When you agree to a lease on a Toyota vehicle, you are agreeing to pay monthly payments for the term of the lease. If you die during the lease, your estate or a cosigner on the lease must continue to make the monthly payments or pay an early termination. An early termination may be very costly for your cosigner or estate, since it must be paid in a lump sum that includes the rest of the payments plus any fees. As an alternative to early termination, you can transfer the lease to another party.
Review your Toyota lease agreement. Carefully read the part of the agreement that pertains to early terminations. With most lease agreements, death is considered an early termination. Read the fine print in the lease documents to find out how much money is owed when the lease is terminated early.
Contact the leasing company that your Toyota dealership uses, either by phone or in person. Inform the company that the person who contracted the lease is deceased. The company may ask for a copy of the death certificate for its records. Ask the company how much time remains on the lease, the amount of the monthly payments and the fees for early termination.
Discuss your options with the leasing company. If there would be a large expense to terminate the contract early, ask the company if it offers alternative programs for leases where the contracted person has died.
Search on the Internet for lease transfer or lease swapping companies. A lease transfer or swapping company will help to match you with someone who wants to assume the remainder of the lease. Generally, the fee for transferring the lease is much less than the cost of terminating the lease early. You may be charged a fee both by the lease trading or swapping company, and Toyota's lease holding company as well.
Research your leased Toyota for recalls. If your vehicle has had a recall recently, you may be able to terminate the lease due to the recall.
- Times Union: A GMAC lease lingers, even after a death
- Bank Rate: Escaping a car lease gets easier
- Lease Guide: Get Out of Car Lease? Break a Lease? End a Car Lease? Terminate a Lease? Exit a Lease Early? It's All the Same Thing
- Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. "Negotiating Terms and Comparing Lease Offers." Accessed July 28, 2020.
- Federal Trade Commission. "Should I Lease a Car?" Accessed July 28, 2020.
- Experian. "State of the Automotive Finance Market," Page 22. Accessed July 28, 2020.
- Kelley Blue Book. "Q: What Is Car Depreciation?" Accessed July 28, 2020.
- Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. "Frequently Asked Questions." Accessed July 28, 2020.
Sarah Thomas has been a freelance writer for more than five years. She has ghostwritten e-books and articles on weddings and other topics. Her work has also been published on various websites. Thomas graduated from Daemen College with a degree in psychology.