How to Get Out of a Car Lease Early

Getting out of a car lease early may not be easy, but it is possible, and there are a number of ways to do it, some more attractive than others.  There are various options to satisfy a bevy of different issues, which we’ll review below.

Sell Your Car

This is perhaps the most obvious way to get out of a car lease, but not necessarily easy.  First, you’ll need to locate your payoff amount, which is what you would owe the financing company if you were to break the lease early.  The payoff changes as you make monthly payments, so as time goes by, it grows smaller and smaller until the dealer-assigned residual value is the only thing left.  Once you’ve got the payoff amount handy, you’ll have an idea as to what you need to sell the car for to break even or even make a profit.  You may even consider taking a small loss if you want, or more importantly, need out.

Transfer your Car Lease

Another way of getting out of your lease is to transfer it to another willing buyer via a lease assumption, that is, if your financing company allows it.  There are websites out there that specialize in this type of service, though this isn’t automatic either.  You’ll have to list your car, just as you would if you were selling it, and hope someone out there is interested in assuming your lease.  And not only that, that someone will need to prove they’re creditworthy to takeover your lease, or the financing company will put their proverbial foot down.

Car Lease Buyout

This may sound counterintuitive, what with you wanting out of your lease, but you could buyout your lease early, and effectively end your lease.  While you wouldn’t be saving money, and could be subject to an earlier termination fee, you would eliminate monthly payments and free yourself from the clutches of the financing company and any harsh terms they have assigned to the lease.  For example, if you’ve found that you’re driving the car well beyond the mileage allotment, you could buy out the lease and drive it as much as you please.

Trade-In

If your lease is still going, but you’re looking to get into another car, you can always approach the dealer with and inquire about a potential trade-in.  It’s possible that the dealer will take the lease off your hands just to get you into the new car they’re offering.  This method works best when your lease term is coming to an end, not at the beginning of the lease.  And it can work with your original dealer or competing dealers at competing car companies.  You may even be able to make some money on the trade-in if you’re lucky, and by luck, I mean if your car has a solid residual value.