What Is A Lease Takeover?

What is a Lease Takeover?

In need of a car but do not want to break the bank? Then you can consider a lease takeover. Lease takeovers are a saving grace for both buyers and sellers.

This allows you to get a car lease without paying too much. This article will talk about what lease takeovers are, their advantages, disadvantages and whether it can save you money.

What is a lease takeover?

In a car lease takeover, the seller transfers the lease to your name, which would make you the lease buyer. Lease takeovers happen because the lease seller wants to get out of their current lease early.

Let’s say, for example, you leased a BMW M5 and you were paying $1500 per month. Your lease has been running for the past two years but now you lost your job and cannot afford this expense anymore.

In this situation you can decide to sell your car lease to someone else who will then become the lease buyer and they will start paying the lease in your place. This is considered a lease takeover.

Based on the leasing contract, the present state of the vehicle, the terms mentioned in the lease and the terms you agree on with the seller of the lease, you may end up saving a lot of money.

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If you are looking for a lease takeover, then you should be familiar with the following terms as they are sure to come up in a lease contract:

  • Terms: This is the duration of the leasing contract with the seller of the lease. The seller will be the current lender of the lease. As the buyer of the lease, you will inherit the remaining duration of the lease.
  • Residual Value: This is a very important factor that you need to consider when leasing a car. The residual value is the value determined by the leasing company that you will need to pay if you are willing to keep the car permanently. The residual value of the car at the end of the term is determined beforehand by the leasing company.
    The leasing company takes into account the current price of the car and how much it should cost at the end of the term. Then an amount is decided by the leasing company, which is known as the residual value. If you pay the residual value of the car at the end of your term you will become the permanent owner of the car. Make sure that the contract has an option for you to return the car if you are not willing to pay the residual amount at the end of the term.
  • Market Value: Market value is the current price of the car. Market value is independent of the residual value. For example, if you have a car lease for two years the residual value after two years for that car could be $5,000 whereas the market price could be $8,000.
    So, you can pay the residual value of the car and then sell it for $8,000. You would end up making a profit of $3,000. Or the residual value could be higher than the market price. In that case, it is best to return the car at the end of the term.
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  • Transfer Fee: These are fees that you need to pay when you are transferring the lease to your name from the name of the lease seller.
  • Kilometer Limits: There is a limited number of kilometers you are allowed to drive every year. The total kilometers driven within your term is divided by the total number of years in your term. The limit is around 25000 km annually.
  • Damages: The term for damages in leasing contracts is referred to as wear and tear. There is a threshold for wear and tear overtime set by the car leasing company. If the wear and tear are beyond the threshold set by the leasing company, then you will need to pay for the damages.

What are the benefits of a lease takeover?

  • No down payment required: In lease takeovers, you do not need to pay any down payments. So, the startup costs in lease takeovers are much lower than leasing a new vehicle.
  • Cheaper monthly payments: In a lease, you are paying for the depreciating value of the car for the term you are using it. Whereas in a car loan you need to pay high monthly fees. 
  • Extra incentives: There might be some other additional incentives in a lease takeover. Some sellers might incentivize the lease to sell it sooner. For example, a seller might offer to pay the first two months of the lease to encourage you to buy the lease from them.
  • The difference between the market and residual value: The market value of a vehicle can be higher than its residual value. So, you can buy the car at the end of the term and then sell it for a profit at a higher market price.

What are the risks of a lease takeover?

When you are thinking about a lease takeover you must go through the lease terms. Try to be patient in this process because you don’t want to rush through it. Carefully read the terms of the lease contract and see if any extra expenses are caused by the previous leaseholder.

Check the kilometer limits. See if the car is over the kilometer limit. There are additional charges that you need to pay if the car is over the limit. The additional payment and the kilometer limit are mentioned in the lease contract. Make sure you go through this when you engage in a lease takeover.

It is not recommended to buy a lease where the car is driven over the speed limit. The best lease takeovers are those where the car is driven less than the kilometer limit.

With a low kilometer limit, you will get a car in a better condition. The higher the kilometer limit, the more the condition of the car deteriorates. It is our suggestion to always look for a lease takeover where the car is driven below the kilometer limit.

Look for wear and tear on the car. It is normal for a car that is being used regularly to go through some wear and tear. Check the lease contract and see the guideline on what is expected as normal wear and tear.

If the condition of the car falls under the normal wear and tear guidelines of the lease, then it is okay for you to go through with the lease takeover. But it will be a bad deal if the condition of the car is not under normal wear and tear guidelines. In that case, you will need to pay additional charges as per the lease contract, so keep an eye out for that.

Hidden fees for a lease takeover

You should check the contract for hidden fees. There are fees such as turn-in fees or car lease transfer fees in lease contracts. So, read the contract carefully to find out about such hidden fees.

Some lease companies even charge you for traffic rules violations. So, you may need to pay additional charges if you get parking tickets or tolls.

You should also run a background check on the car. You can ask the seller for a copy of the car history. In the car history, it will state if the car has ever been involved in any accidents or not.

You will be able to know whether the car was repaired correctly if it went through an accident. Also, get a professional car technician to inspect the car to see the condition of the car.

If you have intentions of keeping the car after the lease, then you should take into account the number of repairs that you need to do and include them in your expenses as you will be paying for those repairs.

Advantages of a lease takeover

One of the most important reasons you should consider a lease takeover is when you are looking for a car that is not more than a couple of years old. It will be very difficult to find such a car in a used car lot, but you may find one in lease takeover.

People often take a lease out on a car because they do not want it permanently. A person who is unwilling to buy a car permanently may find leasing a car to be a better option if they are undecided. So, instead of purchasing, they give it a try by paying monthly leasing fees just like their cable subscription.

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Disadvantages of a lease takeover

While a lease takeover might seem harmless at first sight there might be more than what meets the eye. So, we suggest you do a thorough inspection of the car. Read the leasing contract thoroughly and if everything checks out then proceed with the lease takeover.

What is a lease takeover conclusion

If you are looking for a car that is going to cost you less and you are willing to trade the feeling of a brand-new car to save more money, then a lease takeover is a great option for you.

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February 18, 2023
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