Your Options for Ending a Car Lease Early
Leasing a car can be an attractive option for many people, offering lower monthly payments and the chance to drive a new vehicle regularly. However, circumstances may change, and you might find yourself needing to end your car lease earlier than expected. Fortunately, there are several options available for those who wish to terminate their lease early.
1. Buyout the Lease
One option for ending a lease early is to buy out the remaining portion of the lease. This means paying the total sum of the remaining monthly payments, along with any associated fees, in one lump sum. The main advantage of this option is that you’ll take ownership of the vehicle and can either keep or sell it as desired. However, this can be costly upfront if many months remain on the lease and might not be financially feasible for everyone.
2. Lease Transfer
Another popular option is lease transferring. This involves finding someone else to take over your remaining lease payments, essentially transferring the rest of your lease term to them. Many leasing companies allow this process but may charge a transfer fee. Websites like SwapALease or LeaseTrader cater specifically to lease transfers, which can make finding potential takers easier.
3. Early Termination
You may also consider simply terminating your lease early, although this usually comes with penalties and fees set by the leasing company. The cost of early termination varies but often includes an early termination fee, any outstanding taxes or parking fines, excess mileage charges, damage repair costs, and sometimes even the cost of months remaining on your lease.
Trading in your leased vehicle for a new one with the same dealership or leasing company is another possibility for ending your lease early. By trading in your current car for another newer vehicle (either as a new lease or purchase), you might avoid some early termination fees or penalties; however, potential negative equity from your existing lease could roll into the new lease or loan.
5. Sell the Vehicle
An alternative option is to sell your leased vehicle, provided you’re allowed to do so according to your lease agreement. Selling the car allows you to use the proceeds toward paying off the remaining lease balance. You might still have to pay for any remaining balance or additional fees, but depending on the market value of your car, you might come out ahead or at least lessen the financial burden of ending your lease early.
Before deciding on which option is best for you, carefully review your lease agreement and consult with your leasing company to understand their specific policies on early termination. By exploring these options, you can make an informed decision and end your car lease early with as little financial impact as possible.