Take Over a Car Lease

What is a car lease takeover or lease transfer? How does it work?

In a tough economy, automotive consumers look for affordable ways to drive the cars they need and want. Lease takeovers, or lease transfers, provide the ideal answer for many of these consumers. Although lease transfers have been around for years, it has now become the hottest new way to acquire a late model automobile at the lowest possible cost.

Here’s how a car lease transfer works

Someone who is currently leasing a car wants out of their lease. It might be for financial reasons, health reasons, a divorce, or that they simply want another car. They leased the car less than three years ago (most leases are 2-3 years). They might have made a large down payment or traded a relatively new car, or perhaps took advantage of a special promotional lease deal, which created low monthly payments for them.

They now want out of their lease and are willing to let someone else take over the car and lease, along with its low payments, with no down payment. In many cases, they are offering cash as an incentive to make the deal even more attractive.

What is a car lease takeover?

Sometimes called a lease trade or lease swap, taking over a car lease is simply a process by which someone takes over (assumes) the lease of another. It is primarily a paperwork process. Both the car and the lease change hands. The new lessee simply takes the car and begins making the same monthly payment as the original lessee under the same lease agreement, without the hassles and costs of a new lease.

How do you find a car lease takeover?

There are online companies who match up car lease “sellers” with “buyers.” One that we highly recommend is Swapalease.com, the oldest and most respected of such companies. Swapalease has a huge inventory of assumable car leases.

When you go the Swapalease web site, you can search car makes, models, locations, and prices. You pick exactly the car you want, the payment your want, and the months/mileage you want. The company handles all the details, including the paperwork with the lease company. It’s pretty easy and inexpensive. Depending on the lease company you might have to pay a small application fee and/or a transfer fee.

Taking over a car lease, and avoiding the up-fronts costs of a new lease, is absolutely the easiest and cheapest way to get into and drive a relatively new car, still under warranty, with the latest safety and convenience features

Here’s some tips to make your car lease takeover (lease transfer) easy and successful.

  • When you visit Swapalease.com, there are cars being listed by individuals, and by car dealers. Dealer listings are usually brand new cars and new leases. If you only want to see listings by individuals, click off the “Include Dealer Listings” box option.
  • Look at the remaining mileage and months on the lease and make sure it fits your needs. If you exceed the mileage, you will have to pay a per-mile fee at lease-end, assuming you return the car to the lease company.
  • Remember, you always have the option to buy the car at lease-end, if you choose. If you think you might do it, check the lease-end purchase price shown in the listing for a good deal.
  • If you have questions about the car, use the contact form on the listing to get your answers directly from the “seller.”
  • Sometimes an “Effective Monthly Payment” is shown that is different from the “Actual Monthly Payment.” This happens when the seller is offering a cash incentive. It’s the “Actual Monthly Payment” that you’ll actually be paying, after you’ve gotten the cash incentive. The cash incentive “effectively” lowers your monthly payment, assuming you applied part of the cash each month to your payments.
  • Try to inspect the car before you take over the lease because any damages will be charged to you at lease-end.
  • If you decide on a car that is located at long-distance, you should consider using a service to inspect the car, and transport it if necessary. Swapalease can arrange those services if you want.


Taking over lease payments – a lease transfer – offers one of the least expensive ways to drive a relatively new car. Low monthly payments, with no down payment, and cash incentives make it attractive in a tough economy when finances and credit are tight. For the best lease deals, consider a lease takeover.


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