Terminating your car lease isn’t easy, nor is it cheap. Sometimes, though, it’s unavoidable. You might need to move, or you’ve lost your job and taken a significant pay cut in a new one, or perhaps you’re a military member that’s about to deploy (in which case, most of the time, you can terminate the lease without paying any early termination fees).
How do you terminate your car lease? The first thing to do is write a car lease termination letter.
Gather The Lease Paperwork And Go Over It
The first step to writing a car lease termination letter is to gather up the lease paperwork and read it carefully. Often, the lease itself will tell you exactly what information you’ll need to provide, and other details that you may need.
It will also outline early termination fees, and if there are any other options to help you get out of your lease.
Gather evidence of the reason for termination
If you have anything that backs up your reason for terminating the lease, get that paperwork ready. This could be a letter terminating your employment, deployment paperwork, or paperwork from your employer or the military indicating that you need to move and where you’re moving.
Providing copies of this paperwork with your termination letter can help make it easier to get out of the lease.
Include All the Pertinent Information in The Letter
The letter you are writing is going to a company that probably gets hundreds, or even thousands of documents every day related to various vehicle leases and more. You need to make sure you include all the information they could possibly need to identify your lease and connect your termination letter to it.
This means you should include:
- Your name
- Your address
- Your phone number
- Your email address
- The vehicle’s VIN
- Your account number
- The lease start and end dates
- The reason for terminating
- A list of attachments (if you’re providing proof of deployment or moving, for example)
- Your preferred method of contact
- A request for confirmation of receipt and lease termination
You should also include information stating how you’ve sent the letter, acknowledging that you need to return the car to the dealership, and the effective date of the termination.
If the lease outlines specific instructions or information that should be included in the letter, make sure you include that as well.
Outline Your Obligations As You Understand Them
Specify your obligations, such as returning the car to the dealership, paying early termination fees, or anything else described in the lease. If you have an obligation, such as paying a fee that can be done with the letter or without it, specify when you intend to comply with that obligation.
Include An Odometer Reading Statement
Federal law requires you to provide a signed statement with the vehicle’s odometer reading at the time of termination. Mention that it is included, and include it on a separate piece of paper.
Sample Car Lease Termination Letter
123 Main St.
Anytown, State 12345
January 15, 2019
To Whom It May Concern,
This letter is to inform you that I need to terminate my car lease, which started on 4/16/2017 and is scheduled to end on 4/15/2020, early. After losing my job recently, I’ve had to take a significant cut in pay and move out of state to find new employment.
Therefore, I am returning the cherry red 2009 Dodge Charger, VIN#12AB34CD56EF78GH9, to you. My account number is 123456789.
I have included a letter from my previous employer indicating my job loss, and from my new employer confirming my pay and the move out of state. I have also included the signed statement indicating the odometer reading as required by federal law.
I have read my lease carefully, and I understand that I will owe an early termination fee of $850. I also understand that I need to return the car to the dealership within 10 days of the date of this letter.
I will send a money order in the amount of $850 in two weeks for the early termination fee. The car will be returned to the dealership no later than 1/25/19. The lease termination will be effective on 1/25/19, once the car is returned.
I am sending this letter by certified mail with a return receipt requested. Please confirm receipt of this letter and that the lease has been terminated at your earliest convenience. Thank you.
Odometer reading statement
Job loss letter
New job letter