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2004-2009 Toyota Prius Prices Paid and Buying Experience



  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    There is no way.

    You signed the papers accepting the deal as it was and the original deal was not a scam or an error by either party.
    You would lose the sales tax you paid the first time and still have to pay sales tax and doc fees again on the resale.
    The car would be used and not qualify for the new car interest rate.
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    Resale value of the Prius will be affected more by the price of gasoline than by a restyled new version being released.
    If gas prices keep dropping, resale for all hybrids will plummet.
    If gas prices go back to the previous highs or go even higher, the resale will skyrocket regardless of the new model. People were paying top dollar for old Geo Metros last year that people couldn't give away the year before.
  • amshamsh Posts: 3
    you kined a late you think too much if you are in S. CA there no 09 prius out there no more my friend so . you just missed it
  • amshamsh Posts: 3
    he is not telling u the truth rebate and incentive comes out evry first monday in the month not on a sunday
  • amshamsh Posts: 3
    since when HYundai and kia has hibred go get ur self some Korean car u dont deserve a priuse
  • ajp7ajp7 Posts: 5

    Looking for MF's and residuals for Southern California, for 36 months with either 12k or 15k. I am looking at the Prius III with Nav Package.

    Cheers and thanks for all your help over the years!
  • dogsonboarddogsonboard Posts: 23
    you kined a late you think too much if you are in S. CA there no 09 prius out there no more my friend so . you just missed it

    Ummm, not so much.

    Random SoCal Toyota dlrship

    First SoCal dealer to come up on Google, 5/11 4pm Pacific, shows 8 '09 Prii hangin' about.

    So maybe there are a few in SoCal?
  • bob104bob104 Posts: 94
    Plenty of Priuses at Toyota of Santa Maria, CA. 14 of them. I had an excellent experience with them when I got my 08 there. In 02 I bought a new last-year's Civic in Oxnard, CA for $1700 below invoice. I would think that buying an 09 now is a pretty good idea and I agree with the reasoning that ANY 45mpg car is going to be a hot item when gasoline is back in the $4.70 range, as it was here last year. I would guess the differential between an 09 and a 10 would be in the range of $3,000-4,000.
    The gasoline savings of 10 over 09 appears to be something like an insignificant 17 gallons per year. I'm not sure how the advertised power difference plays out. To my taste my 08 has plenty of power. I'd be tempted to go for the 10 if they permit towing. Any info on that?
  • bob104bob104 Posts: 94
    I called a dealer and they said no towing with the '10.
  • prc2prc2 Posts: 16
    I received a quote for a 2009 Package #6 today at slightly over invoice (less than $200), but the quote added on a $650 "bank fee" and a $45 "doc fee." Is this customary with Toyotas?

  • My experience with a dealer in Oregon is the only applicable info I can provide.

    In Oregon, Dealer Doc fee is set to $50.00 fixed, by law. Bank fee - what the heck is that? There is title and sales tax where I live. Both are well documented, easily calculated, and reasonable.

    I recently haggled over a 2009 level 6 Touring.

    Got the deal negotiated to invoice +$509 + $50.00 Doc fee + $8.00 title transfer fee + 6% sales tax (I'm an out-of-state buyer). I didn't accept the deal and walked away because I felt the car should simply have been sold a flat invoice. The sales manager didn't want to go lower, because he felt there was still demand for the 2009s, and he wanted at least $500 over invoice. That, and I think I p***ed him off because I had the gall to tell him the vehicle was only worth invoice, *at best*. The dealership had a couple of other 2009s on the lot, and had already received and sold a 2010 (at a healthy markup, I might add).

    I'll be curious to see what will happen. In this part of the world, Toyota is offering $1,000 cash rebate or 0% for 60 months. In Nevada, it's a $2,000 rebate. I suspect Toyota may have to increase rebates to move unsold units in June.

    For a number of years (almost a decade!), Toyota has had the hybrid market to themselves, and have had the luxury of "the wind at their back". A good economy, ever rising fuel prices, and a growing market with no real competitors, return customers who traded in for newer models, and great word-of-mouth. Toyota Dealers have had the luxury of basically cashing the MSRP purchase checks from hard working well meaning buyers.

    All of a sudden, fuel prices are half what they were a year ago, the economy is, shall we say, poor, and there's competitors like Honda and Ford getting into the hybrid game.

