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What should you do if you want to turn your leased car in early?

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We’re often approached by people who are currently in a lease, but would prefer to get out of it early if they can. Sometimes their lives have been changed by a move or the arrival of a new baby and the leased vehicle no longer makes sense; other times they’re just looking to get into something new a little earlier.

It's actually pretty simple to get out of a lease at any time. We’ll explore each of the most common options in depth below.

Buy (and sell) the vehicle

There is always a payoff or buyout amount for which you can purchase the vehicle. This number will change depending on how far into your contract you are and will almost always be in between what you paid for the car and the residual value on the contract. Just like with a loan, you can buyout the lease and sell the vehicle to another buyer at any point. The difference between this buyout amount and the actual value you can sell the vehicle for (or trade it in) is your responsibility just as it would be if you had taken out a car loan.

Your Cartelligent agent can help you understand what the vehicle is worth, along with what you owe the leasing company to buy out the lease.

Notes on buying the vehicle:

  • The market value for the vehicle may be less than what you owe, especially if the car is in less-than-perfect condition.

 

See if the manufacturer has a program to waive your last few payments

If you are interested in leasing the same brand again and are within six months of your lease coming to an end, you may be able to benefit from a payment waiver program. These can be a great option if you’re happy with the brand, but just want a newer or different model than the one you’re currently driving.

Payment waiver programs are not offered by all manufacturers and are not always available. Your Cartelligent agent can help you find out if your vehicle is eligible.

Notes on lease payment waivers:

  • Payment waiver programs are usually offered between 3 and 6 months of lease end.
  • Payment waiver programs are offered at the brand’s discretion and are not always available.
  • In order to take advantage of a payment waiver programs, you must lease another vehicle from the same brand.

 

Transfer the lease to someone else

You can find someone to take over your lease through your own network, Craigslist, or companies that facilitate lease exchanges. The latter will often charge a small fee in exchange for connecting you with someone who is willing to assume your lease payments for the remainder of the term. You will need to check with your bank to confirm that the terms and conditions of your lease allow you to transfer the liability to a third-party.

 

Wait until the end of the lease

If none of these options make financial sense, you can always choose to wait until the lease is up. Once you're ready for a new car, Cartelligent can help you make an informed decision about the vehicle (and lease terms) you want.

 

Getting out of a lease is not hard to do and is typically not more costly than if you had purchased the vehicle. You Cartelligent agent can help discuss your personal situation and help find a solution that makes sense for you.

Whether you’re trying to get out of your lease early or you’re buying a vehicle for the first time, Cartelligent can help you get a great deal on exactly what you want. Call our team of car-buying experts at 888-427-4270 or get started today.