How To Get Out Of A Car Lease: Tips And Strategies

How To Get Out Of A Car Lease: Tips And Strategies

If you are wondering about how to get out of a car lease, there is probably a good reason for it. Sometimes life gives you lemons, and sometimes it takes them away. If you are in the latter situation and have leased a car, maybe it is best for your financial situation to drop the lease. But how do you do it? In this article, we will give you tips and strategies for getting out of a lease.

Learn Everything About Your Lease Agreement

The first step to getting out of a car lease is to understand the terms and conditions of your lease agreement. Read the fine print and understand your lease obligations, including fees and penalties for early termination. It will also include other critical information, such as lease buyout price and other potential options for early termination.

This step is crucial for any option you choose. When you know your contract’s ins and outs, it is time to consider potential ways out.

Lease Transfer

The first option for getting out of a car lease early is a lease transfer, also known as lease assumption. It allows you to transfer the remainder of your lease term to another person who takes over the monthly lease payments and obligations. It can be a great option if you no longer need the car and want to avoid paying the penalties for early termination.

If you decide to transfer your lease, you need to find someone interested in taking over your lease. You can start by asking friends or family if they know anyone looking for a car. Additionally, there are online marketplaces that connect people willing to transfer their lease with those who want to take over one. Some lease assumption companies also offer services that help you find someone to take over your lease.

You can also find someone on lease-swapping platforms. The two most popular are Swapalease and Leasetrader. You can also try looking for a platform

How To Get Out Of A Car Lease: Tips And Strategies

Negotiate With Your Leaseholder

If you want to get out of your lease early, you can try negotiating with your leaseholder. They may be willing to work with you to find a solution that works for both parties. 

The negotiation process can be challenging, but you must remain calm and professional. During the negotiation, you can discuss your reasons for terminating the lease early and offer alternative solutions. Additionally, you can try negotiating lower monthly payments or a reduced buyout price. Here are four tips to help you succeed in the negotiation process:

  • Be honest and straightforward about your reasons for wanting to terminate the lease early. If you’re experiencing financial hardship or a change in circumstances that make it challenging to keep up with payments, share that information with your leaseholder. They may be more willing to work with you if they understand your situation.
  • Do your research ahead of time and come prepared with an understanding of your lease agreement, the current market value of your vehicle, and any fees or penalties associated with terminating the lease early. This will help you negotiate from a position of knowledge and confidence.
  • Consider offering to pay a termination fee or other penalties associated with ending the lease early. This may make the negotiation more palatable for the leaseholder and increase your chances of reaching a mutually beneficial agreement.
  • Be flexible and open to compromise—remember that your leaseholder is also a business with financial obligations and constraints. If you can find a solution that works for both parties, you’ll be more likely to achieve your goal of getting out of the lease early.

If you are willing to go the extra mile with your preparation, the negotiation process will be much easier. 

Rolling The Payments Over To A New Vehicle

If you do not like your car and simply want a different one, the good news is that you can do that. You can take the car to your leasing agency and exchange your leased vehicle for a new one. The bad news, however, is that you will still be responsible for paying off the previous lease. So, even if you choose a less expensive vehicle, the total cost of your new lease will be much higher because it will also include the leftover payments from the previous agreement.

While it is a terrible decision from a financial standpoint, it is a good option when you need a different vehicle as soon as possible and you do not want to damage your credit score. As a bonus, you will not have to pay early termination fees or wear and tear fees, although that is not a big win considering you will still have to pay for the old lease. It might also be a way to escape excess mileage fees if you are close to reaching your annual mileage.

Buyout Your Lease

If you’ve decided to buy out your lease, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, you’ll need to calculate your buyout amount, which you’ll need to pay to purchase the vehicle outright. This will typically include the car’s residual value, which is the amount the vehicle is expected to be worth at the end of the lease term, plus any fees or penalties associated with an early buyout.

How To Get Out Of A Car Lease: Tips And Strategies

Default On Your Lease

Defaulting on your lease is generally not recommended, as it can have serious financial implications and negatively impact your credit score. However, in some cases, defaulting may be the only option if you’re unable to keep up with your payments.

If you find yourself in a situation where defaulting on your lease is your only option, there are a few things you can do to minimize the impact on your credit and finances.

First, try to negotiate with the leasing company. They may be willing to work out a payment plan or settlement agreement that can help you avoid defaulting altogether.

Another way to default is voluntary repossession. Instead of waiting for the leaser to come and collect your debts, you are requesting them to take the car. It will still damage your credit score, but it will not be as bad as with involuntary repossession. 

If you do end up defaulting, try to pay off any outstanding fees or penalties as soon as possible. This can help minimize the damage to your credit score and prevent further legal action from being taken against you.

It’s also important to keep in mind that defaulting on a lease should be a last-resort option. Before making any decisions, consider all of your options and weigh the pros and cons carefully.

