How to Stop Paying for an Auto Lease


Review the terms on your lease. Knowing your options helps you choose the best way to return a leased car before the lease has expired.


Return the car to the dealer. You may be responsible for paying off the remainder of the lease, administration fees and penalties for returning the car before the lease has expired.


Consider lease trading instead of returning the car to the dealer. Lease trading involves signing the remainder of the lease to another person. Search third-party leasing brokers online or find a relative or friend to take over your lease.


Contact the dealership to make sure it allows lease trading. In order to complete the trade, the person who takes over the lease must have good credit and must undergo a credit check.


Lease a different car from the dealership if you can't find anyone to take over the existing lease. If you recently lost your job and can no longer afford the lease payments, the dealer may allow you to trade in the car for one with a lower monthly payment.

Tips and Warnings

  • Consider all options when returning a leased car to determine the option that's best for you financially.
  • Do not stop making payments on the car. It will be repossessed, which will damage your credit rating. Contact the dealer if you're having problems making regular monthly payments.Trading in a leased car for a different car can be costly depending on the amount you owe on the first car. The remaining amount is rolled over into the new lease. Consider these costs before agreeing to lease a less expensive car.
  • Returning a leased car before the lease has expired can be expensive. Depending on the amount you owe, you will have to pay up front the remainder of the lease and additional costs for maintenance, mileage and administration. Other options include lease trading or taking out a new lease on a different car. Consider all options and cost before returning your leased car.