My husband and I are going to have to get a second car soon. Rather than buy a new or used car, or lease a brand new car, we are going to use one of two sites:
Frankly, these sites are brilliant! The way it works is:
Anyone who is wanting to get out of their lease for whatever reason (lost their job, don't like the car, moving, can't afford it, ready for something new, downsizing, upsizing...) can post their lease on one of those two sites. Then, someone like me that is looking for a great deal on a lease, simply picks up the rest of their lease! No down payment, no long contracts, you simply pick up the rest of someone's lease. The best part? People are often so desperate to get out of their lease they'll cut down the monthly price for you, and they will cover the rest.
There are a few things to look out for:
- Lease term remaining. You can pretty much pick up a lease of any length; 3 months, 12 months, 5 years, you'll see them all. Have a term length in mind. My brother-in-law that got a car from leasetrader.com suggested getting a really short lease. He said that way the tires are still in good shape and you don't have to do much maintenance on the car before the lease is up.
- Miles remaining/available miles. Leases typically have mileage requirements (meaning, once you use up the mile allotment you have to pay extra per mile until your lease is up. Trust me, you do NOT want to go over your miles....$$$!) Sometimes people will use up most of their miles and then put their car on the site. Make sure you choose a car that still has plenty of miles left. As a gauge, average yearly miles run between 10-12k per year, 15+ if you're a heavy commuter.
- Notice where the car is located. The cars are all over the country, and most likely won't be where you live. You might have to pay a few hundred dollars to have it shipped to you, or if it's close enough, you might need to buy a one-way ticket. If the car isn't close enough to test drive you'll need to test drive an identical one at a local dealership. Even if you have to ship the car, it's worth it! You typically put $2-$4k down on a new car or lease, so spending a few hundred dollars to ship is still saving you a bundle! To make sure it's in top condition, request tons of pictures from the seller.
- Dealership offers. There are some dealer-offered leases. Meaning, you won't be picking up someone else's lease, you will be getting a brand new lease from a dealer. The good side? You know it's in perfect condition. The bad side? Often means a down payment. It's smaller than usual, maybe only $999, but it's still a down payment.
- Incentive. Many times you will get paid an incentive for taking over the person's lease, because they so desperately need to get out of it. Take note of these, it sweetens the deal big time! They can be upwards of a few thousand dollars sometimes! The ad listing will highlight this. This incentive total is factored into your monthly payment and simply lowers the monthly payment.
- Fees to pick up or swap a lease. The sites have transfer fees, go to their FAQ's page to see details. They could add up to a few hundred dollars, depending on what you can negotiate.
It may seem complicated, but like I said, my brother in law picked up a sweet Land Rover for a great deal, and said he will never pick up a new lease again! Might as well take one off of someone's hands, right? (and in reverse, if you're needing to get rid of yours, this could be a great option). So check it out!
Who knows, you might just be able to find your dream car on there.... :)
Happy savings - and driving - to you :)