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Get Ready to Start - and End - Your Car Lease With These Questions


Picture of a man scratching his head in confusion. Text says "I don't even know what I don't know."


We’ve all been there – not sure where to start and feeling overwhelmed. (Car leasing can do that to you.)

“Buying or leasing or acquiring a car isn't difficult, but the dealerships have made it a long, drawn-out, anxious process. It doesn’t need to be that way. Consumers can educate themselves online to find exactly what they want. And once they know what they want, the actual purchase should be as easy as walking into a store and buying something right off the shelf.” – Brandon Williams, Lease End CEO


Lease End can help you with a lot of things, like advising on buyout options, extended coverage, and financing. There are some things, though, that only you have the answers to. You’ll need to think through these answers before you lease a car, and as you’re preparing to end it.

Below are some questions you can ask to prepare to make the right decision about starting and ending a lease. Kind of like an online-personality quiz, but with more expensive results.

Before You Sign – Or Start Looking

So, you’re thinking of leasing a car. You know you need to be prepared and do your research before signing anything. That’s a good start. But what do you need to know in order to make an informed decision?

Ask the dealer: Ask yourself:
Does my lease contract allow lease buyouts? What’s my monthly budget?
Can I buy out my lease early, before lease term?  Can I add another person to the lease with me?
What are the fees for mileage overage? Could I sell my lease? If so, at what point in the lease could I?
What kind of fees will I have to pay to turn my lease in? What would my options be at the end of my lease?
  Do I plan on moving during my lease period?
  What’s my credit like?

Even if you ask all the right questions, you’ll still need to review your lease contract carefully before signing anything. Dealerships will often add or change fees before a deal is finalized, and some of those fees may not be legit. Not sure what to look out for? We’ve done an entire case study on this – added fees, sometimes bogus fees, and oftentimes fraudulent fees added to a lease contract.


When It’s Time to Say Goodbye

Is your lease-term end approaching? Or are you just sick of the car you’re driving? If you’re ready to end your lease – for any reason – there’s a few questions you’ll need to consider to make sure you’re getting the best out of your situation.

Depending on your goals, you may want to start with different questions.

For example, if you’re worried about having access to a car, you may want to explore options for a buyout. If you have more flexibility and just want some extra cash before moving on to your next vehicle (or joining the car-free life), you may want to start by looking into whether you have equity in your car. (By the way, we can help with that.)Picture of a cartoon man “sitting” on top of the question, “Should I Buy Out My Lease?” The questions are: How comfortable am I at a dealership?; How long will I keep my car?; What condition is my car in?; Do I like this car?; Do I want to lease again?; Am I over the mileage limit?; Do I have equity in my car?; What kind of fees will I be charged?


Pick the statement that most describes where you’re at with ending your lease.

I have no clue what to do.

  1. Do I want to lease again, or is buying in my future?
  2. Would I prefer to lease another car, or keep this one?
  3. Have I gone over my lease mileage limit?
  4. Do I need to get my car inspected at the end of my lease?
  5. What kind of condition is my car in?
  6. Are there any unpaid tickets/taxes registered to my license plate?
  7. Could I make any money from my lease? Is there any equity in my car?
  8. What kind of fees will I have to pay to turn my lease in? What about if I buy out my car?
  9. How comfortable am I in / working with the dealership?
  10. How much do you actually like the car? (Be honest.)
  11. If you kept the same car, how long would you want it?
  12. What do I need to do to prepare to end my lease? (This depends on how you want to end it—there’s not really one checklist that’s applicable for all.)

I don’t want this car anymore.

  1. Does my lease contract allow an early lease termination?
  2. Does my lease contract allow lease buyouts?
  3. If so, at which point in the lease can I exercise this option?
  4. Could my child / friend / family buy out or take over my lease?

I like this car OR I want to have it long term or buy a car now.

  1. Would my monthly payments be the same?
  2. What happens with my warranty and coverage?

While you’re considering these questions, check out our FAQs page to get a head start on some answers.

Hopefully this helps – even though we did leave you with more questions than answers. If you are ending your lease and need to chat through your options with someone, one of our Lease End advisors can help. Just give us a call at (888) 307-5197. Or, if you’re feeling ready to end your lease on your own, get started at (all you need is your license plate number or VIN to get started). 


Enter Your License Plate to Get Started.