    Granted, Toyota (and their affiliated dealers) are not impaired the way, say Chrysler and its dealers are, but it's more a headwind than a tailwind right now for Toyota dealers. For me, I'm going to take a hard look at a F**d hybrid. I'll wait and see if Toyota raises its rebates in June before I go back to look at a 2009 Prius.

    I don't need to buy a new car, let alone buy one right now. There's going to be several *years* of tough economy ahead of us, and there's always another sale on the horizon. Don't rush out to buy a 2009, either. There are plenty of 2009s out there on the dealer lots. And the 2010s look a better buy.

    My best to you,

  • prc2prc2 Posts: 16
    Thanks for your response, Kevin. I unfortunately have a lease that ends on 06/01, so I need to weigh my options now. That being said, you are 100% correct re: waiting, if you can.
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    I'd ask them to explain the "bank fee". If this is a purchase then any financing fees you pay the bank would be between you and the bank. If you are getting the Toyota 0% financing, then them charging a fee sorta kills the whole 0% concept.

    If they simply want to gouge you tell them to do it straight to your face. I hate hidden fees.
  • hymileshymiles Posts: 2
    I want to lease a 2009 Prius, either a Touring or the Package 6. Could someone share the MF and residuals for this area. BTW-considering Toyota of Walnut Creek. Reactions, good or not so much?
  • cptgrpcptgrp Posts: 3
    I just leased a 2009 Prius on Monday 05/18/2009 before the registration fee increase (magnetic gray, package 5 plus dealer installed leather seats).

    Adjusted capitalized cost: $26,033.89
    Residual: $15,851.00
    36-month lease, 12K miles per year
    Monthly: $335 plus tax
    Due at signing: $1,988

    Decent deal?
  • udprideudpride Posts: 3
    Bear with me If I may, as a business owner who has leased 9 cars and has owned everything from a Suzuki Samurai to a 911 Turbo. Been reading this thread for months. I'll be less specific but use the above lease as an example of a much broader issue I have on the Prius and Toyota in particular.

    Im not sure why Toyota's lease terms are so pedestrian, especially on the Prius which is currently sitting by the dozens on lots after Toyota ramped up production during $4.00 gas only to see the cars flood the market when gas came back down to $1.85.

    On a $26,000 car, $390 a month ($335 + $2000 amortized) is just not very competitive compared to other car companies. I think in the case of a Prius, its probably a competitive deal with other Priuses, but thats where it ends. Its what keeping people like me from stepping onto a Toyota dealership to consider purchasing one.

    Im leasing a $38,000 Infiniti for $410 a month (includes the cap reduction). For $20 more a month Im driving a $13,000 more car (in other words Im driving 50% more car for 5% more money).

    The three year residual on Infinitis and Priuses are both industry leading so those are a wash.

    With those numbers above on the Prius, the revenue margin is around $4,000 which is just way way way too much on any Toyota unless its a Land Cruiser.

    The depreciation Toyota and the Toyota Motor Credit must carry is $26,033 (selling price) less $15,851 (residual) or $10,182 in monetary spread over 36 months. Basically the car they give you vs the car you give back. They need to cover at least $10,182.

    You are spending $335/mth x 36 months or $12,060 + another $2000 in cap reduction/deposit. Thats $14,060 in total payments.

    $14,060 - $10,182 = $3,878 in estimated profit. Considering a lease, in theory anyway, is merely a purchase of the amount of car you actually use (your 36 months worth), I think making $107/mth on your $390/mth (all monies rolled in and amortized) is borderline ridiculous on the part of Toyota. Thats 25% profit. Not on a buy. On a lease! This margin should be closer to 10% or one of two things is apparent:

    a) their terms are too high
    b) the car is luxury, exclusive, and/or low volume production and you are purchasing panache and customer care and exclusivity.

    I think its safe to say while Toyota dealers treat customers well, no one will ever mistake the local Toyota dealer out by the airport for the guy driving an Audi RS4 and expecting everyone to fall hand over foot for him in exchange for paying a premium markup.

    Again, Im not comparing your deal to other Prius deals. I think for the most part your deal probably parlays fairly well with other Prius leases. Im just taking the time to point out that Toyota is charging margins on a $26,000 econobox you normally do not see unless you are shopping at a dealership with the names BMW, Rang Rover, or Mercedes-Benz on the outside and are being asked to spend $55-70K. I could see 25% markup on a low volume niche luxury item like the Land Cruiser (maybe), but not the Prius. If Priuses were on an 18 month wait, that would be different, but they are everywhere -- not just because gas is down, but because nobody is buying or leasing period and inventory is rotting under the sodium lights.

