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We're about 13 months into a 39 month lease. Our payoff is about $40,000.

We are looking at trying to get into something that will lower our payments a bit, and so checked a local dealer to see what options they had. They offered to buy out our current leased vehicle, with a negative equity of around $4000 (which while it sucks, isn't a show stopper since we're just trying to get into something cheaper overall right now).

My question is, does this sort of transaction typically result in fees from a lease contract? What sort of wording should I look for in our contract to see the stipulations on this kind of thing? I'm afraid we'll get through with the new deal, and then get some sort of lease cancellation/buyout fee mailed to us.

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    Early termination will likely apply. You might want to investigate lease transfer, or if the dealer you leased through has a desirable car it may be best to work with them. – Hart CO Jul 9 '18 at 15:00
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    Consider when getting a new car that leasing may not be the best option, partly for this exact reason. This may be a good time to switch to purchasing (perhaps a used car) instead. And agree with Hart CO; if your new car is from the same dealer, they may be more likely to waive potential penalties, if they exist. – Grade 'Eh' Bacon Jul 9 '18 at 15:09
  • We're looking into trading the lease in on a financed vehicle (not leasing again). – MrDuk Jul 9 '18 at 15:18
  • I would be shocked if there was a specific fee for early payoff. It's not uncommon to owe all of the total remaining payments including whatever interest and build in insurance there may be, but not an additional fee. Have you talked to the bank? – quid Jul 9 '18 at 16:19
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    I called our lease holder and was informed that the lease early termination fee (whether we just pay off the existing lease or buy the car outright) is $350. – MrDuk Jul 9 '18 at 16:23
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Typically when a car dealership offers to buy you out of a lease they understand the fees and negative equity that goes along with the deal. I would not expect further fees from the leasing company; or, a negative impact on your credit report for turning in a lease early. This does not happen with car loans, so I would not expect leases to be any different.

Your best bet might be to contact the leasing company. They can offer you guidance on what to look for. While there, being optimistic, you can explore what they would offer to buy you out from the lease. Maybe, from them it will only cost you 3k to be bought out from the lease. Then you can take the remaining 1k and purchase a used car that can last until you save up enough to purchase something outright. There is nothing like have a $0 car payment.

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