Getting Out of a Car Lease

Although we all intend to honor the commitments we make, sometimes they just don’t work out. And that’s when we find out that getting into them is easier than getting out. And that includes automotive commitments, like leases.

“It’s a contract that you’ve done with the bank, and they expect you to live through it.”
-John Fahrer, Usedcarlease.com

But if you do need to lose that lease, the first thing to do is pull it out and read it. And if you don’t understand your options, ask someone who does. Simplest thing you can normally do?

“You can actually buy the car from the bank that is leasing it to you, and you can then turn around and resell it.”
-John Fahrer, Usedcarlease.com

But before you go this route, you’ll want to call the lease company and see the price and fee you’ll have to pay, then check the newspaper or auction sites to see what price you might get when you try to sell it.

If buying won’t work, another option is might be to transfer the lease: in other words, let someone else take it over. But even if that’s allowed, you could still be liable if the person who takes it over doesn’t make the payments. And transferring will probably have fees attached.

But if it is transferable, there are websites you can use, or you can simply list it in the newspaper. But you’re still going to be bucking up: transfer and service fees can easily run into the hundreds.

Bottom line? In the best-case scenario, losing a lease is expensive, and in the worst case, you can’t do it all. That’s why you should approach a lease the same way you approach a marriage. With your eyes open!

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

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