    In many respects I want to own a Prius. I think the car has a lot going for it. But until Toyota sniffs reality and understands I can drive a $40,000 car for nearly the same lease terms, the only good buy is the goodbye folks say as they walk out of the Toyota dealership and pick up far more car for the same amount of money somewhere else.

    The one saving grace is as the lessee, you could buy the car outright at lease end, flip it, and attempt recover the equity in it to recover some of your overpayment. But you're still effectively giving Toyota an interest free loan for 36 months for that privilege. Your line of credit is being abused one way or another. In some respects the consumer must accept responsibility for much of this. They are still feeding into the Prius frenzy and unprepared or unwilling to challenge Toyota on it. I firmly believe Toyota is still feeding the appetite of people who "have to have a Prius or else" however and are taking financial advantage by placating to their desires. They simply trumpet the fuel economy tune and hope that the consumer overlooks all the other red flags.

    My advice. If you really want a Prius, walk onto a lot, find one in a color and option package you can live with thats not too hateful thats collecting dust on the back 40, and ask to the see the manager. Offer him cash paid in full for X over invoice for it. If he says no, thank him for his time and walk out. Then go the next dealer. By the end of the day youll have the car you want and wont overpay.

    Im just not convinced Prius lease terms are advantageous in the slightest compared to lease terms from other manufacturers, especially since everyone is giving away strong financing terms to anyone with a pulse. Shoot, it might just be the Prius and a Corolla lease term could be totally pliable and sane, but I have not digested Corollas lately.

    With dealers taking a bath as they are (all of them), do not throw away your negotiating power by aimlessly leasing to terms someone gave you. The only vote of displeasure is the one your wallet votes with. And never fall in love with something that cant love you back like a car. The Prius is a great car. But a great leasing option? If it doesnt make cents, it doesnt make sense. Period. Toyota needs to take a serious look at the competition and get their lease terms on this car in line with the sticker price.
  • hymileshymiles Posts: 2
    What is the money factor in your lease agreement?
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    Personally I would purchase the Prius. I'm not sure comparing the Prius lease with other makes is all that far off. (I don't know if the $335/mo includes taxes , etc) Ford recently wanted $560/mo for a $23K Fusion for my daughter. GM just asked me for a money factor that came out to 24% interest rate.

    I don't think Toyota wants to compete with Infiniti. It is simply giving you the opportunnity to compare a lease of a Prius with a purchase of a Prius.

    If you nwant a n Infiniti or BMW for $450/mo, they are probably available. Most people that want a Prius would not be caught dead in an Infiniti (although I enjoyed my FX45 immensely_purchased, not leased). Not really sure how Infiniti does it when I bought my FX45 it was 0.9% for 5 years AND a $7000 discount.

    I believe the lease market is changing. Too many financial institutions and manufacturers looking money on leases. "Deals" are not as common.

    Seems to me that with the dealers taking the bath you describe, it may be a good time to purchase at a discount rather than "borrow" the car.

    Toyota needs to take a serious look at the competition and get their lease terms on this car in line with the sticker price

    Again, I don't believe they are trying to compete the Prius lease against other brands. If you want a deal on a Toyota get it on a car they compete with other makes like the Camry. Great lease deals there.

    As a business man you should appreciate the fact that the Toyota business model has made them a successful survivor in a world where others are failing fast. I wouldn't recommend to them to follow when they are in the lead.

    But you are right, it may not make sense to lease a Prius when a purchase for just a bit more will build equity in a car that has a high resale value.
  • cptgrpcptgrp Posts: 3
    Assuming a $26,000 purchase price
    1.9% interest rate
    $1,998 down payment
    60-month loan

    Monthly payments come out to $468.48 tax included
    My monthly lease is $365.98 tax included (36-month)

    The payments come out to a $100 difference every month, so over 36-months that is $3,600. For my purposes, I can write off the full lease payments on my taxes which was my decision factor.
  • sporty10sporty10 Posts: 5
    I just leased a 2009 pkg #3 - $254 + tax, 48 months,12k, $650 total at inception. I would appreciate your member comments on if this is a good deal?

