So, you’ve decided that you want to get out of your car lease, and you’re wondering if you can break it and return the car early. You can return the car to the dealer, but it’s going to cost you. There are other options available that will likely be better for you financially.
Let’s start with the simplest option, also known as the traditional route – you decide to break the lease and take the car back to the dealer. There will be penalties for doing so, and you can find out how much you’ll need to pay by checking your lease contract. It’s possible that you will need to make all the remaining monthly payments even though you’re bringing the car back early. If your lease contract has reasonable early-termination fees, breaking it may be fine. Most don’t, though, so you should only go this route as a last resort.
Some dealers will let you start a new lease and add your early-termination fees to the new lease contract you sign. You’re still paying quite a bit to break the lease, but you’ll be paying it over a period of a couple years instead of all at once. If the main reason that you want to break your lease is because you’re not satisfied with the car anymore, this is an option, but it’s also very expensive.
Most leases include a purchase clause which allow you to buy the car from the dealer. Depending on the value of the car, this may be a good option. You can buy it and then immediately sell it to make at least some of your money back. You’ll most likely still lose money, but you may not lose as much as you would have if you broke the lease and had to pay those hefty penalties.
One of the better options available when you want to get out of a lease is finding someone else to take it over for you. The majority of the lease contracts on the market are transferable. You can transfer the lease to someone you know, or find someone through an online lease assumption site. These sites connect people who have leases that they want to get rid of with people who are looking for a lease. It’s a mutually beneficial arrangement. You’re able to get out of your lease without paying those penalties or going through the tedious process of buying and then selling a car. The person who takes on the lease gets a lease for a shorter term than normal, and they don’t need to pay the usual upfront costs associated with leasing a car.
Make sure you check your lease contract or talk to your dealer to verify that you’re allowed to transfer your lease. You should also look into who will be responsible for the car after it’s transferred. It’s standard for the person who takes on the lease to become entirely responsible for it once it’s transferred over, but this isn’t always the case. If you’re still responsible for the car after you transfer it, you can end up on the hook for fees if the new owner damages the car.
There are several ways that you can get out of a lease agreement early. The easiest method is returning it, but this will also hurt your pocketbook the most. Look around on online lease assumption sites first to see if you can find someone interested in taking on your lease.