Lease 101

Automobile lease termination

terminate your car lease quickly and legally


Posted 9/11/2012

Traditionally the termination of an automobile lease refers to cancelling one’s lease prematurely and following the guidelines spelled out in the original agreement. Generally terminating a lease prior to the end of the scheduled term meant that the lessee would be looking at several potentially noteworthy costs including:

1. The remaining lease payments regardless of remaining term
2. Early lease termination fees and/or penalties
3. Costs due to both mileage overages and/or wear and tear

You can see that terminating a lease early can be both cost prohibitive as a result of outstanding payments and the potential of the fees associated with doing so. Also note that it is going to cost a great deal more early on in a lease as due to fewer payments already being made by the lessee should this method be selected.

The situation and the timing that a lessee opts to terminate their lease may help decide their best course of action. Sometimes that best course of action to terminate the lease is through a sale. In this case the lessee would need to determine the current lease payoff on their leased car or truck often with the help of a dealership. Regardless, the lease payoff amount will ultimately come from the leasing company who initially wrote the lease and subsequently the company where the lessee sends their payments every month.

Comparable to terminating a lease early directly with the lessor selling a lease outright can prove to be cost prohibitive for the lessee, as well. Largely this is due to many of the same factors being involved to do so. Moreover, the market value of a vehicle must be determined which may help or hurt pending present economic conditions and the true demand for the vehicle in question. If a particular vehicle is in limited supply and high demand this may equate to the original lessee being able to terminate the lease essentially pain free from an economic point of view. However, vehicles that meet criteria such as these are few and far between and a buyer would still need to be found.

To effectively terminate an automotive lease early in a cost effective manner it is recommended that the lessee takes advantage of a lease transfer which is permitted by most lessors. Using this option a lessee merely transfers the lease to another individual who is credit worthy and who picks up the lease from where the first lessee hands it over. Yes this does require locating someone interested in taking over the lease which may seem like a difficult task at first. However, many leasing consumers find assuming a lease an attractive option for getting their next leased vehicle.

Car and truck lessees generally find the shorter terms associated with taking over another’s lease to be attractive reason for doing so. This coupled with the knowledge that many lease payments were subsidized through down payments and/or trade-ins upfront makes the idea even more compelling. Swapalease.com is an online destination where car and truck lease sellers and buyers meet to transfer leases. Swapalease.com is also an excellent resource to learn more about transferring your lease and the specific policies of nearly all major leasing companies.