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Car leasing is now the popular way of financing your new car. According to Experian, over 30% of all new cars are now leased rather than being purchased. There are a lot of nice perks when you choose to lease, you can drive a much nicer car than you could otherwise afford and you can drive a new model every three years.

However, the constant payments and lease restrictions can quickly get old. Whether you can no longer afford your lease payments or are sick of your current vehicle, ending a car lease early can be quite a hassle. Yet you do have a few different options if you want to free yourself from a car lease early.

1. Transfer your lease

One of the most convenient and easiest options is to transfer your car lease. Most dealerships are willing to work with you in order to get you into a new car. They can buy out your old lease if you open up a new one with them. You will have a higher chance of transferring your lease if you stick with the same manufacturer.

2. Swap your lease

Certain auto manufacturers will allow you to swap your lease with another person. The remainder of your lease will transfer to another individual. That person will then take over the responsibility and payments for the lease.

You don’t even have to actually find a willing person yourself, there are many companies such as that will take care of the lease swap for you for a small fee.

3. Pay the penalty to return the car early

Almost in every lease, you will have the opportunity to get released from the lease contract when you pay a penalty fee. Paying this penalty isn’t the smartest choice since it can be expensive. But for those who are determined to get out of their lease, paying this penalty might be worthwhile.

If you choose to go this route, there will be a termination fee in addition to paying the remaining depreciated value of the car. Just remember that the depreciated value can be fairly high in the end.

4. Trade or sell the vehicle

Not everyone knows that they can actually buy the car and sell it independently. This method could be much better than paying a penalty fee to end the contract. You will need to get in touch with the leasing company and find out the cost of buying out your contract. Once you own the car, you can do whatever you like with it, including selling it.

5. Contact the leasing company

If you can no longer afford your payments due to financial hardship, it’s best to contact the leasing company directly. Oftentimes you could work out a temporary alternative payment plan, depending on your contract and leasing company.

They may be able to postpone your payments or provide a lower payment for a few months. Over time you will end up paying more interest using this method, but it can provide some crucial breathing room while you get back on your feet.

It’s important to go over the terms of your contract first to better understand what your options are before trying to get out of your lease. And always contact your leasing company prior to taking any drastic actions or falling behind on your payments, to see what they can do for you.

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