Prematurely ending a car lease

More and more people are leasing their vehicles and, to lower their monthly payments, they often lease them over long periods of time. It’s best if a lease doesn’t extend beyond the term of the manufacturer’s warranty so that the risk of costly repairs is avoided. But the reality is that many people lease for 60, 72 or even 84 months! This scenario, however, can hit a snag when you no longer want the vehicle but still have two or three years of payments to cover. Luckily, there are a number of options available. Here are the three best ways to terminate your lease early.


1. Buy your leased vehicle

This is the simplest but also the most costly option. On top of the remaining balance (and the accrued losses once you factor in the residual value), there will likely be a penalty for breaking the contract. However, you’ll then be the owner of the vehicle and free to sell it.


2. Transfer your lease to a company

There are companies that specialize in lease buyouts. This is a better option than early termination, which, due to penalties and other factors, is always a costly affair. However, know that this process requires some patience, and you often have to offer an incentive to hurry it along. Keep in mind that if you made a deposit on the lease, the new owner will receive it at the end of the term.


3. Transfer your lease to an individual

You could find a person to take over your lease. This method doesn’t entail paying any penalties or extra fees. However, you must make sure you speak with your dealership to ascertain that that the lease and its accompanying obligations are under the new lessee’s name. Otherwise, if a problem arises, you’ll be held responsible, even if the vehicle is no longer under your care.