How to Turn In a Leased Vehicle Early
Getting out of a lease early can cost a bundle. Leasing companies typically demand termination fees of $300 to $500, plus a few months’ worth of payments.
The easiest way out is a lease transfer. Companies such as SwapALease and LeaseTrader match people who want to get out of their leases with folks who want to get into a short-term lease. You can list your ride for $60 to $175, depending on the type of advertisement; in some cases, you’ll pay a transfer fee of about $150 once you find a taker. (Some lease companies charge a separate fee.) The swap company handles the paperwork, after which the new lessee takes over end-of-lease obligations.
If the market price of your vehicle is higher than the buyout figure your lease company gives you, you could purchase the car and sell it for a profit. Tarry Shebesta, president of LeaseCompare.com, says that with the short supply of used cars, you could come out ahead, especially late in your lease.
This article first appeared in Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine. For more help with your personal finances and investments, please subscribe to the magazine. It might be the best investment you ever make.