Understanding the Advantages and Disadvantages of Taking Over a Car Lease

Did you know that it is possible to take over someone else’s car lease? In theory the seller just needs to get the leasing company to transfer the lease over to you and it will be as if you’re leasing the car. If you’re interested in taking over a lease – great. However before you go any further it is important that you understand both the advantages and disadvantages of doing so.

Advantages of Taking Over a Car Lease

While there may be specific reasons why you’re interested in taking over a car lease, the main advantages that you will normally be able to gain are:

  • Shorter lease duration

Because you’ll be taking over an existing lease, it will have a shorter duration. In other words it is a better fit if you just want to ‘try out’ a car for a year or so, rather than being locked into a long term lease for 3 years or more.

  • Incentives

To make lease swaps more appealing, sellers tend to offer various incentives. That can include cash incentives, lower monthly payments, or even additional benefits. It is best if you factor in these incentives and use a lease calculator breakdown to figure out how they affect the final payment.

  • Lower upfront cost

Normally leasing a car requires a certain down payment alongside several fees that need to be settled upfront. While taking over a car lease does have some fees as well, the seller will mostly absorb them. Overall the upfront cost is certainly lower in most cases.

Odds are you may already be looking at taking over a car lease because you find one or more of the advantages listed above to be appealing. However that is still just part of the picture.

Disadvantages of Taking Over a Car Lease

As much as there are advantages of taking over a car lease, there are disadvantages too. The main disadvantages that you need to be aware of are:

  • Mileage limitations

Most car leases have a maximum mileage stipulation in the lease contract. If it is exceeded, a payment will be required.

If you take over an existing car lease, the current mileage may be close to that limitation already. It is important that you check the mileage beforehand, to make sure that it is still at an acceptable level.

  • Excessive wear and tear

While car lease contracts allow for a certain amount of wear and tear that is considered ‘normal’, any excessive wear and tear will put you on the hook. To avoid this disadvantage you must make a point of checking the wear and tear of the car before you take over the lease.

  • Hidden fees

Although in most cases the seller will absorb most of the transfer fees, there may be other fees down the line that you will be liable for. That can include any turn in fees, insurance fees, or even fees for outstanding tickets.

At the end of the day it is on you to check the contract and fully understand what fees you may be liable for.

By this point you may have noticed that the potential disadvantages to taking over a car lease can be mitigated. More to the point – the first step to do that is to make sure you fully understand what to look for.


Now that you’re fully aware of both the advantages and disadvantages, you should be better equipped to decide whether or not you really want to take over a car lease. At the same time you should be able to avoid most of the disadvantages.

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