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Discussion Starter #1
I see browsing on cargurus.com that the asking price on a small number of used Bolts is finally slightly below $20k. This seems somewhat logical to me - the new price has recently been discounted steeply and for a high mileage used 2017 Bolt, it could not be priced in the same neighborhood as the new Bolt, as buyers would take the new Bolt every time.
 

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I see browsing on cargurus.com that the asking price on a small number of used Bolts is finally slightly below $20k. This seems somewhat logical to me - the new price has recently been discounted steeply and for a high mileage used 2017 Bolt, it could not be priced in the same neighborhood as the new Bolt, as buyers would take the new Bolt every time.
But asking price and sale price are usually fairly far apart. Is there a way to see what they actually are selling for? You can ask anything you want, ask high so there's more room to negotiate.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
I don't know this is accurate, or if it represents retail sales only, but it at least shows a trend.

https://www.cargurus.com/Cars/price-trends/Chevrolet-Bolt-EV-d2397
Thanks, good one. If we extend it back a few years we can see that throughout 2018 the used 2017 Bolts seem to have held their level (about the same level in November 2018 as in December 2017), but then around December 2018 finally started to trend downward. Maybe not great news for those who bought, but good news for those of us who have been tracking the market for used decent longer-range BEVs with good value left in them and their batteries. There aren't that many models that qualify, and the prices still do not seem to have dropped as steeply on used Model S's.
 

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I took in to get my loaded Bolt premier ($43.5k MSRP) with 42k miles (with 1 ding on the CarFax for an at-fault insurance claim (Thanks wifey) for an appraisal last time I was at my dealer for service, and I got offered $20k as trade-in value by my dealer. If what the used car sales manager said was true, he said that they would price my Bolt at $23-24k if it was on their lot. So a base LT with around 36k miles being under $20k now makes sense.
 

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I took in to get my loaded Bolt premier ($43.5k MSRP) with 42k miles (with 1 ding on the CarFax for an at-fault insurance claim (Thanks wifey) for an appraisal last time I was at my dealer for service, and I got offered $20k as trade-in value by my dealer. If what the used car sales manager said was true, he said that they would price my Bolt at $23-24k if it was on their lot. So a base LT with around 36k miles being under $20k now makes sense.
Similar value for mine. Last time I was at the dealer just out of curiosity I asked them for a trade in quote (17 Bolt Premier, fully loaded, 35,000ish miles at the time) and they said 22,000 for trade in and they would list it for 25,500. KBB tells me 22000-23000 current trade in value.

I have no plans of selling mine though, I bought to keep it for awhile, my son will likely get this car in a few years.
 

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I still find it inexplicable lease-return Bolts have a residual value way above the KBB. Then, when the lessee can't see buying at the high residual, the lessor sends the car through auction to be sold at wholesale for much less than they were asking for the residual and then the car comes on the internet at resale at sometimes 20% less than the residual.

jack vines
 

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In my area in California you can buy a new Bolt LT for $26,000 and there is still $10,000 in subsidies available. I could sell my Bolt and get a new one for nothing. Problem is the rebates would have to be returned if I sold before 30 months. Hopefully the resale value stays high for a few more months. I really need to test out the newer seats in the Bolt since the 2017 are really bad for me.

However, I just might keep it regardless. The 56,000 miles I have on the Bolt have me intrigued about how long the battery will last. I feel it is my obligation to put up high mileage on the car to tell people that EV batteries can last 200,000 miles or more without much degradation at all. The 2013 Model S I have still charges to 254 miles out of the original 265 after 89,000 for about 4% loss. The Bolt at 56,000 miles is probably about the same. I think the majority of the loss came with the battery management update, still think they did something there to reduce capacity.

If you live in a state with subsidies for EV's you should buy new. It would be silly in California to buy used unless you don't qualify for the rebates. I will tell you one thing about the Bolt. I have rotated tires and driven the car for 56,000 and it is the same as day one. It is a solid car without any issues besides a few screen hiccups in the beginning, which were fixed in the updates.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
There are a number of interesting upward and downward pressures on used Bolt pricing, but a side-point about used Model S pricing: I was just refreshing my memory as to the old Model S Resale value guarantee program, which applied from 36 to 39 months after purchase? Something like that. The program apparently ended in July 2016. If I have missed any re-start, please someone let me know.

