A lease for a new car typically starts at 24 months, but that doesn't mean that you're out of luck if you only want to lease a car for 12 months. The key to doing this is to look for a "lease transfer." This means that you need to find someone that wants to get out of his lease. You will still need approval from the company that holds the lease, which means that you need to be creditworthy. A lease transfer company will help you with the transfer.
Search for cars that have 12 months left on the lease. Use a lease transfer website, such as Swapalease.com or LeaseTrader.com. With these sites, you can set criteria to look for your car, such as lease term, make and model of the car, and location of the car. Find a car that fits your needs.
Prove that you are creditworthy. The website will have an application procedure that includes submitting your financial data. You may need to pay a fee to register. The company will then look at your credit report and determine if you are eligible to take over the car's lease.
Negotiate the specifics of the lease trade with the seller. For example, the leasing company may charge a fee to transfer the lease and you should determine who is responsible for paying this fee--you or the seller. You may also want to determine who is responsible for the cost of shipping the car, if necessary.
Sign the lease paperwork. The lease transfer company will give you paperwork that states that you are taking over the lease. Read the terms carefully before you agree to them.
Pick up your car. If you've chosen a car based on its proximity to you, you may be able to simply go to the owner's house to transfer the car. If not, the owner may need to ship the car.
When taking over a lease, you are agreeing to the same terms that the original lease holder agreed to. This will include a mileage limit and an option to buy at the end of the term. Read these terms carefully to be sure that you can comply.
- LeaseGuide.com: Take Over a Lease? Lease Takeover Explained
- Swapalease.com: How it Works
- LeaseTrader.com: Frequently Asked Questions
- Insurance Information Institute. "Understand Your Car Insurance Obligations for a Leased Vehicle." Accessed Sept. 21, 2020.
- Insurance Information Institute. "Automobile Financial Responsibility Laws By State." Accessed Sept. 21, 2020.
Maggie McCormick is a freelance writer. She lived in Japan for three years teaching preschool to young children and currently lives in Honolulu with her family. She received a B.A. in women's studies from Wellesley College.