Can I end my single payment lease early?

We have a 2018 Ford Escape. It is getting drastically lower gas mileage than advertised. There are many other things about this car that we absolutely hate. We want it gone. We are at 9 months since lease signing at this point.


I leased it for 3 years and paid 1 payment up front, we have no monthly payment.

Can I end this thing and bring it back? Pre-payment penalties likely, but we are willing to eat them if it isn’t too bad…

Did you do an actual single pay lease or make your 36 payments all at once?

Refund? No. You just take it back and have them buy it out. Not sure if you would come out ahead or not though.

1 Like

I made one payment of $15.8k including tax

Yeah refund was the wrong terminology, I meant buy out, thanks

The words in my lease:
Voluntary early termination and return of the vehicle: You may terminate this lease early, by returning the vehicle to Lessor unless Finance Company designates another place and paying the following: (a) the residual value plus (b) the Disposition Fee shown in this lease in section 3 ($395) and © all other amounts then due under this lease. You will receive a credit for the unearned rent charges and the vehicles fair market wholesale value.

I’m good with $395. No worries with that.
I’m trying to understand how paying residual value and receiving a credit for unearned rent and fair market wholesale value fit into the picture because I’m not familiar with these terms

Sounds like:

PAY RV (lets say $15,000) + $395 turn in fee = $15,395. Credit 27 months unearned rent ($439*27= $11,853) + trade in value of lets say $17,000 = $28,853. Sos you would get a refund of $13,458.

In this example you would have paid $2,342 ($15,800 - $13,458) to drive for 9 months or about $260 per month.

Get your lease contract out and figure it out based on what you think trade in value is.

You are responsible for the RV + remaining payments (which would be $0 for you) + $395 - unearned interest - whatever the car sells for at wholesale auction.

1 Like

Rent charge is just the interest, not the whole monthly payment (rent+depreciation).

Sounds like OP would likely get hosed then unless a 2018 Ford Escape does not lose value!

The inetersing part would be if the Ford dealer decides what “fair market wholesale value”, which would essentially be a trade in for the dealer to buy, or if they would wait to see what is brought at auction if no Ford dealer wants to put it on their lot.

1 Like

Exactly. I don’t think I’d have a problem getting the dealer to put it on the lot, but I think maybe I’d get very weak value on the trade in so they have some margin left to sell.

Was this a fully loaded Escape, at almost $440/mo incl taxes, I would hope so. I think it might help others to hear exactly what you don’t like about the Escape besides the gas mileage. What are you seeing for mileage?

But, you’re not returning the vehicle. You said you meant “buy out”. In the case of a buyout, voluntary early termination does not apply. Look at the purchase option clause in your lease agreement to see how the lease balance is determined.
Your payoff will be the lease balance plus any applicable fees (e.g., purchase option fee, taxes, etc.). Or, post the clause and I’ll compute your lease balance and payoff. Or, call the fund provider to get the payoff. Next, I’ll assume you’ll be getting another car. Negotiate a trade and have the dealer buy it out. See which of the two options is the cheapest as Jon suggested. Dealers don’t pay taxes and may be exempt from paying any purchase option fee. If the car has low mileage and is in very good condition, you may discover that you have some equity.
[Edit: deleted lease balance determination based on speculation]

Have you checked out vroom and carvana?
Depending on how good the rebates on that vehicle were when you leased it, you have a chance.
On the Buick Encore leases last year with $26k sticker I was able to get an offer of $21k etc while pay of was right under $19k. This was around 2 or 3 months after I had signed lease. Rebates during the lease were close to or above $6k I believe.

I just recalled the negative part about FORD. Their bank requires you to contact the original dealership where the vehicle was leased from to sell it to the 3rd party buying it out. Very confusing but you need to start somewhere so still check out carvana and vroom

We just returned an Escape, the 36 mo lease was up. Ford sent an inspector to look at the car a few weeks prior to lease end and then send the report and paperwork instructing us to return the car to the dealer where we got it. That dealer is almost an hour away and there is a Ford dealer much closer. We took it to the closer dealer and had no issues.

Can you just put it on Swapalease and see how much you can recoup of the $15k? May be a limited audience who wants to pay upfront, but if the effective payment is below market, I’m sure you would get interest.

May be easier than trying to buy it out and finding a way to dump it for a reasonable price.

Returning lease is not an issue. Its always when you are trying to sell it out or trade it in to a different dealer that you are advised by Ford financial to contact original dealer.
Just returned a Ford Explorer in FL which was a swapalease from Michigan.

I had a horrible time selling my leased Ford. Carvana, Shift and CarMax wouldn’t buy Ford leases. Buying it from my Ford dealer and then selling it would require a $695 processing fee, DMV fees and sales tax (refundable if I got the title and sold in ten days).

I ended selling it to an AutoNation Ford dealer.