Leasing a car has become more and more popular over the years and implicitly, swapping car leases numbers are growing as well. These days, most of the luxury vehicles are being leased, with BMW being one of the leaders. In a conversation with several BMW dealerships, in state of Illinois, there were between 60-70% BMWs leased.
The average lease period is two years, but seeking a lower monthly payment, many car buyers are going for three or even four years auto leases. Now, if you’re just like me and would like to have a new car every two years, you might have a problem. Car dealerships, banks or any financial institution will not take back your car, so you’re left with very few options, swap your car lease or traded it for another one.
How does it work really?
The process itself is less complicated than many people assume, with the other party taking over the car and assuming responsibility for the remaining monthly payments. And the most important thing, there are no penalties from your lender and most of the swap car lease companies charge a small fee, $500 being the standard.
Now, what’s the hardest part?
As you might have guessed, the hard part is to find a person that is looking to take over a car lease for a short term. Sure, word of mouth always worked and still works, but it can be lengthy process.
Thankfully, in the past few years, many swap car lease companies have been founded, two of them becoming the leaders in their field: Swapalease.com
Swaplease offers a large marketplace with many people browsing their online listings hoping to find the best deal on a car, in our case, a BMW. There is one other catch though, the party interested in taking over your lease are required to go through the credit check process, just like you would start a new lease, where your FICO score needs to be above 700.
The credit application approval process can take up to 24 hours, add then the required time for lease transfer documents, usually 2-4 business days, and within a working week, you will be taking over a car.
My tips and advice
There is no doubt that some great deals can be found on Swapalease
Many “lease sellers” are willing to offer an incentive for anyone that is interested, hoping for the deal to go down faster and smoother. So, if you’re on the buyer’s side, you have an advantage when looking at taking over a car lease.
Some of you might remember that last year I leased my BMW 335i through BMW Financial Services and I took advantage of the European Delivery program offered by BMW. Beside the great savings on the final purchase price and the thrill of driving your own car in Europe, by leasing your BMW through the ED program, the monthly lease payments will be lower when compared to an identical car that was purchased out of the dealers’ lot.
Based on my calculation, if I would have purchased my 335i out of the dealer showroom, it would have cost me $30-$40 per month more than the one I purchased through ED. Anyone that purchases their car this way, due to the lower price for same configuration vehicles, has an advantage over anyone else and can finalize the swap car lease faster.
To swap a car lease it takes just a few steps and it can be quite profitable for you, the “lease seller” that would like a new car every year or so, or to the “lease buyer” who gets the deal of his life without being stuck with a car for three years or more.
To demonstrate this theory, I found a great deal on a 2008 BMW 335xi, 10,000 miles on it, 12, 000 miles per month year allowed and the Cold Weather Package: $485 per month until December 2010. Not bad, right?
So, what’s your next step?
Since we’re all BMW fans here, some of us potential buyers, you might be interested in assuming a car lease rather than purchasing a new BMW. If that is the case, then I would start with filling out a credit application with BMW Financial Services or any other lender and find out if you qualify.
Recently BMW North America have launched a new division, up2drive, that handles new and used car loans, private party car loans and refinancing.
Good luck to everyone looking to swap their car lease or takeover one.