Welcome to NerdWallet; I’m sorry to hear about your job loss. That can definitely be a stressful experience.
It’s a hard call with the cars. If you sell the paid off car, can you use the money to buy out your lease? Is it a definite that you’d get that $20,000 or is it just possible? It’s easy to dream big on selling something and have the reality come in at less than we need or expect.
On the other hand, spending nearly $900 a month means the leased car regularly costs you money. Selling it now at a loss gives you that money back in your pocket each month, and in about a year, you’d have the $7000 back in savings from the lease payment.
You also want to consider the other costs for both cars: Does one get better gas mileage or require less maintenance? Do you have similar insurance costs for both or is one more affordable to insure? I’d compare those secondary costs as well when I thought about the best move here.
Would keeping the leased car as your primary vehicle put you over the annual mileage limit?
What if you return the lease early? Is there a penalty you could negotiate?
We do have some resources around leases that could be helpful as well:
I’d love to hear what other members who have negotiated leases handled their situations. And please let us know what you end up doing!
Good luck: take care of yourself, too! Losing a job is not easy, and the emotional strain can pop up unexpectedly over time.