Driving a Bargain

How to dump your car lease--or find a cheap deal on a set of dream wheels

THREE YEARS AGO, THAT sporty little convertible seemed like the perfect car. That was before you were married with a mortgage, a child and a baby on the way. Now, you--and hundreds of thousands of others driving leased cars--want to get out of that contract and into a different ride. There's only one problem: exiting early will cost you a bundle.

While the typical lease runs almost four years, the new-car itch hits the average driver every three, notes Art Spinella, president of CNW Marketing Research in Bandon, Ore. As many as 30% of the 17 million drivers holding leases in...

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