    I am 6.2" and a little scared that it may be small for me?

    Appreciate any feedback -thanks
  • mn78mn78 Posts: 1
    Hi just got a dealer quote (in MN) for a prius w/ package 6 for 27960 with tax and title. Is this reasonable? Thanks in advance.
  • dcgoodydcgoody Posts: 2
    My wife and I just purchased a Package #5 with Options P7 (XM Satellite Radio Kit) EF (Rear Bumper Applique) and CF (Carpet Floor Mats and Cargo mats)

    For $24,437 + Tax and $150 doc fee. Took the 0% financing option. This was about 200 bucks above invoice for this vehicle. Best deal I found on a package 5 in Indianapolis. Interested to know if anyone found a better deal in Indy.
  • mpg4mpg4 Posts: 4
    Over the Memorial Day weekend I finally picked up a 2009 black touring prius with package #5. This was after 3-4 weeks of negotiations with multiple dealers. The OTD price was $26,190. This is in Texas.

    Although there are plenty of 09 priuses out there, I had difficulty finding the color/model/package combination. This particular dealer had plenty of the base models, but only 3 touring left. Most dealers had similar inventory and unfortunately a lot of the cars have "port" installed options.
  • ellisda1ellisda1 Posts: 6
    Memorial Day weekend I also picked up a 2009 Spectra Blue Touring Prius, package #5. I live near Raleigh, NC, and did some serious hagggling with the local Big Dealer in town. I ended up driving about 75 miles to Goldsboro NC, and bought my car there. The car was not what I had planned for(had agreed to a Standard package #3 for$23,000), but the price for the Touring was unbeatable - $23,770 OTD (tax,title, dealer prep and everything). I traded in a 2004 Corolla (88K miles) and got a top trade for this. I got better than $2500 below invoice, and about $2000 better than the Big Dealer in town. The dealer and everybody else was great to deal with - will definitely head there the next time I look for Toyotas.
  • cptgrpcptgrp Posts: 3
    I'm 6'1", 32" inseam and I have to push the seat all the way back. So leg space I'm at the limit, but head space is fine and would probably be fine for people up to 6'3-4" in my opinion.
  • scottkim11scottkim11 Posts: 1
    What Indy Dealership did you get this from? You didn't get the rebate obviously since you took the 0%. I live in West Indy. Any help would be appreciated.
  • lakemoreylakemorey Posts: 2
    Car Man, do you know when the 2010 Prius lease rates announced? In NH.

  • dcgoodydcgoody Posts: 2
    Hi there,

    I haggled with Obrien, Tom Wood, Butler, one in andersonville, and Andy Mohr. I ended up purchasing from Beck on the southside as they gave the best deal after 2 weeks of haggling with the others. Ask for Carl. Tell him David Goodrich sent you. He made the experience enjoyable.

    Good luck
  • bob104bob104 Posts: 94
    Wow! That is a phenomenal deal. I paid $29,000 OTD for a Touring#6 in CA (7.75% sales tax) eighteen months ago, a good deal at the time.
    A few notes about Touring: Consumer Reports likes it way better than the standard Prius due to its better handling and braking. I have say that I do tend to agree with them, but here are the trade-offs:
    Touring gets 42mpg realworld, Standard gets 44mpg, sez CR. That's 13 gallons a year/12k miles difference.
    My Touring came with Bridgestone Turanzas and I liked them but they only lasted 30k miles. They are about $200 more to replace than are the Standard's tires. (I'm switching to Michelin Primacy for $600/set at Costco.)
    I paid $500 more for the Touring than for the Standard.
    So, assuming gasoline at $4/gal and that you don't get any higher price for Touring when you go to sell it, the additional cost for Touring over 60k miles is $260 gasoline, $200 tires and $500 depreciation=nearly $1,000. Not a huge difference, but worth considering, particularly if you are committed to maximal mpg.
    I had a very, very hard stop on the highway approaching Las Vegas--we must have been nuts to want to go there--and I think the Touring-ness may have saved us from a collision. I'm not sure but I think I'd get a Touring again.
  • ellisda1ellisda1 Posts: 6
    With the price I actually paid, I was still $2500 below invoice, and I was sort of biased toward the Touring based on Consumer Reports comments. And gas is (at least temporarily...) much cheaper, so... I've only got about 500 miles on my Prius now (mix of highway and city) and I'm averaging about 47 mpg, so I have no "buyers remorse". You only got 30K miles on the Turanzas???? I'm gonna be trauly unhappy if that's all I get on those. There have been some reports about increasing tire pressure (42F, 40R) to increase mileage - did you try that with the Turanzas? With the stiffer suspension and those tires, I'd guess that'd feel like driving on rocks...
  • bob104bob104 Posts: 94
    I slightly increased the pressure, 37F/35R, but not enough to give uneven wear. Those hypermilers can be a bit nutty. If you increase pressure and get, say, 3 mpg better, that only saves about 15 gallons of gasoline a year--$40. But if it wears the tires out 10% faster, say, that's about $30 a year and a pretty bumpy ride, you're right. I would be very surprised if you get much better than 30k off the Turanzas as I drive quite moderately on fairly decent roads in CA. Enjoy the car. I want you to negotiate my next car purchase!
  • antonio1antonio1 Posts: 27
    Hey Ellisda1

