Ask a Lawyer and Get Answers to Your Legal Questions
Generally, you have to pay the loan current plus any additional costs and fees associated with the repossession (which can be substantial). That's actually what the law is - call the lender and ask what the outstanding current amount due is and pay it in full. The lender does not really want the car - they want their money only and they lose money if the loan goes into default. However, they will only accept the total current amount due - nothing less. Assure them this won't happen again (they really don't care as long as you bring it current).
Sometimes, however, the loan can say (get a copy) if a default they don't have to reinstate if the debtor pays the balance (just the current amount due plus costs and fees not the entire amount) in full. But that the unusual.