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What happens at the end of a car lease?

Here are 5 options to consider when you're at the end of your lease.

Leasing can sometimes give you more flexibility than if you’d straight-out bought a car. You don’t necessarily have to deal with depreciation, and you could possibly turn a profit when your lease is up.

What happens when my car lease is up?

When your car lease is up, the car is no longer yours. But there are several directions you can go in to either upgrade or even keep the vehicle:

Option 1: Extend your lease

Most dealerships allow you to extend your lease if you’re not quite ready to give it up. You can often get the same or similar terms if you’ve made on-time payments and kept the car in relatively good condition.

Some dealerships might also offer discounts for lease extensions. These might be tempting, but sometimes they can be too good to be true. Make sure you’re actually getting a good deal by checking the value of your car with a site like Canadian Black Book or Auto Trader Canada.

  • Best for: Sticking with the same car without having to buy it

Who is most likely to be researching what happens at the end of a car lease?

Finder data suggests that men aged 25-34 are most likely to be researching this topic.

ResponseMale (%)Female (%)
65+4.33%2.98%
55-647.94%4.33%
45-5411.27%5.95%
35-4412.71%7.21%
25-3417.67%9.83%
18-2410.10%5.68%
Source: Finder sample of 1,109 visitors using demographics data from Google Analytics

Option 2: Buy the car

Leases often come with the option to buy the car at the end. Typically, you can do this by making an extra balloon payment. How much you pay depends on the remaining payments you had left on the lease — if any — and your vehicle’s residual value.

If you decide to buy the car, you have two options: keep the vehicle or sell it. If you want to keep the vehicle, you can cover that balloon payment with a lease buyout loan. Or you can sell it and use those funds to cover the buyout cost.

  • Best for: Keeping your car or selling it to make a profit

5 reasons why you might want to buy your leased car

Compare car loans for lease buyouts

1 - 5 of 5
Name Product Ratings APR Range Loan Amount Loan Term Broker Compliance Requirements Long Table Description
CarsFast Car Loans
Customer Survey:
★★★★★
3.90% - 29.90%
$500 - $75,000
12 - 96 months
CarsFast will connect you with a dealership near you to help you find the right financing.
Requirements: Min. income of $2,000 /month, 3+ months employed
Loans Canada Car Loans
Customer Survey:
★★★★★
0% - 46.96%
$500 - $50,000
3 - 60 months
Loans Canada is a loan search platform. Get matched with a suitable dealer based on your credit history and borrowing requirements.
Requirements: Min. income of $1,800 /month, 3+ months employed
Dealerhop Car Loans
Not yet rated
6.99% - 29.99%
$7,000 - No max.
12 - 96 months
Dealerhop matches you with a dealer partner to get you financing.
Requirements: Min. income of $2,000 /month, 3+ months employed
Clutch Car Loans
Customer Survey:
★★★★★
From 8.49%
$7,500 - No max.
12 - 96 months
Apply for financing with online dealer Clutch, who partners with some of Canada’s largest financial institutions to get you competitive interest rates.
Requirements: 3+ months employed, Max.1 bankruptcy, Ontario & Nova Scotia only
CarDoor Car Loan
Customer Survey:
★★★★★
From 7.99%
$5,000 - No max.
12 - 96 months
Online dealer CarDoor works with multiple lenders to help you get a competitive interest rate. Apply for financing directly with CarDoor and get help every step of the way.
Requirements: 3+ months employed, Max.1 bankruptcy, Ontario only
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How to sell a leased car

You can sell your car before or after you’ve bought it, depending on who you’re selling it to. You can either trade it in for a new car at a dealership or sell it to a private party. Working with a dealership often requires less work on your end, but you might not make as much money off the deal.

Before you decide to buy the car and sell it, check its value. If it’s worth more than the cost of your buyout, you can actually make a profit by selling it. Otherwise, you could end up losing money and may want to consider other options.