Cancelling a car lease is not as simple as paying a penalty fee and handing over your keys. Breaking a lease means terminating a binding legal contract, and this must be handled correctly to protect your credit rating and wallet. If you want to break your lease you have three options, and one of these you would have needed to plan for at the time of lease signing.
The best way you can protect yourself when leasing a vehicle is by purchasing deficiency insurance. Also known as walkaway protection, this type of plan will allow you to end your lease early if you should experience financial difficulties or serious health problems. Some plans even include situations like loss of driver's license. If you think your situation is covered by your plan, call the insurance company first and follow their instructions for lease termination to the letter.
No deficiency insurance? Read the fine print on your lease contract. You may still be able to break your auto lease, but it is probably going to cost you a pretty penny. Call your lease company and ask about early termination. Be prepared to pay a hefty settlement of all or most of he amount you still owe on the lease.
Find out if your lease company will allow a lease transfer. This effort can save you a lot money and protect your credit score. Find lease transfer assistnace from a company like Swapalease or AutoLeaseBreakers. Such groups will help you find someone to take over your contract and help with the lease transfer paperwork for a fee much lower than an early termination charge.
Do not try to privately trade your lease without completing the proper paperwork with your lease company. Not only is this illegal, but you will still be on the hook for the payments if the new lessee fails to pay, and the new lessee will not be able to insure the vehicle.