How do I get out of my car loan with minimal pain?

My loan is only 5 months old. I love my car but I regret going from a 4 door to a 2 door. It’s just very inconvenient.

Looking for any options to get out of this.


The standard way to get out of a car loan is to pay it off. You sell your car and apply the money to the loan. If you bought a new car just 5 months ago, and didn’t put down a decent down payment, then it is possible that your car is worth less than the loan.

An option at that point (a fiscally unsound option) would be to trade in the present car for another car, rolling the old loan into a new one.

Look up the bluebook value of it. When it’s worth more than you owe (think 10% or so under the middle trade in value), bring it to a dealer and ask them to buy it from you. Use that money to pay off the loan, anything leftover you can use as a down payment. If it’s less, you either have to come up with that money on your own or see if they can roll it into a new loan.

I learned this trick on my last car lease. The finance guy told me to check KBB every month or so during the last year of the lease. I did it, about 6 months before my lease was up I brought the car to a dealer and told them I didn’t want to turn it in, I want to trade it in. I ended up with about $500 (or a grand, depending on how you look at it) over what I owed which I used as a down payment on the next car.
FWIW, this will probably all be smoother if you get the new car from the same place as the current one and/or use the same bank.

I don’t know how it works in the USA but when I was made redundant some years ago, I looked at paying off a car loan (keeping the car) as a way of reducing outgoings. I was surprised to discover that they wanted the principal plus *all *of the interest that would have accrued right up to the end of the loan period.

Needless to say, I declined the offer and just kept up with the payments.

Why would you do this?!

Sell the car private party. Get as much money as you can for it. I guess the problem becomes if you don’t have enough money to pay off the remaining loan balance and get the title, you can’t get the money from the private buyer without the title to give them.

It’s going to be tough to get your money back at this point. Why would anyone buy it for the new price? They could just buy it new themselves. Unless the car is in short supply, you’ll probably end up taking a pretty big loss. If you’re okay with that, then selling it on a site like AutoTrader would probably be your best bet. You can try craigslist, but people there are looking for deals and are unlikely to pay top dollar.

The dealer is more than happy to come up with a trade-in deal for you, but that’s because they’ll make money on it.

Why is a 2-door inconvenient?

I just lease my car, and am at the end of the second year of a three-year lease. I got a call from the lessor a few weeks ago giving me the chance to buy the car outright for a few grand. I turned the offer down - I’m happy enough with what I pay - I like the car -can’t be arsed with the hassle etc. So last week got a call from them again: would I like a brand new 2018 model (the next spec level up as it happens) on a new 3-year lease for a whopping £3 a month more? No cost to me on early termination of the old lease. Well, yeah!

I really don’t understand car financing, but I suspect my new deal is something to do with quarterly sales targets…

I don’t think anyone that’s looking for cars on Craigslist etc, was going to hand me more than the $17,500 the dealer gave me for it. PLUS, I didn’t have to handle transferring the title, I could trust that they were good for the money, I was never without a car and never had two cars (that I owed money on) at the same time.

Basically, they gave me enough money to cover the buyout and then some and I didn’t have to deal with any of the headaches.

Don’t. Bluebook is a scam. Dealers have two Bluebooks, one with low prices- the ones they offer you for your trade, and one with high prices- where they justify the price on that used car.

NADA or Edmunds.

Kelly Blue Book isn’t that great of a pricing guide. The NADA price is a lot better, in particular it is quite widely used by a lot of dealers.

KBB is mainly used by dealers to goof with the price of a trade-in and such. Ignore it. Go NADA.

Ninja’d by DrDeth!

Looking at the highest tier, Nada gives me a trade in value of $17,325 and Edmunds is at $16,555. The dealer gave me $17500. I’d be very surprised if a random joe off the street was going to beat that.

But thanks, it’s nice to get confirmation!:smiley:

I’d definitely go to your dealer and let them put together a deal. That’s what dealers do. They’ll have to dip their beak, of course, so it will cost you a little more, but it will be hassle-free.

I thought lenders had given up that scam decades ago. Who was the lender if you don’t mind me asking?

The dealer made money somewhere else in the deal, then.

Well, yeah. I’d hope so (I’m one of those ‘profit isn’t a four letter word’ type people). Keep in mind, I got another car from them all in the same transaction and the car I traded in is on their lot right now for $20,675. After someone haggling it down a bit and them adding in whatever fees they add to it, they’ll make $3000 on it.

It’s entirely possibly that if I just wanted to sell it to them and walk away, they wouldn’t have offered me this much.

This is why my suggestion was to go back to the dealer and see what they can offer. IME, sticking with the same dealer, or at least the same make/brand will typically get you the best results.

I was a while ago so I forget now. It wasn’t my bank though.


Advice is better suited to IMHO. Moving.

Well, read the loan terms and conditions, and also check to see if your state and/or federal laws override nasty terms .

If there is a nasty condition, like paying 5 years of interest, they might waiver that if you redo the deal on a different vehicle ???

Read your loan contract, pretty much every one I’ve had would let me pay off the loan early without additional interest or penalties. Maybe that is because I had a nice finance guy. :wink:

If you financed as a buy, you are going to be upside down on it. You more than likely will never get the price you paid for it no matter who you bought it from. The only way to ‘get out of the loan’ is to pay it off or roll it into another loan which, as I said, you’ll be upside down on. That’s why they have GAP insurance.