So, I wonder if that means the final vehicles under that program come up for possible vehicle value support from July 2019-November 2019. I have to wonder if the final wrap-up on that program would impact used model S prices.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I still find it inexplicable lease-return Bolts have a residual value way above the KBB. Then, when the lessee can't see buying at the high residual, the lessor sends the car through auction to be sold at wholesale for much less than they were asking for the residual and then the car comes on the internet at resale at sometimes 20% less than the residual.

jack vines
I don't know leasing that well. Isn't this the way it often works? Isn't the end-of-lease residual specified at the beginning of the lease, thus often precluding realistic possibility of purchase of the vehicle at the time of the end of the lease? There was no way I was going to buy my degraded-battery short-range Leaf in 2015, so I didn't pay much attention to these questions in that process, and it was the one lease I have ever done.
 

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I don't know leasing that well. Isn't this the way it often works? Isn't the end-of-lease residual specified at the beginning of the lease, thus often precluding realistic possibility of purchase of the vehicle at the time of the end of the lease? There was no way I was going to buy my degraded-battery short-range Leaf in 2015, so I didn't pay much attention to these questions in that process, and it was the one lease I have ever done.
Yes, No, Maybe. I've spoken with some lessors who say they never, ever renegotiate the residual. I've spoken with some lessors who say they were able to renegotiate their buyout down to KBB.

jack vines
 

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Yes, No, Maybe. I've spoken with some lessors who say they never, ever renegotiate the residual. I've spoken with some lessors who say they were able to renegotiate their buyout down to KBB.

jack vines
My understanding is that all the leases work that way, my friend owns a GMC/BUICK/JEEP/DODGE/CHEVY franchise and he says there is never any dealing on the residual trade in. The vehicles come off lease and go straight to auction. It doesn't matter what they are sold for, the companies write off any 'paper' loss and if they dickered on the residual that would harm the whole institution of how the lease is executed and structured. I read on this forum that a person was able to negotiation their BMW lease and buy the car back, I asked him about that and he was skeptical but he said if the lease was directly through BMW, maybe it's true. But any 3rd party bank would not allow it.
 

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Carmax on a nationwide search only has 18 Bolt's, total. Seems they just don't rotate through owners enough for any real good analysis beyond sell it for what you can get for it mindset. I'd be interested to see how 'easy' it is to private sale a Bolt. I get how the whole 'trade-in' process works at a dealership. And dealers always have the auction option.
 

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Writing off a loss isn't as valuable as gaining something though, so it doesn't explain why the owner of something wouldn't want to negotiate a sale rather than auction something off.
I think it's 'also' all about the tax code which I don't understand. I know businesses that lose money on paper, but are far from losing money. I have grown up around car dealers and sales people all my life. And I will tell you this, they are experts at finding ways to make money, to screw people, take advantage of EVERYTHING and ANYTHING, tell you up and down how they made no money on the deal, writing things off tax wise, paying no taxes and a few other things that are illegal to mention. But these programs are setup by people smarter than I am. And I admit, I leased once, that when you drive in on the last day of your lease and hand the keys over they will offer to sell you that vehicle for a price that makes me laugh. And I always assumed no one ever paid it, except I know two who don't understand what the amount of money will get them, so they did buy it. Or those that just go from one lease to another and don't look at the long term cost. But again, on that last day they offer you that car for what I believe IS ALWAYS more than what it is worth as a used car. You say no, and off it goes. If they stood a chance at making more money than carting it away, I will tell you this; they would bargain. But my understanding is they don't (I'm sure there is an exception, please allow me to generalize here). When you take that car on day 1, in that contract is your buy price. It is what it is.

