According to Nolo, a legal advice website, you can simply call the dealer and return a financed car, but the lender is under no obligation to release you from the debt owed. The lender may sell the car, but you may still be found liable for the difference between the price the lender gets from reselling the car and the price you agreed to pay.
When you are having trouble making car payments, the best thing to do is contact the lender and try to work out an arrangement, according to an article on the Fox News Network website. Some lenders allow you to trade down into a less expensive model, while others may extend the loan term, which lowers your monthly payment.
Turning in a financed car is still a better option than having it repossessed. According to Fox News Network, repossessing a car costs the finance company up to $8,000. You may find yourself liable for these charges as well if you are unable to come to an agreement with the financing company. If you are unable to afford your financed vehicle, your lender may allow you to find someone who will assume the payments. However, this can be difficult to accomplish, as the new buyer has to be deemed creditworthy by the financing institution.