Dear Driving for Dollars,

I leased a car, rolling over what was owed on my previous car into this lease. Now I can’t afford the payments, and I want to return the car to the dealer. But, I owe double what the car is worth. Will the dealer want me to pay the full balance?

— Roberto

Dear Roberto,

Yes. After all, the additional money was part of a loan for a previous car you owned. Also, they’ll likely charge you a penalty for turning the car in early. There could be other fees, such as a penalty if you are over the mileage limit in the lease contract or if the car has dents or other cosmetic issues. Go through your lease contract carefully to fully understand the charges you will face.

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