    Was the $23,770 your OTD price? Including the trade???
    What was the invoice price before Taxes & Trade?
    Thanks, :)
  • ellisda1ellisda1 Posts: 6
    OK - here's the real data : MSRP was $29,500. Extra Value Package deduct $2650 for Total Sticker Price of $26850. From the sales ticket, actual total price was $22780. Taxes, fees etc a little under $900.
    My Corolla had been "examined" by three other dealers (two Toyota and one Honda). Trade value ranged from $4500 (Honda, one Toy) to $6500 (on a Standard Prius, package 3). I paid $18000 and my Corolla. Dealer threw in those terribly overpriced matching Toyota floor mats at no charge.
    Still lovin' my Prius and the deal.
  • I too am in NC and am awaiting delivery this morning of my 2009 Silver Pine Mica Touring Pkg 5!!! I think Ellisda1 and I got about the same deal. Total out the door will be 23,737. I don't have a trade-in. After I take delivery I will revisit to verify that everything went as planned. :-)
  • ellisda1ellisda1 Posts: 6
    What dealer did you deal with? I bought from Toyota in Goldsboro, but could have made a very similiar deal with Leith Toyota in raleigh. Fred Anderson was at least $2000 higher.
  • outbackj1outbackj1 Posts: 11
    I am interested in knowing what a $140.00 DICE unit is for you to be able to play your ipod? I use a FM Transmitter but the signals are all over the place and a after-market guy said there is no way I can have anything wired in the 08 base Prius.
  • cslasorcslasor Posts: 15
    I'm thinking about getting a 2009 Prius Touring Edition, but only if I can get a good deal and the current 0% financing promotion. Otherwise I'll stick with my plan of keeping my 2000 Accord (136,000 miles) for a couple more years and saving up more cash so I won't have to finance.

    This would be in Central Florida, by the way, in the Melbourne or Orlando area.

    Anyway, I'm curious what would constitute a good deal on a '09 Prius Touring? Something like $300 over invoice? Would that be too much? Too little? I'm not desperate for a new car yet, but it would be nice to take advantage of the current buyer's market as long as I don't have to pay finance charges.

    Any thoughts or opinions?
  • ellisda1ellisda1 Posts: 6
    Two of us (recent posters from NC) got prices on the 2009 Touring for lots less than $1000 BELOW invoice. I wouldn't consider paying invoice or higher - the market is still a disaster, and the 2010 models are coming in.
  • chris789chris789 Posts: 37
    I've never driven a Prius and wanted to find out how the ride quality smoothness compares to cars like a camry/accord. Is the ride like a corolla/civic or a lot smoother.

  • jo2jo2 Posts: 41
    I am going to pick up a Prius package IV tonight

    Black with dark grey leather
    MSRP 29,500
    2500 down
    36 mos
    12,000 miles/yr

    435.00/tax included per month

    I just wanted to share that with people that might be leasing the new prius. They sold it at sticker or just a little below I believe.

