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How do you get rid of it?

Okay, scenario:

I got a new job last year that required me to drive 45 minutes both ways (mostly rural, so its not that bad). So, I got a newer used car, only one year old, because I needed something that could stand up to almost 100 miles of driving 5x a week. I also got a little something that was a bit more than I needed (a sportier model). While we can afford it right now, we may be moving in a bit, and I may be jobless for a while. We have another car that was mine when we got married but is now my wife’s car that is all paid for and is an excellent car.

I’m making payments on my car, and if we move I might not be able to make payments for a while… can I just take it back to the dealership? I can’t sell it, because its not mine yet. If I needed to get rid of it… how would I?

Suffice to day, I’m learning to not bite off more than I need.

The dealer will offer you something like the wholesale price. Check out KBB, etc, and see how that compares to how much you owe. You can also get an offer from a Carmax if one is near you. You certainly can sell a car to somebody else even if you’re making payments on it, but you need to pay off the loan as part of the sale. You’ll need to check with the lienholder on how this has to happen.

Sorry about the hard way of learning that leasing cars is seldom a good idea.

@ Joseph E. Meehan,

It’s disheartening sometimes how eager people on this board are to jump down peoples’ throats. HE’S NOT LEASING!!! Learn to read, read to learn.

You can certainly sell it yourself. This way you may be able to get for it exactly what you owe on the loan. List it on the multitude of websites out there (,, ebay, etc, etc) and specify that there is still a loan outstanding on the car.
Close the sell/buy transaction at the bank which has your loan, so that once you pay off the loan, the buyer gets the keys and a notarized bill of sale from you. 2-3 weeks later when you get the original title in the mail from the bank, you can assign it to your buyer…At least that’s how I believe it is done in TX. It may be different in your state.

Yes, I’ve noticed that you are one of those people - why is your jumping down people’s throats different?

To clarify: I’m not leasing - I’m making payments to the dealership. Its not a loan from the bank either. I don’t own it yet because I have not finished paying for it. When I’m done with payments, I’ll own it.

Does this change anything?

That changes where you go to close on the sale of your car - you’ll go to the dealer. Call them and see how they want you to do it. How does the likely sales price of the car compare to how much you owe?

A pen is one of the most dangerous weapons there is. You signed an agreement to buy a car so doesn’t matter whether its the bank, dealer, or loan shark, the payments are still due. Best you can hope for is to be able to sell the car for more than you owe to be able to pay off the loan-that is provided the contract allows for an early pay off which it may not. Read the fine print. It also used to be common to have the financing figured out according to the rule of 78ths which basically meant that all of the interest is paid in the first few years, and all of the priciple in the last few years. So when you go to pay it off after a couple years, you still pretty much owe what you started with. If its from the dealer, then the interest rate is probably in the 12-18% variety. Best you can do is read the fine print in your contract to see what your options are and then just keep the car and keep paying for it.

If this is a BHPH (buy here, pay here) lot you may have a bit of an out depending on the circumstances but you’re going to have to have a discussion with the dealer about this.

So I would say that it’s at least feasible you could walk away from this thing although it’s possible they could hit you with a penalty and ding your credit report.
Without knowing the details and the dealer it’s hard to say what they will do. Odds are they will work with you on this.

Your post would read much better if you edited and softened it up a bit.

Where is the title to the car? Whose name is on the title? It should be your name on the title as owner with the car dealership (or a bank) listed in the lien holder section. In some states the lien holder gets the title to keep until it is paid off by the owner.

You should be able to sell the car. You take the money from your buyer and take it to the car dealership. At the dealer you pay off your loan and the dealer should have a notory who will admend the title to show the lien is paid off and transfer the title to the new owner. Then the new owner takes possession of the title and can take it to the DMV to retitle and register the car.

Locate the title. Go to the dealer and determine how exactly it works in your case for you to sell the car. At that time you can ask for the “payoff” amount and you’ll know how much money you need to settle the whole deal.