Best way to end a car lease early?
May 6, 2005 12:30 PM   Subscribe

I have leased cars several times with no problem. However, due to some changes in my life recently, I'll be moving to a new city where having a car is not necessary and is really a hindrance (congestion, cost). The problem is, I've still got about 18 months on my lease. The options as I see it are: 1. Store the car somewhere cheaply away from where I live and make payments til the end. 2. Sell the car to a 3rd party and make up the difference between what the car will sell for and the lease pay off. 3. Sell the car to the dealer and pay the difference to them. It would be a bigger difference but an easier sell. Does anyone here have any advice on other options or things to consider?
posted by aaronh to Work & Money (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: You can sell your lease to another person (they assume it as a lease, not buying the car outright). The main site I know for this is Swapalease.
posted by xo at 12:40 PM on May 6, 2005

You might be able to transfer the lease. Do a google search for "take over lease". There are companies that will help facilitate this. As far as fees go, there can be fees to the company that helps you find a buyer, fees to the financing company to transfer the lease, and potentially a cash incentive to the person taking over the lease, e.g. first month's lease free.
posted by bachelor#3 at 12:49 PM on May 6, 2005

I have no advice. I'm just here to applaud your intent to get rid of your car.
posted by pracowity at 1:04 AM on May 7, 2005

Actually, for option 2, I think you're going to have to continue to make payments for 18 months, then do the lease payoff.

Consider: the car has to be worth something to someone for the next 18 months, so it seems very unlikely that storing it is the least expensive option. (You're going to have to pay something if you want to keep it in a secure location; parking it on the street often is illegal if done for a length of time; the best choice may be to find a friend who will keep it on his/her property.)

Plus if someone else drives the car and pays at least something for the next 18 months, the car can be returned should the lease payoff value be significantly higher than the market price (which is quite common).
posted by WestCoaster at 6:05 PM on May 7, 2005

If you decide to let it sit someplace for 18 months, don't just let it sit in a garage unused the whole time. Make sure somebody takes it out for a drive semi-routinely, as cars really don't enjoy sitting unused for huge periods of time.

I'd vote for a lease takeover.
posted by mosch at 1:57 AM on May 8, 2005

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