Can I terminate my car rental contract early if I become disabled?


A car rental contract is a legally binding contract where the lessor owns the vehicle and you pay an agreed monthly amount to use the vehicle. But what happens when an unforeseen circumstance prevents you from driving the car? There is no guarantee that you can break a lease due to a disability; however, you have other options than returning the car and paying hefty penalties.

Can I terminate my lease early due to a disability?

A disability does not automatically get you out of a car rental. A lease is a legally binding agreement between you and the lessor. The agreement contains the terms and conditions of your contract, such as monthly costs, lease term, fees, restrictions and more. To break the contract, both parties must agree to terminate the lease or prove that the contract permits termination.

Breaking a lease due to a disability can also be costly. There are usually early termination fees, and depending on the landlord and the terms of the contract, you may need to make the remaining payments on your lease. The earlier the lease is terminated, the higher these costs can be.

However, there may be other ways to break your car lease without substantial financial penalties. You can also speak to your lessor and explain that you are breaking a car rental agreement for medical reasons. They may be able to work with you to find the best solution or give you more information on early termination policies.

How to end a car lease early

If you are considering breaking a lease due to a disability, there could be gaps in the contract or alternative methods to avoid a hefty penalty. Before you try to end your car rental agreement, you need to be prepared and consider all of your options.

Review your contract

Your best source of information for breaking a car rental agreement is your contract. The rental agreement will contain a clause regarding early termination and the fees you may be charged for early termination of your contract. Depending on your agreement and the length of your lease, these costs can be manageable.

However, your contract may provide options for breaking a car lease for medical reasons, such as a lease transfer, lease buyout, or contract termination.

Request an exception

Even if there are no exceptions listed in the contract, call the landlord directly to see if they are willing to do something. Ideally, you would be able to support the claim with documentation such as a doctor’s note stating that you can no longer drive.

If it turns out that early termination is unrealistic or too costly, you might consider finding someone to take over the car lease. In some cases, if another family member takes over the lease, this can be done for a small fee.

Exchange your car lease

Most rental agreements allow you to transfer your car rental to another person, as long as it is permitted by your rental agreement and the other party meets credit requirements. Different lessors have different rules for lease transfers, so be sure to check with your lessor before making any plans.

Several options are available to you for transferring your lease. There are online marketplaces, such as SwapALease.com or LeaseTrader.com, that connect lessees looking to get out of a car lease with potential lessees for a small fee. Most car brands allow lease buyouts, and these third-party companies handle the paperwork associated with this so you can be sure everything is done correctly.

Although you can also try to find someone on your own, it may take some time. And you are still responsible for doing rental payments until the transfer of the lease.

The bottom line

Terminating a car lease early can result in fees and other costs that can run into thousands of dollars. While you can’t automatically end a lease because of a disability, that doesn’t mean you’re stuck.

You may be able to minimize penalties through a lease transfer. Review your rental agreement to see if there is an early termination clause and contact the rental company to discuss your options.

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