Early Lease Termination Defined

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Patrick learned to drive on the Detroit freeways with side classes in the Pennsylvania hills. He spent the summer after graduation from the University of Dayton practicing his German-language skills and air-tool technique on the BMW M motor assembly line. An alumnus of the Jalopnik Automotive Media Global Domination Brigade, he currently resides in Manhattan and teaches mathematics when not pondering the state of the vehicular world. 

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, Automotive Editor - May 27, 2016

When you sign a lease, you enter into a legal agreement. Because of the way life works, sometimes it becomes preferable or necessary to get out of that agreement. And because of the way legal agreements work, if you want to break the terms of a lease you usually have to pay certain penalties.

Any professionally-prepared lease agreement will contain clear and specific terms for early termination. Don't be surprised if they are harsh and list a truly impressive stack of fees. A cut-and-run on a vehicle lease is not like breaking an apartment lease and losing your deposit; the dealer may require a termination fee, additional monthly payments, fees related to turning the vehicle around to resell it, and so on.

With that in mind, there is a new and effective way to wash your hands of an unwanted lease without getting soaked: Lease-transfer companies have staked out a valuable corner of the vehicle-ownership ecosystem, matching those who want to be rid of the terms of the lease with those who are willing to pick up where the original party leaves off. Make sure you fully understand the fees and terms and risks associated with handing off your vehicle to someone else, but in most cases you can be free of your lease for a fraction of what you would pay to simply turn it back in.

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, Automotive Editor

Patrick learned to drive on the Detroit freeways with side classes in the Pennsylvania hills. He spent the summer after graduation from the University of Dayton practicing his German-language skills and air-tool technique on the BMW M motor assembly line. An alumnus of the Jalopnik Automotive Media Global Domination Brigade, he currently resides in Manhattan and teaches mathematics when not pondering the state of the vehicular world. 

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