Can You Get Rid Of A Car On Finance

Can You Get Rid Of A Car On Finance

6 min read Jun 29, 2024
Can You Get Rid Of A Car On Finance

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Can You Get Rid of a Car on Finance?

Getting rid of a car on finance can be tricky, but it's not impossible. There are several options available to you, and the best choice will depend on your individual circumstances. Here's a breakdown of some of the most common scenarios:

Selling the Car

1. Selling the Car Directly:

  • Option 1: Pay Off the Loan First: The simplest and most straightforward approach is to pay off the remaining loan balance and then sell the car. However, this might not be feasible for everyone, as it can involve a significant upfront cost.
  • Option 2: Sell the Car to a Dealership: Many dealerships offer to buy cars with outstanding finance. They'll take care of the remaining loan payments and any outstanding fees, but you'll likely get a lower price than you would selling privately.
  • Option 3: Sell the Car Privately: This could be the most lucrative option, but it requires more effort and involves some risks. You'll need to advertise the car, handle viewings, negotiate with potential buyers, and ensure you receive payment before transferring ownership.

2. Important Considerations:

  • Loan Agreement: Before selling, carefully review your loan agreement. Some lenders might have clauses restricting your ability to sell the car without their permission.
  • Outstanding Loan Balance: Determine the current outstanding loan balance and ensure the sale price covers this amount.
  • Negative Equity: If you owe more than the car is currently worth, you'll have negative equity. This means you'll need to cover the difference out of pocket, making selling less appealing.

Trading in Your Car

1. Trading in at a Dealership:

  • Benefits: Dealerships often accept trade-ins as part of a new car purchase. This can streamline the process and potentially offer a higher trade-in value than selling privately.
  • Considerations: The trade-in value might be lower than the market value, and you could be left with a higher loan balance if your trade-in doesn't cover the remaining loan.

2. Trading in at a Different Dealership:

  • Benefits: You could potentially receive a better trade-in value by exploring different dealerships, as they might offer different valuations.
  • Considerations: You'll need to coordinate with both dealerships and potentially navigate multiple financing options.

Returning the Car

1. Early Termination:

  • Benefits: Some lenders offer early termination options, allowing you to return the car before the loan term ends. However, this often comes with hefty penalties and fees.
  • Considerations: You'll likely lose money, and you might be required to cover the cost of any damage to the car.

2. Voluntary Surrender:

  • Benefits: If you're unable to afford the loan repayments, you might consider voluntarily surrendering the car to the lender. This avoids negative impact on your credit score but can leave you with a negative equity balance.
  • Considerations: You'll need to negotiate with the lender and be prepared for potential legal consequences.

Other Options

1. Refinancing:

  • Benefits: Refinancing your loan might lower your monthly payments or reduce the overall interest you pay, making the car more manageable.
  • Considerations: Refinancing might come with fees and affect your credit score.

2. Finding a Co-signer:

  • Benefits: If you're struggling to make payments, adding a co-signer to your loan can help secure a better interest rate or lower monthly payments.
  • Considerations: This puts responsibility on the co-signer, and they will be liable for the loan if you default.


Choosing the right way to get rid of a car on finance depends on your individual circumstances, financial situation, and the terms of your loan agreement. It's crucial to carefully consider all available options, their potential benefits and drawbacks, and seek professional advice if necessary. Remember, it's important to act proactively and address the situation before it becomes unmanageable.

Can You Get Rid Of A Car On Finance

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