Checking | Auto Loans | Mortgage | HELOC | Personal Loans | Credit Cards | Membership

How To Get Out Of A Car Lease Early

You’ve leased a car and now you want out of the lease, but how can you make that happen? This post will explain the ins and outs of getting out of a car lease early, giving you all the details you need to avoid any sorts of problems when it comes time to turning your ride back in.
Why would you need to get out of the lease early? Perhaps you’re moving to a different city or state where you won’t need a car, or maybe you can no longer afford to make the payments? Whatever your situation, there are options for ending a car lease early.
Unfortunately, early termination of a car lease agreement may come with penalties, fines, or fees, but this post will share the best strategies for breaking a car lease that may cost you less than simply doing an early termination of a car lease and returning the car.
At Credit Union of Southern California (CU SoCal), we make getting an auto loan easier.
Call 866.287.6225 today to schedule a no-obligation consultation and learn about our auto loans, personal loans, checking and savings accounts, and other banking products. As a full-service financial institution, we look forward to helping you with all of your banking needs.
Getting out of a car lease early without penalty can be tricky, but there are options for turning in a lease early. Read on to learn more about how to get out of a car lease early.

Get Started on Your Auto Loan!

When Does It Make Sense To Get Out Of A Car Lease?

Due to the financial penalties and the hassle associated with turning in a lease early, it’s not recommended to do this unless the benefits significantly outweigh the costs.
However, there are times when unexpected life circumstances occur that make it necessary to break a car lease.
For example, if you lose your job or changed jobs and can no longer afford the payment, if you will be moving to an area where public transit is widely available, if the type of vehicle you’re leasing no longer meets your needs, or you have experienced a hardship.
If any of these situations has occurred, then ending the lease may be the best course of action.
That said, if you simply don’t like the car and have grown bored with driving it, these wouldn’t be financially smart reasons for getting out of a car lease. 

Getting out of a lease early due to a temporary hardship

Whether financial or physical, you may get a payment grace period by contacting your leasing company (lessor), alerting them to the hardship, and asking if they would temporarily suspend or reduce your monthly payments.
You would eventually need to pay the full amount owed, but having a short grace period could help your financial situation.  

Potential Penalties For Ending Your Lease Early

Leasing companies typically charge penalties for early termination of a car lease, and the more time that remains on the contract, the more you will likely be charged. The lessor will calculate this charge based on the current market value of the vehicle and the time left on the lease.
If you have driven excess miles or the vehicle has excessive wear-and-tear, additional fees will be added. All returned leased vehicles (whether turned in early or not) include a Disposition Fee to cover the cost of cleaning and preparing the vehicle for resale. Talk with the lessor before breaking a car lease and get a list of all possible fees. 

Best Options For Ending Your Car Lease Early

Here are the leading strategies for reducing potential penalties:
Early Lease Termination: This is the easiest and most straight-forward solution. Contact the leasing company (lessor) to let them know you want to do any early termination of car lease. They will provide you with the charges associated with doing an early lease termination.
Lease Transfer/Swap/Takeover: This option involves transferring your lease to another person, which not all leasing companies will allow.
Some will allow a complete transfer to a new driver, while other companies may only allow a limited transfer, in which case your name would remain on the lease while someone else takes over the payments. This is a risky option because if the new driver doesn’t make the payments, you will be responsible for paying.
If a complete lease transfer is allowed, you have the option of finding an interested third-party who wants the car or using an online broker, such as and
Lease Buyout: All leases include an option for the lessee to purchase the vehicle at the end of the lease term — this is called a lease buyout. While a buyout doesn’t allow for early termination of the lease, if you can afford to purchase the vehicle (using cash or an auto loan) then you could sell the vehicle after taking possession of it.
Sell Or Trade The Vehicle: Some lessees choose to do a lease buyout, then sell the vehicle for a profit. This option makes sense when the Residual Value of the vehicle is less than the current market value, so a profit can be made.
Rather than selling, some people choose to trade-in the leased vehicle for a different leased vehicle that better meets their needs (for example, if you’ve been leasing a small car and now need a pickup truck for your work).
If you do this while the lease is still in effect, the lessor may waive certain fees for early termination of the original lease because you are remaining in a lease agreement.
Service Members Civil Relief Act (SCRA): Under certain circumstances, the SCRA allows active duty service members to terminate an auto lease without having to pay early termination charges or a penalty. As always, check with your lessor to see if this is allowed.
Contact Leasing Company (Lessor): No matter which option is best for you, always start the process by contacting the lessor to get information on what is and isn’t allowed, and get the list of fees associated with your choice. 

CU SoCal Auto Loans

If purchasing a new or used car is more your style, CU SoCal can help with car loan financing! We offer: 
  • Up to 120% financing for new and used vehicles.
  • Rates as low as 2.49%APR.
  • Quick pre-approvals.
  • Extended terms up to 84 months for the lowest possible monthly payment.
  • A personal auto-buying concierge service.
  • Low-cost loan protection add-ons.
  • No application or funding fees.

Why Savvy Consumers Choose CU SoCal

For over 60 years CU SoCal has been providing financial services, including car loans, personal loans, mortgages, credit cards, and other banking products, to those who live, work, worship, or attend school in Orange County, Los Angeles County, Riverside County, and San Bernardino County.
Please give us a call today at 866.287.6225 today to schedule a no-obligation consultation with one of our auto loan experts.
Get Started on Your Auto Loan!

Help + Support


Co-Browsing Code

Building Better Lives

Credit Union of Southern California (CU SoCal) is a leading financial institution empowering those who live, work, worship, or attend school in Orange County, Los Angeles County, Riverside County, and San Bernardino County to reach their goals and build strong financial futures. CU SoCal provides access to convenient money management services and offers competitive rates and flexible terms on auto loans, mortgages, and VISA credit cards—turning wishing and waiting into achieving and doing.


562.698.8326 | 866 CU SoCal Se Habla Español