Getting Out Of Car Lease: Pros And Cons Of Every Method

Lease TransferAllows you to get out of your lease early without having to pay penalties
Avoids damage to your credit score
Saves money on lease obligations
Potential fees for lease assumption or transfer
The person assuming your lease may not meet the leasing company’s credit requirements
Responsibility for any damages or penalties incurred by the person who takes over your lease
Lease BuyoutGives you full ownership of the car
You can sell the car later or immediately to recoup the expenses
Avoids potential damage to your credit score
May be more expensive than other options
Requires you to pay the residual value of the car (which may be higher than its market value)
Potential additional fees and taxes
Negotiating With The LeaserPotentially better lease terms
Can help you get out of your lease early without having to pay penalties
May help you avoid damage to your credit score
Leasing companies may not be willing to negotiate
The negotiation process can be time-consuming and challenging
There is no guarantee that your negotiations will be successful
You may be required to pay additional fees or penalties as part of the negotiation process
Rolling The Payment Over Into A New VehicleAbility to get a new car with a new lease or loan agreement
No need to worry about excess mileage or wear and tear fees
Potential for lower monthly payments if a less expensive car is chosen
The convenience of continuing to make monthly payments without a gap in car ownership
The total cost of ownership can increase as the remaining payments on the original lease are rolled into the new agreement
Rolling over payments can lead to a longer loan or lease term, which can result in higher overall interest charges
Defaulting on Your LeaseCan allow you to get out of your lease early without having to pay penalties
Avoids the hassle of negotiating with the leasing company
Will damage your credit score
Can result in penalties, fees, and legal action
Will make it difficult to obtain credits in the future

Tips For Breaking Your Car Lease

With the most important things in mind, here are a few additional tips to save money on the lease termination:

  • Get all the information. You have already read the lease agreement, but you also need to know your car’s residual value, the cost of lease transfer, and the amount you still have to pay. Moreover, if you signed an open-ended lease, you might leverage its flexibility to get out of the lease easier.
  • Use a third-party mechanic. The check-up will cost extra but you will be compensated by knowing all the maintenance you have to do before turning in the car. Moreover, it will all be documented, so the leasing company will not be able to swindle you.
  • Clean your car. Clean cars sell better, so give yours a deep cleaning before putting it on the marketplace to swap or sell.

Reasons For Getting Out Of A Car Lease

Depending on why you want to get rid of your lease, there might be some options. Here are the most popular reasons for abandoning a lease:

  • Moving to a new place. If you move to a different state or city, you might want to leave the car behind for many reasons: the cost to transport it might be too high, or the car does not fit the weather or road conditions.
  • Financial struggle. If you lost a source of income or your spendings suddenly grew, discontinuing a car lease might be a wise choice. If you are experiencing financial struggle, ask the leasing company for special financial hardships programs. For example, some companies may waive the lease transfer fee or suspend your payments, giving you a small grace period to recover.
  • Enlisting in the military. If you are called to a spot overseas, you might not have a use for your vehicle. Thanks to the SCRA (Servicemembers Civil Relief Act), you can terminate the lease early without having to pay termination fees.
  • Upgrading or downgrading your vehicle. Maybe you recently had a child and now need a bigger car—or maybe the child has gone to college and you can get a smaller vehicle. Whatever your reasons are, you can change the car and roll over the payments onto a new vehicle (although it is not a very financially appealing decision).
  • Illness or disability. Sometimes terrible things happen and we lose our ability to drive. Unfortunately, there are currently no special options for people with disability to get out of a car lease. However, you can try negotiating with the leasing company, and they might waive some fees.


Getting out of a car lease can be a challenging and overwhelming process. However, several options are available to you, including lease transfer, negotiation, lease buyout, and even defaulting on your lease.

Before making any decisions, it’s important to carefully consider your personal circumstances and the financial implications of each option. Additionally, make sure to read and understand your lease agreement, as well as any fees, penalties, or obligations that come with it.

With the right approach and mindset, you can successfully navigate the process of getting out of a car lease and move on to more suitable transportation options.


Q: Can I end a car lease early?

A: Yes, it’s possible to end a car lease early, but it may come with penalties and fees. Some leases allow you to terminate the lease early if you pay a fee or make the remaining payments, while others may require you to find someone to take over the lease.

Q: How much does it cost to get out of a car lease?

A: The cost of getting out of a car lease varies depending on several factors, including the lease terms and the amount of time left on the lease. You may need to pay early termination fees, remaining payments, and other charges such as excess mileage fees and disposition fees.

Q: Can I transfer my lease to someone else?

A: Yes, you can transfer your car lease to someone else, but you will need to get approval from the leasing company. The new lessee will need to meet the credit requirements and sign a new lease agreement. Some leasing companies may charge transfer fees.

Q: What are my options if I can’t afford my lease payments?

A: If you can’t afford your lease payments, you may be able to negotiate with the leasing company to lower your monthly payments or extend the lease term. Another option is to transfer the lease to someone else who can take over the payments. If none of these options work, you may have to consider defaulting on the lease, which can hurt your credit score and lead to legal action.

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