Thinking of taking over a car lease? Pros & cons of taking over lease payments

In-market to buy or lease a new car? It’s not a easy choice, and you weigh the pros and cons to both…but do you’re leaning towards leasing a car, do you know the pros and cons between taking over a car lease vs a new car lease? Depending on your situation, you consider assuming someone else’s car lease and arm yourself with the advantages and disadvantages to taking over a lease.

Firstly, a new car lease is typically 3-5 years. Should you lease a car, your committed over the next 3 to 5 years with monthly lease payments. But what if your personal or financial situation changes? What is you had to exist the lease early? Can you afford the stiff penalties and fees for returning the lease before the lease contract expires?

Assuming or taking over someone else’s car lease may be a great option should you decide the best option for you is a short-term lease to hedge against any future personal or financial situations that may arise over the next 1, 2 or 3 years.

So if you’re now thinking of taking over a car lease, I’ll walk you through a few of the main pros and cons of taking over someones car lease and payments. 

If you decide to assume a lease, you’re responsible for the rest of the payments on the car. Lessees who want to get out of a car lease early, will turn to online lease takeover marketplaces as, Swap a lease, and Lease Trader.

Lease takeover marketplaces are like swap meets or dating sites. It’s a central meeting place that brings together the buyer and sellers to connect, both with different intentions, but a common purpose. There are advantages to both the individual seeking to get out of a lease early (the ‘Seller’), and the individuals seeking to take over a lease (the ‘Buyer’) – also known as ‘assuming a lease’.

Marketplaces as help facilitate the process of transferring a lease to someone else.

Advantages of taking over a lease (lease assumption)

For buyers, taking over a lease (also called assuming a lease) can be a superb deal, and with this comes its cautionary flags. And if you’re on the other side of the coin, here are some tips on how to of how to terminate a car lease early.

  1. More Variety
    One of the primary reasons to assume a lease is that you’ll find better availability of a specific vehicle. Most car buyers keep a car for three to five years or longer, and most leases last two to four years. If you’re looking for a 2-year-old car, you won’t find very many on a used-car lot, but you might find the one you want as a lease takeover.
  2. Short-term Lease
    The most common reason for people to take over a lease is they want a car for a short time. A lease assumption is viewed by many as a 18 month commitment before they decide to take the plunge; buy the car outright, or return it.
  3. Don’t like buying a car (depreciating value)
    Assuming a lease is an option for a consumer who doesn’t want to a buy a car. Someone who has a temporary assignment for 18 months to two years may not want to buy a car, so a lease assumption can be a good compromise. Others also understand that the majority of vehicles are a depreciating value asset. So why buy a twenty or thirty or fourty thousand dollar vehicle, only to have it drop in value as soon as you drive it off the lot. Look at a short-term lease like renting your home. To some, its a necessity and a cost of living (for some – not all).
  4. Incentives! Reduced monthly lease payments
    Lease sellers often will offer a cash incentive to take over a lease. A cash incentive can be 1, 2 and even 3 months of lease payments. Not only does this benefit the person taking over the lease by applying these cash incentives against the ongoing monthly lease payments, but it also offers the Seller a means to accelerate an exist from a lease. Its an upfront cost to the Seller, but far more beneficial than paying out the next 12, 24 or 36 remaining monthly lease payments. Lease payments are typically lower than purchase payments because you aren’t building equity in the car. Typically, the longer the lease term, the lower the monthly payments. The payments could be even lower if the original lessee traded in a car or made a down payment at the beginning of the lease term.

Disadvantages of a lease takeover 

Lower car lease payments and the flexibility of a short-term car lease is among the most advantageous reason for taking over a lease, but before you assume a lease, you need to be aware of the red flags of lease takeovers.

  1. Mileage and extra costs
    Most leases are limited to est 12,000 miles per year and charge a fee of 10 to +20 cents for every mile over the limit when you return the car. If you take over an auto lease after one or two years, be aware of the odometer reading and remaining mileage till the end of the lease, otherwise you could get dinged with extra costs upon returning the lease at the end of the lease term. Alternatively if there is higher than average mileage, negotiate a cash incentive to take over a lease that has excessive mileage.
  2. Vehicle condition. Wear & tear
    Auto leases must be returned at the end of the lease in good condition. Normal wear and tear is expected, but beyond this you will be accountable for body damage or problems under the hood. Mechanical issues of a leased car are usually covered under a warranty, but be sure to have a reputable auto mechanic check out the car before you take over the lease.
    You should ask ask for any and all records to get a full picture on the maintenance upkeep and any warranty repairs to preserve the warranty. It’s recommended to pay for a vehicle history report from or to find out if the car was in an accident.

So how do I take over a car lease? 

Let me assume you’ve found a lease to takeover from an online lease marketplace as You’ve connected with the Seller and made the decision to assume a lease. Now you should be prepared to negotiate with the lessee and to have your credit checked by the financing company. The lease transfer process is mostly a paperwork process the leasing company can help facilitate, but you should be aware the Buyer will require a credit check to ensure he or she can cover the financial obligations to the end of the lease term.

The original lessor will want to absolve all liability of the lease, so the new agreement for the lease takeover will be directly between you and the lease company. In about 20% of lease companies, there can still be some ties back to the original lessor, so be sure to ask and check if you’re getting out of the lease if there are any contractual obligations remaining, or you’re clean and clear of the lease.


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