The term, take over a car lease, refers to the idea of finding an inexpensive way to get out of a car lease — or an inexpensive way to drive a car by taking over a lease from someone who is desperate to get out. Other terms are lease takeover, lease trade, or lease assumption.
A car lease can often be transferred from the original lessee to another party who would like a relatively short-term lease or would like to take advantage of a lease’s low payments without the cost and hassle of leasing a brand new car at a dealer. The transfer process is easy and inexpensive. This provides a solution for people who want a short-term and relatively inexpensive way of driving a good car — by taking over a lease from someone who wants out of their lease early.
There are benefits to both the “seller” and the “buyer.” The seller quickly gets out of a lease that they may no longer be able to afford and the buyer gets a good deal by taking over a relatively short-term lease. If the seller made a large down payment at the beginning of his lease, the buyer gets the benefit of low lease payments. By taking over the lease, a buyer helps the seller with his problem, and helps himself at the same time.
Some sellers are desperate to get out of their lease and often offer cash incentives to anyone who wants to take over the lease. These deals can be real bargains. It is a way to get a very nice car for very little money.
Sometimes buyers see a lease takeover as a way to “test drive” a vehicle for a couple of years without committing to a full purchase. If they like the vehicle, they have the option to purchase it at lease-end – or return it and buy/lease a brand new model.
Taking over a car lease is accomplished through a process called a lease assumption or lease swap, made popular by Swapalease, a company that assists with the process and helps lease “sellers” find interested takeover “buyers.” They charge a small fee for their services. Buyers can search for the car they want and compare deals.
A car lease take over avoids many of the costs and headaches of leasing a brand new car from a dealer. Be aware that all lease takeovers must be arranged and approved by the lease company who owns the vehicle. A seller can’t simply allow someone to take over his lease without the company being involved. It violates his lease contract.
Some lease companies do not allow transfers. Some prohibit transfers in the first few months or last few months of the lease term. Others allow transfers but keep the original lessee responsible if the new lessee defaults. This is good for the person taking over the lease, but not so good for the person transferring the lease.
When taking over a lease, be sure the remaining mileage suits your driving habits and that the monthly payment is a good deal. The best way to do that is simply compare the takeover lease payments with payments for a new lease on a brand new car of the same make/model/options.