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How Can I Extend a Car Lease? Should I?

If you’re leasing a car, that lease will come to an end one day, one way or another. However, that day might not have to come as soon as you originally thought.

Maybe you’re considering a lease buyout, but need some extra time to think through your options. Maybe you’re between jobs and waiting to see what kind of monthly payments you can afford before making a big decision on a car. Basically, you need to buy yourself some time. Luckily, you can do this by extending your car lease temporarily. So, how can you extend a car lease?

Lease extensions are great if you’re not sure what to do with your car at the end of your lease. If you do know that you want to keep the car, acting now and buying your vehicle out can be a great option (and save you money over a lease extension). If that sounds like the best move to you, you can get started at or call us at (877) 425-0460. If you're not ready yet, our lease-end experts will help you explore your options and find what's right for you.


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What Are Your Lease Extension Options?

There are typically two options for extending a car lease – an informal extension, and a formal one.

An informal extension allows you to keep your leased car for just a bit longer than you originally arranged. A formal lease extension usually requires a new contract, which means your monthly payments would likely change, you’d have a new mileage allowance, etc.

How long can you extend a car lease?

It depends on which kind of extension you get. With an informal extension, you'll usually get no more than 6 extra months. Essentially, you’d be under the same lease contract and would continue making monthly payments just like you have been. This is a great quick-fix option if you can still afford your monthly payments and don’t anticipate you’ll rack up additional wear-and-tear or mileage-overage fees (more on that later).

A formal lease extension would be more of a 6-12 month solution – and while it could end up being the best choice in your particular situation, it’s generally not the best option.

How do I extend a car lease?  

To figure out exactly how to extend you car lease, you’ll just need to contact your lender. An extension would need to be worked out with them on a case-by-case basis, but the process will generally fall into one of those two categories.

Is It a Good Idea to Extend Your Lease?  

So, a lease extension seems pretty straightforward, right? We all know, though, that there’s no such thing as a free lunch – especially in the dealership world. While an extension can buy you some much-needed time in the short-term, it could come back to bite you in the long run. Luckily, we’ve got the good news and the bad news on lease extensions right here.

Pros_guyIf you’re on the fence about your end-of-lease options and want to make sure you’re in a good spot before committing to a decision, a lease extension can give you more time without having to worry about what to drive in the interim.

In a similar vein, if you’re waiting on a new car model, still experiencing supply-chain-related delays on an order, or want to see if rates or deals improve before making a decision on your lease, this could buy you some more time.

Depending on your lender’s process, extending your lease could be pretty easy (and quick).

A lease extension should not affect your credit. 

Cons_guyYour warranty may expire during/before your lease extension, leaving you responsible for repairs that were previously covered.

You may have to pay additional fees to extend the lease.

You may end up paying extra in wear-and-tear or mileage fees. For example, if you’re close to (or at) your mileage limit at the end of your original lease term and enter into an informal extension, you’ll almost certainly go over your mileage limit and be charged accordingly.

Depending on whether your car’s residual value is re-assessed for an extension, you may be getting a (much) worse deal on your car if you decide to buy it out after the extension anyway. 



Other End-of-Lease Options

1. Turn in Your Vehicle and Apply it Toward Another Lease or Purchase

If you’re really itching to get back into another lease, you could leverage your current lease turn-in to get a good deal on your next one instead of extending. Dealerships often offer incentives to customers who turn their car back in and immediately enter another lease (or purchase a car instead).

2. Buy Out and Keep Your Car

If you’re considering an extension because you like the vehicle you have now (or want a lower monthly payment but still need a car), buying out and keeping your leased car can be a great option. You’ll get to stay in the car you’re already used to, and depending on your car’s residual value, you could get a great deal on the car compared to its market value. Financing the buyout could lower your monthly payment, too. (To learn more about this option, read about how it works here.)

3. Sell Your Leased Car

If you’re not interested in keeping the car, but you do have equity in the vehicle, you could buy out your car to turn around and sell it. If your buyout amount is lower than the car’s current value, you’d make money off your car lease.

How Lease End Can Help

You’ve got options – you know that. Deciding which one is best is the hard part. Luckily, you’ve got Lease End to help you out.

We want to help you think through your lease-end options and find the one that’s right for you. If you decide to buy out your car, we can take care of the stressful parts so ending your lease is as easy as extending it.  We’ll arrange a loan that fits your monthly budget through our partners like TD Bank and Ally Financial. We can even hook you up with customizable, extended coverage so you’re not left hanging after your lease ends.  

If you’re ready to chat through your options with a dedicated advisor, give us a call at (877) 425-0460 to get in touch with one of our lease-end experts. If you’d prefer to compare options yourself, start with our monthly payment calculator to get an idea of how a lease buyout could work for you. Or, if you’re ready to buy out your lease already, get started by entering your license plate number below or visiting us at


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