    Longo Toyota in El Monte gave a great deal - see Derrick Nguyen in internet sales
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    Depends. I never understood the Camry to ride like the Accord. My TCH was a soft rife. Mushy in fact. Still acceptable for what it was. I've always understood the Accord is a more "sporty" ride. I have not driven the II thru IV Prius, but the V is more "Accord like" than it is TCH like. I'm guessing the II thru IV will be more TCH like, but perhaps a tad better. If a soft ride is what you're after then the lower levels of Prius would be your best choice.
  • evadooevadoo Posts: 40
    rbk3 - it took me 4 mos. to stumble onto your post (I haven't been on in a while). :) I am about to use the same strategy on a Forester. Hours of research up front and a careful approach can save you a lot of money (and time and aggravation) so I hope it was helpful to you. We LOVE our Prius and were so happy not to pay a crazy price for it!
  • evadooevadoo Posts: 40
    Better late then never on reading your post. :) I am so glad it worked out well for you. My mission of getting the world into affordable Hybrids is working... LOL.
  • you seem to know a lot about lease and auto financing that is helpful please send your e-mail address
  • On 8-6-09 i purchased a 09 Toyota Prius track car from Lowe Toyota in Warner Robins, Ga. 31088 . I was not told at the time of sell that this was actually a car from a dealerships rental fleet. I feel i could have purchased a 2010 after the fact for the price i paid for this used vehicle. I paid $23954.14 for this car with only 5,000 miles on it. I did have a couple of options added to this vehicle and the price included the full warrenty in which i paid nearly $1,300 for. After telling the dealership my feelings. The salesman ask me to drive 140 miles one way to make things right with me so he said. Much to my disappointment i was only allowed 17,500 for my used Prius for a new 2010 which they did not have at the time i purchased the one i have. Also i got some dirty looks from the sales staff while i was there. Come to find out from another dealer i got royally screwed on my car concerning the purchase price. I am still shopping for a 2010 because of the re-design and the increase in gas mileage. As far as being satisfied with my current Prius it is what it is. A great car gets great mileage and drives like a dream ! Its just that if i gotta pay for a new car over the next 75 months. I had rather have a brand new 2010 than a slighty used 2009 base model.
  • Car_man,

    Could you please tell me what the money factor and residual value for a 2010 Prius III would be in the greater Pittsburgh, Pa region? This would be for 3 years and 12,000 miles. Thank you in advance for your assistance and what a helpful board.
  • You're very welcome, buckeye20. I'd be happy to help you out. To the best of my knowledge, Toyota is not currently providing lease support on the 2010 Prius in any region. Toyota Financial Services' standard buy rate lease money factor and residual value for a 36 month lease of a 2010 Prius with 12,000 miles per year are .00265 and 72%, respectively for consumers who qualify for its top aka Tier 1+ credit tier.

    Keep in mind though that TFS places restrictions upon what options can be residualized, making it difficult for individual consumers to work up lease payments for specific models on their own.

    Prices Paid: Buying & Leasing Experiences Forum
  • aghoshaghosh Posts: 21
    I am planning to buy a 2010 cheapest (II) Prius in the Charlotte,NC area. Any idea how much should I expect to pay? I do not want any options if any are available. Anything to watch out for? Thanks for the replies in advance.
  • ddobbs1ddobbs1 Posts: 2
    My auto lease company has in their contract that my lease payoff is the greater of the residual value or fair market value (Blue Book). The residual value is $10,000 and the FMV is $16,250. The car was in an accident and needed major repairs so I don't believe the true value to be close to the FMV.

    Is there any way to negotiate the payoff to be the residual with the leasing company or the lessor (Wells Fargo)? Also, I have excess mileage and will end up paying about $3000 if I turn in the lease.

    What is my best option...turn-in, pay the $3000, and just get another car OR payoff and hope that I can sell to try and breakeven with a dealer OR try to find a dealer that will payoff the lease??
  • udprideudpride Posts: 3
    Not sure I understand your description. Residual is whats on your lease buyout. FMV is what the car should bring in a private sale.

    If your residual buyout is $10K and FMV is $16K, just pay cash and buy the car out for $10K at lease end, and flip it on the private market and pocket all that equity. Ive done that several times.

    You have two choices. Either let the dealer have the equity, or attempt to recover it yourself. Even with your cited issues on the car and tax, I see $2-3K in your pocket here.

    You also avoid any mileage overages if you buy the car. Id buy it out-right with cash for a quick flip. It shouldnt take you but 2 weeks to sell such a car. If you get close to $16K, then you basically drove the car for nothing more than depreciated cost on your original lease -- which is as cheap as you can drive ANY car -- leased, bought, or whatever. In fact, any more savings and they were paying you to drive it.
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