Can I Sell My Leased Car?

September 20th, 2018 by

Can I Sell My Leased Car?

To drive a new car every few years, leasing is a good option. When you’re perpetually driving a new car, you’ll experience less mechanical problems and enjoy greater peace of mind during your travels.

But what if you want out of your lease early? Can you sell your leased car? Technically, leasing means that you don’t actually own the vehicle in question. However, there are a few ways that you can cash out of your lease early. Read on to discover which method is right for you.

Transfer Your Lease to a Private Party

To get the best possible deal, it’s usually best to transfer your lease to a private party. One option is to list your vehicle on sites like LeaseQuit, Lease Trader and Swap a Lease and let interested parties come to you.

LeaseQuit and LeaseTrader offer a more do-it-yourself experience. These sites act as a means of bringing buyer and seller together. After you list your vehicle on the site, anyone interested it in can message you directly. Together, you can reach a financial agreement. Next, you’ll sign the transfer paperwork and prepare to deliver the keys to the car’s new driver. Remember, however, that you must make sure that transferring a lease is allowed under your lease terms, so keep your lease company in the loop.

For a more streamlined experience, check out Swap a Lease. Give the site your vehicle information, and professionals on the other end will determine whether your lease qualifies for their lease-swap program. If so, they’ll simply write you a check. When an interested party comes along, you receive transfer paperwork. Once the transfer is complete, all you have to do is hand over your car keys.

You should note that dealing with a private party also means dealing with a transfer fee. These fees vary depending on what service you select and whether you’re getting out of or taking over the lease. Your leasing agency may also charge a transfer fee.

It’s also important to know the terms of your lease contract. Once you sign the lease over to a new driver, that driver should take over the monthly payments. But, depending on the conditions of your lease, you may still be legally responsible for the condition of the car when the lease is up. Some leasing agencies won’t remove the original lease-holder’s name from the contract and may prohibit transfers altogether. Before the terms of your lease can interfere with your desire to unload it, make sure you understand the fine print.

Buying a Car

Trade Your Lease in at the Dealership

If you prefer, you can trade your lease back in at the dealership. But this method also has its pros and cons. On the plus side, it’s easier than finding a private party to take over your lease. However, trading your lease in at the dealership may mean you wind up with less money than you would dealing with a private party.

Once you’ve decided to make your lease swap at the dealership, there are a few things you need to do first. Because you want the car to represent the best possible value, repair anything that’s broken and remedy any cosmetic issues. Clean the car, inside and out. It’s a good idea to shell out a few bucks and have the car detailed. Next, check Edmunds or KBB to get an understanding of the wholesale value of your vehicle. Call your leasing company and ask for your payoff amount.

Once you’ve completed these tasks, gather the proper paperwork and head to the dealership. You can trade your lease in at the dealership that signed the car over to you, or you can head to another one. It’s really up to you.

Ultimately, the dealer will pay the remaining terms of your lease to the leasing company. They’ll write you a check for the difference between the amount paid and the current trade-in value of the car. Because the dealership determines the current value of your car, it’s important that you have a good idea of what the car is worth. But keep in mind that, instead of giving you the market value, the dealership will pay you the wholesale price of your car.

In other words, the dealer assigns a wholesale value to your leased car. They then subtract what you still owe on your lease from that value. Whatever money is leftover is money you can put towards buying or leasing a different model.

Early Lease Termination

Terminating your lease is an act of last resort, because it’ll cost you. Most lease agreements let you pay to terminate early. However, you should only do so if you have no other choice. You may end up paying more than if you completed the terms of your lease.