No Auto Down Payment? Consider a Lease Takeover…
- April 14, 2009
- Car Buying, The Car Biz
- Posted by dbarrett
- Comments Off on No Auto Down Payment? Consider a Lease Takeover…
If you’re one of the many people who would like to get into a new or newer automobile, but you’re concerned about shelling out the down payment, consider a lease acquisition. In the current economic climate, the opportunity to get a top quality vehicle for little or no cash out of pocket is rising. And, while many automobile manufacturers also offer “no down” car sales or leases, there is a big difference in commitment to consider. Many leases offered for takeover have less than two years remaining, giving you an opportunity to drive your way through the current recession, without committing yourself to 36, 48, or 60 months on a loan or lease.
There are a number of lease swap and lease acquisition websites to consider as well. Several of these include swap a lease, the Ohio-based lease broker, and California headquartered Lease Trade. These and other lease takeover agencies offer a wide range of domestic and foreign built cars and trucks. Lease terms are as short as three months, and on occasion, as long as three years.
The real opportunity, however, is for short-term leases. Getting a car or truck that is still in warranty for zero down and $200 to $500 per month can be a useful solution for many people unwilling to commit to a longer term purchase or lease. Several examples we discovered included a 2008 Mini Cooper with just about every option in the book – with 23 months remaining and a monthly payment of $325 per month. Another example that caught our eye was a 2008 BMW X5 with 5,200 miles for $420 per month for 19 months. A typical lease on a new X5 (3.0i) would require drive off fees of $2,800, plus $600 per month for 36 months with a strong FICO score.
On occasion, an individual anxious to relieve themselves of a vehicle will “pay down” the lease to create a more attractive monthly payment for a potential buyer/lessee. In other cases, the lease originator will collaborate to ensure the vehicle finds a good home, rather than ending up back at a dealer’s lot.
There are things to be aware of, however. You’ll need a decent credit score, and because you’re assuming a lease, you’ll need to stand up on paper alone. If you think you need an advocate, you’re better off going to a high-volume dealer, as they have existing relationships with credit providers and can act as your champion. And, once you take over a lease, you often cannot sell your way out of it, as the initial buyer did. You’ll need to keep the vehicle until the lease terms out, or buy it out, based on the payoff figure. You should also make certain the vehicle isn’t outside the acceptable range for miles driven. Most leases are based on a specific number of miles driven per month.
One thing we’ve learned is that most lease acquisitions are high quality vehicles with low mileage. Many of the vehicles we saw online were well within their warranty protection periods, had mileage under 20,000 and sometimes even 3,000 miles, and were not long term affairs. So, if you’re looking for an auto-fling, as opposed to a long term relationship, consider a lease acquisition. If you have taken over a lease, we’d like to hear from you.