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Early Escape: How to Exit a Car Lease Prematurely

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Leasing a car can be a great way to afford a new ride without making a long term commitment. However, sometimes life happens. Maybe you can’t afford payments anymore or you’ve grown to dislike the vehicle you’re leasing because it isn’t a good fit for your needs and preferences.

If you find yourself in this predicament, here are some ways you can get out of the lease early.


One route to go is to find another individual who could take over your lease. The downside of this option is that if the individual stops making payments on the lease, you’re still legally considered as the responsible party.


A second path to take is that of transferring your leased vehicle for a newer vehicle lease at the dealership where you got your original vehicle. This works when the dealership buys out your old lease so you can enter a new one. Lease transfers work best if you’re wanting a different and newer model of the same brand of the vehicle you initially leased.

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Contact the Leasing Company

If you’re facing financial difficulty, the best first step to take is to contact your leasing company. They might be able to lower payments for a few months or initiate a deferred payments option, until you get back on your feet and can make the monthly payments you signed up for when you started the lease.

Trade or Sell 

If you’re confident that you could sell your current leased vehicle on your own, buying out your lease then selling it on your own could be a good option. Call the leasing company and find out how much it will cost to buy out your current lease. This frequently involves paying an early termination in addition to the buyout fee.

Pay the Early Return Fee

Lastly, you should be able to exit the lease prematurely if you pay an early return penalty. However, this usually involves paying not just the early return fee but also paying a depreciated value fee to help compensate the dealership for the financial amount your car value has dropped since you drove it off the lot.

If you have any more questions about leaving a vehicle lease early, it’s best to contact your leasing company. They can inform you of what your lease contract terms allow and advise you on which exit path is best for you.

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News Source: Wise Bread