A friend tipped me off to SwapALease, where you can take over another person’s car lease, often for a discount. I haven’t personally used the site, but I interviewed a SwapALease rep and if you are considering leasing a car, it can often save you money on the cost of a car.
Note: When comparing prices between SwapALease and a dealer, make sure to account for taxes, fees, and interest.
How SwapALease works:
- There are thousands of listings across the country, though the bulk are located in New York, California, Arizona, Michigan and Florida.
- Sellers pay a $159 “success fee” to list and transfer their vehicle. Or, a seller can pay $99 to list, and an additional $79 to transfer their lease when a buyer is found. Occasionally, the buyer pays the transfer fee.
- Listings are color coded:
a. Sponsored listings are GREEN
b. Private individual listings are ORANGE
c. Dealer listings are BLUE
- What is NON-NEGOTIABLE: Monthly payment, mileage allowed, and lease-end date. These terms are controlled by the leasing company and the lease is transferred intact.
- What IS NEGOTIABLE: A lump sum payment, usually from seller to buyer, but occasionally the other way around. “More than 50 percent of transfers involve a cash incentive,” said PR rep John Sternal. A seller may ask for a lump sum payment from the buyer if s/he prepaid for a lot of miles and didn’t use them, or had to pay a large down payment when s/he started the lease.
- Once the buyer and seller come to an agreement, it takes about two weeks to actually get the car in the buyer’s hands. Longer if the car has to be transported long distances.
- You can take over a lease, start a new lease, or even buy a car on SwapALease.com.
- Prices on SwapALease are often lower than what you could get at a dealer. “It is safe to say there is a very good chance that it’s lower than what you would get at a dealer,” Sternal said.
Interesting fact: About 60 percent of BMW you see on the road are leased! Luxury cars are more often leased than practical cars. For example, a Toyota Camry has a lease rate of 20-30 percent, Sternal said.
Would you take over a car lease for a discount?