How to Get Out of a Car Lease

How to Get Out of a Car Lease
  • Opening Intro -

    That stylish and sporty coupe you bought 18 months ago was fun while it lasted.

    Since then, your life has changed dramatically as you are now married and your wife is expecting twins.


Suddenly, your transportation needs will change and your once beloved coupe will need to be replaced with something more practical such as a minivan or a crossover SUV.

But, there is one problem: your sexy coupe is leased and you still have 18 months remaining before you can get rid of the car. By that time your twins will be 10 months old and your back will be thrown out as you seek to move car seats and babies around in a terribly confined area.

Fortunately, there are some options available for lessees that want to get out of a car lease early. It may cost you some money to end a lease and you should also make sure that your contract allows you to get out of the deal before attempting to do so.

Consider a lease transfer. You can list your leased car in an ad and seek out people that might be interested in assuming your lease. Under this arrangement, you would seek approval from your lease company to transfer the lease and, if the lease assumer is approved to take over payments, your car will be transferred to the new party.

A lease transfer can get complicated and it may be difficult to find a suitable party. There are private companies such as and that can help you find qualified shoppers. You will pay a fee for a successful listing, but you may find that this process is easier to handle with some outside help involved.

Get a new vehicle. One way to get out of a lease is to buy or lease a new vehicle. Under this arrangement, you would shop for a new car and your outstanding payments would be rolled into the new vehicle.

Be careful here: that rolling in means that you’ll make payments on two vehicles. To get out from under this heavy financial burden, your leasing company may cancel your lease as long as you agree to a new lease. Understand what you are getting into before agreeing to this arrangement.

Return your vehicle. If you cannot keep a vehicle and you have no other means to get rid of it, you can resort to a voluntary repossession of your car. This option will affect your credit rating and will likely keep you from getting another car. Your credit will take a huge hit although once you return the vehicle, you will have no further payments to make.

Check your lease agreement to see how returns are handled. You may need to return your vehicle directly to the leasing company or to the dealership where you leased your car.

Leasing Considerations

Leasing contracts can bind car shoppers to an agreement with very few options for an early release. Always familiarize yourself with the lease contract before applying your signature. You could get stuck with a car that you no longer want or no longer need.


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Categories: Autos Express

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".