Breaking an auto lease — The Bump
Military Families

Breaking an auto lease

DH just got deployment orders and we want to break our auto lease. From what I gather on the internet, he is able to do so thanks to SCRA. I'm just wondering if we can still break the lease if both our names are on the car as oppossed to just his. For anyone who has done this before, how do I get the process started? Do you contact the finance company or the dealership?
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Re: Breaking an auto lease

  • I think I'd start with the dealership since that's where the car will go back to. I've never personally done it. GL!


    CJ 05/29/2013

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  • we had some friends leasing a car that got orders to germany, the husband was active duty but the wife was the primary on the car. I know the dealer put up a fight but in the end they did have to take the car back. I would take all your lease paper work into legal and get them to go over with you before you even call the dealer just so you feel confident knowing what you are talking about. 

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  • Call the finance company just to inquire. You don't have to give them your whole name or the account number but just want to ask some questions. Print out the SCRA guidelines as well as your DH's orders. I initially thought that because you were on it as well that they might hold you liable but per the reg's dependents are also not held liable if the below requirements are met. Good Luck.


    This should also help:


    A: Active duty service members, who enter into ?a lease of a motor vehicle used, or intended to be used, by a service member or a service member?s dependents for personal or business transportation?, may terminate their motor vehicle leases. The lease can be terminated if the service member receives ?military orders for a permanent change of station (PCS) outside of the continental United States or deployment orders for not less than 180 days?. Activated Reservists and certain National Guardsmen, as previously qualified above, can also terminate their motor vehicle leases, if the lease was entered into prior to active duty. In this situation, the service member must receive orders to active duty for at least 180 continuous days.


    A: As with the termination of real property leases, the service member must deliver a written notice of termination to the lessor (vehicle leasing company), along with a copy of military orders. This notification is

    also to be delivered by hand, private business carrier, or mailed, return receipt requested, to the address designated by the lessor. The service member must then return the motor vehicle to the lessor within 15 days of the date of delivery of the termination notice. The lease is effectively terminated once a proper termination notice is delivered to the lessor and the motor vehicle is returned within the appropriate time frame.


    A: For motor vehicle leases, ?the lessor may not impose an early termination charge, but any taxes, summonses, and title and registration fees and any other obligation and liability of the lessee in accordance with the terms of the lease, including reasonable charges to the lessee for excess wear, use and mileage, that are due and unpaid at the time of termination of the lease shall be paid by the lessee?. 

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  • Yes, under the SCRA you can terminate the lease - UNLESS your lease has a provision saying you waive your protections under the SCRA (possible but unlikely).

    Check out this link for more info and a sample termination notice:


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