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Save money by getting out of car lease

Companies negotiate lease transfers

By Teresa Mears Sep 14, 2009 6:08PM

People who want to downsize and cut expenses often want to cut their car payments. That can be difficult if you are locked into a lease. LeaseTrader.com, a Miami company that acts as a matchmaker between people who want to get out of their car leases and people who want to take over leases, expects business to be up about 30% this year as people seek ways to save money.

 

Last year, people wanted to get out of their leases so they could pay expensive mortgages, John Sternal, the company's vice president of marketing and communications, told Niala Boodhoo of The Miami Herald. This year, he said, people are trying to cut their living costs.

 

The Herald tells the story of Parkland, Fla., resident Robert Deck, a business owner who decided that his family no longer needed the expense of a second car. He used LeaseTrader.com to get someone to take over the least on his BMW535, saving $815 a month.

 

Some automakers are pulling away from car leasing, meaning that you might get a better deal taking over someone else's lease than you would getting a new one. LeaseTrader.com is one of several companies that match people who want leases and people who want to get out of them.

 

Tara Baukus Mello, who writes the Driving for Dollars column at Bankrate.com, notes that you can negotiate a transfer of your lease to another person yourself. But you do have to find someone who wants your particular car and can qualify to take over the lease.

 

With LeaseTrader.com, the seller pays $79 to $89 to list the car, and the buyer pays $39 for credit verification. Each party pays an additional fee of $150 to the company. Plus, the auto finance companies also charge a fee. Swapalease.com, another lease trading company, lists the finance companies' policies and charges, ranging from $45 to $595.

 

Those costs are far less than the cost of terminating a lease early, which can be tens of thousands of dollars, notes Amy Buttell Crane, in a detailed article about lease transfers for Bankrate.com.

 

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