Speaking of this. My good friend who owns the dealerships. He once got accused of dumping motor oil by a disgruntled service manager who was no more (btw, when they aren't making money off customers, they find ways to pay less labor and become stellar employers to their employee's, just look at the low turnover.....) Ok, well, back on topic. The sales manager accused the owner/dealership of dumping oil in the drain. Said in the complaint that the owner bought a new million dollar motorhome (he did) and dumped the oil one day in the shop, in the bay. Sent a picture, it was staged, but it was an oil filter draining in the floor drain. So, the DNR came in with a small task force and searched the place. Checked the drains, took samples and confronted the owner with the pics. He laughed. They asked why. He said; well, that's the wrong oil filter for my motorhome. Second, my motorhome is actually too tall with the sat antenna/AC's to fit in the bay.....something he pointed out he learned the hard way. And lastly, he pulled out statements where he gets hundreds a month 'selling' his used motor oil to Pennzoil who picks it up/pumps it out twice a month. He said; why would I dump money down the drain? If you truly know a dealership owner, you will know that they covet $100 or $10 as much as $1,000,000 dollars. It's one of the secrets about how the rich get richer. Every dollar, all of them matter. I work in Law Enforcement so he knew I'd enjoy the story, but it made me think; Hey, why do I pay an environmental impact fee/oil recycling/oil disposal fee when you get that oil picked up for free AND paid for it. He just smiled.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I think it's 'also' all about the tax code which I don't understand. I know businesses that lose money on paper, but are far from losing money. I have grown up around car dealers and sales people all my life. And I will tell you this, they are experts at finding ways to make money, to screw people, take advantage of EVERYTHING and ANYTHING, tell you up and down how they made no money on the deal, writing things off tax wise, paying no taxes and a few other things that are illegal to mention. But these programs are setup by people smarter than I am. And I admit, I leased once, that when you drive in on the last day of your lease and hand the keys over they will offer to sell you that vehicle for a price that makes me laugh. And I always assumed no one ever paid it, except I know two who don't understand what the amount of money will get them, so they did buy it. Or those that just go from one lease to another and don't look at the long term cost. But again, on that last day they offer you that car for what I believe IS ALWAYS more than what it is worth as a used car. You say no, and off it goes. If they stood a chance at making more money than carting it away, I will tell you this; they would bargain. But my understanding is they don't (I'm sure there is an exception, please allow me to generalize here). When you take that car on day 1, in that contract is your buy price. It is what it is.
[...]
I think this was kind of my point, without knowing much about leasing, is that they would not agree to a buyout number at start of lease contract unless they thought it was in their interests.

For EVs two added points:
1) The federal (and other?) credits that the finance company may get as the owner of the vehicle while you are leasing might (I am speculating) impact their willingness to negotiate at the time of the lease, though my impression is that most lessees are interested in negotiating other aspects.
2) Some early Gen1 EVs may not have been estimated in some cases to hold a desirable percentage of their value after 3 years or so. I mean it's gen1 of a new technology, right? And early adopters in many cases may experience that the price they pay is to give up a lot of value on technology that may be quickly obsolete? And some companies such as Nissan did not do a fully good job of future proofing the vehicle.
 

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I read on this forum that a person was able to negotiation their BMW lease and buy the car back, I asked him about that and he was skeptical but he said if the lease was directly through BMW, maybe it's true. But any 3rd party bank would not allow it.
Writing off a loss isn't as valuable as gaining something though, so it doesn't explain why the owner of something wouldn't want to negotiate a sale rather than auction something off.
One explanation I've found in my research is auto leases have, as with home mortgages, become financial commodities which are often bundled and resold on the secondary market; sometimes even to Chinese institutions. In those cases, it's literally impossible to find the current owner and begin a negotiation on buying for less than the paper residual.

So yes, the reason the BMW lessee was able to negotiate a purchase for KBB below the residual was BMW USA was the lessor and still held the contract.

jack vines
 

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Sometime in early 2017 used EVs had an inrush of global demand, and that pushed prices back up. I suppose it isn't just the US market that is contending for these used vehicles. Perhaps some of these auctioned vehicles are going overseas.
Do we have a source for this assertion?

Difficult to believe it's cost-effective to ship a used $20-$30,000 vehicle overseas.

jack vines
 
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