **
                If your Real Estate agent said: "buying and leasing is the same", would you still lease the property.? .. come on, lets be honest here, your blaming the dealer for "your" decision ......

    They were not lying, baloon payments are purchases, not leases. The car is probably registered in Faizur's name.
  • catscats Posts: 2
    I am looking at a first time lease .... I have a 1997 Honda Accord with 84,000, so I am not a high mileage user, but still wonder if I am making the best choice. I am looking at a 2004 VW Passat GLS for $25,274 before a down payment of $3,000. I was quoted a 4 year lease payment of $295 with 15K miles per year. Purchasing would be $430 for 5 years. Two main questions: should I consider a 3 year lease if I go the lease route (approx. $20 more), or should I stop shopping for 5 years and PURCAHSE the Passat? Thanks, Murphy
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    What are the options on the Passat you are looking at? That sounds like a very HIGH price for a Passat GLS. I just leased a '04 with automatic for $21,900 ($1,000 under Invoice). $3000 Down payment on a leased vehicle is NOT a good idea. If you are buying the car, that is one thing. But, you should not put that much money down on a leased vehicle. There are incentives out now on Passats that you can take advantage of. Just look in Edmunds under rebates and incentives.

    Shop around and oyu will get a better deal.
  • Does anyone know what the approximate wholesale value on this vehicle would be with 7700 miles on the odometer, and the vehicle in outstanding condition? The vehicle is the coupe, not the convertible. I'm looking to end my lease early, and need to know what this figure would be.
  • Hi crazyfool. If you want to know what your leased car is currently worth, you can look up its True Market Value in the following section of this site: Used Vehicle Pricing. You also may want to stop by the following discussion that appears here on the Smart Shoppers Message Board: Real-World Trade-In Values. One of our most knowledgeable community members, Terry, hangs out there and he is often kind enough to give people an idea of what their used vehicle is worth if they give him a detailed description of it, including where they live.

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  • robco62robco62 Posts: 5
    Dear car man,
    I have a lease on a 2002 Jetta 1.8T with 32,500 miles. My question is whether I should buy the car out or not. The facts:
    If I terminate, I will owe $250 term. fee, about $350 for miles (10k/yr.), and , because of the poor rear bumper design on this VW, I am expecting to have to repair all the dings, perhaps $500? So I might be looking at about 1,000-1,200 to give them the car back. OUCH! I could then buy another car. Advantage, I paying down a new car, disadvantage, I will spend maybe 5K more than buying car out.
    Or, I can buy the Jetta- The residual with tax/title-1,000 rebate is $14,612, which is I beleive less than blue book.
    I like the car, don't love it. Advantage- less money, discdavantage, I'm paying down a car that will be 7 years old by time I finish payments. Your sage counsel would be welcomed.
  • Hi robco62. I think that this is more a matter of personal preference than a situation that has a right and a wrong answer. If you were significantly over your mileage allowance I would be more inclined to recommend that you purchase this car. However, having to pay your normal disposition fee, $350 in excess mileage charges, and perhaps a few buck for some scratches on the bumper really is not that bad. If you have enjoyed driving this car, have not had any major mechanical problems with it, have not been in an accident, and feel as though it would cost you less to exercise your lease-end purchase option than it would to purchase an equivalent car on the open market then you may want to consider buying it. If you've had problems with this car, played bumper cars with it, or if you feel as though it's price is a little on the high side, then you should just walk away from it.

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  • Hi, quick question. I recently lease a toyota sequoia. I am in month 32 out of 60 months. I can get more for my car selling it privately vs. trading it in. So, am I allowed to do that? I just don't trust toyota, they kind of screwed me when I leased this car while trading in previous lease, so I am done with leasing and just want to start fresh. Are there other fees other than what my buyout amount is from the bank? It is early termination, but I am not turning the car in. Do I have the ability to do it this way. Thanks a bunch.
  • Hi netchick. You can purchase your leased truck and try to trade it in or sell it on your own, however it will likely be very expensive for you to do so. Not only is there a good chance that it will cost you more to buy your truck than it is worth on the open market right now, but if you do so the bank that you are leasing it through may still want you to pay them your remaining payments. As you can see this could end up being very expensive.

    Generally speaking, consumers are able to get more for their vehicles by selling them privately than by trading them in. Having said this, the more expensive the vehicle that you are trying to sell is, the more difficult it will be for you to find someone who has the resources to purchase it from you. Unfortunately, you are probably going to lose money trying to get out of your lease almost 30 months prior to its scheduled termination date, but you may be able to minimize your losses if you are able to do a private sale. Your least expensive option would be to continue leasing your Sequoia until you are much closer to its end. I could understand trying to get out of your lease if you could no longer afford to make the payment, you are way over your mileage allowance, or you needed a different size vehicle, but to do so just because you don't trust Toyota does not make a while lot of financial sense.

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  • Oh, no, I wasn't thinking of trading in my car cause I don't trust toyota, I am planning to purchase a house next year and want to sock away as much money as I can and wanted to get into something smaller, I just wanted to know if trading in to Toyota was my only option, because it's my least favorite. Thanks for your insightful information.

  • You're very welcome, Nanci. I know how expensive purchasing a new home can be and completely understand where you're coming from. You can trade your car in on any brand that you would like, not just Toyota. The problem is that you will likely lose a lot of money when you do so.

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  • Save your money that you would spend buying out the lease and then buy your house.

    I'll bet the house that if you take your residual (per your lease agreement) + 30 months of Payments + Sales tax on the residual you are going to be thousands of dollars higher than what you could get on the open market for it.
  • My girlfriend leased a Nissan 240sx for 5 years and was allowed 1250 miles per month (didn't go over the mileage) and she just turned in the car. We received a bill for $1,200 for excessive wear and tear. There were two small dings on the doors and a puncture hole in the rear bumper. How do they determine excessive wear and tear on a 5 yr old car that has 75,000 miles on it and should I just pay the charge or is there a way for me to challenge it?
  • That sounds about right. I had to replace the rear bumper on a '01 Cadillac STS after I bumped into a pole (small puncture whole) because they can't repair the bumpers on a lot of these new cars with the dampening material in them (once it's damaged, it's useless). That was a $1,400 hit.

    Why worry about it or challenge it now when she knew taking it back with the damage would cost her? Did she bother getting the damage estimated before turning it in?
  • I currently lease an 03 Expedition, I have 27 payments left. The car is just too big. The bank has told me I can be outof it for 28483.94 + sales tax unless I trade it in to a dealer. My question is with all the incentives right now wouldn't this be the best time to trade it in using those incentives toward my pay-off. Also a dealer was trying to explain to me they have a formula where they take the remaining payments and look at paying that, Do they just let it sit on their lot until the lease is up 20 some months down the line? Thanks dburke
  • Could you please provide the following:

    MSRP new (if known)
    Major options
    Miles (currently)
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