How to Cancel an Auto Lease

by Michael Ryan

Many consumers lease a new vehicle without doing the research necessary to know if they are getting a good deal. In other cases, a car shopper may lease a vehicle without determining that the vehicle fits his needs and wants. In either case, a consumer may be faced with trying to cancel his auto lease early in the term. Other shoppers may want to cancel their lease early but still after many months of the lease have passed. In any case, there are steps that can be taken to cancel the lease, which can allow you to get into a new vehicle.

Contact the dealership. A local dealership that sells the brand of vehicle you lease can help you with your questions. If you are looking to cancel a lease that you just started, contact the salesperson or finance manager who completed the finance paperwork for you.

Explain your situation. If you just leased the vehicle, have had it only a few days and want to return it, see what the dealership will do to accommodate you. There is no limited right to rescind on a car purchase, so all sales with signed contracts are final. Despite this, the dealership may be willing to cancel the transaction and tear up the contract to get you in a new vehicle. As notes, whether or not the dealerships allow you to return the leased auto is at their discretion. Some dealerships will hold you to the vehicle to which you initially agreed, while others will work with you to get you what you want.

Contact the finance company. If you just purchased your vehicle and want to return it, the finance or leasing company may be unable to help, as it can take weeks for them to "book," or input, the details of your sale. However, if you have leased your vehicle for several months, the finance company can give you guidance when it comes to canceling your lease. In most cases, the lease cannot simply be canceled, but an early termination amount, equal to the sum of all remaining payments, can be paid to cancel the lease.

Pay any fees. If you are canceling a lease you recently signed at the dealership, the dealership may charge you for the miles you put on the car. If you are exchanging it for a new vehicle, you may owe the difference in the selling price between the two cars. This is up to the dealership and how it wants to account for the canceled transaction.

About the Author

Michael Ryan is a freelance writer with professional experiences in the auto industry and academic training in music. Ryan earned a Bachelor of Arts with honors from Olivet College. Since college, he has been a featured speaker at music conferences at the University of Michigan and Bowling Green State University. Ryan is a published writer, with work featured on websites including eHow and

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