Ways to end a car lease contract

December 15, 2008 6:52:18 PM PST
The economy is slowing and you have leased a car you cannot longer afford. Now what? Many consumers are finding themselves in that position. They have leased more car than they can afford.

About a quarter of all cars on the road are leased. Lease payments can be substantially cheaper than those for a purchase, but there are issues.

"I think car leases were a great deal. But now I think the better deal is in buying," said Trevor Traina from DriverSide.

Traina knows about these things. He is the founder and chairman of driver side, called DriverSide. The site is dedicated to saving consumers time and money on their cars.

He says, new cars are coming with great factory financing, and beyond that there is the possibility of getting stuck in a lease.

If you own a car you can always sell it if you run into trouble, but what if you lease?

"Every day people ask me, "How do I get out of my lease?" And a lease is a binding contract. So you can go to the lease holder, but they have no incentive now to do anything special for you," said Traina.

Vince Colombi knows that one.

"I definitely want out of it now especially with the uncertainty of the economy coming up," said Colombi.

Last year, Vince had a job that came with a car allowance, and that's when he picked up a BMW. It was love at first site, but you know what can happen to love.

"When you wake up in the morning and go out and see your car, good feeling, not a good feeling about the car," asked 7 On Your Side's Michael Finney.

Now? Not a good feeling. Now I look at it like an obligation, like I have alimony or something I have to deal with every day," said Colombi.

The job and car allowance are gone now, but the car remains. So how do you divorce a leased car?

Matt McGinnis specializes in car break ups. He is the president and founder of leasetrade.com.

"We have a lot of people who are able to get out of their lease early through the Lease Trade.com marketplace," said McGinnis.

In his web site, he says more than 50 percent get out of their leases within three to five weeks.

It all starts with placing an ad for as little as $50.

"From there they received contacts from willing buyers by phone and email, negotiate the lease and then contact the lease holder and start the lease assumption process," said McGinnis.

But does it truly work? Is anyone actually lining up to take over a Vince's lease?

"It's funny because you can actually get very short-term leases by jumping into someone else's, so if someone has six months or a year left on their lease and they want out, and a lot of people want short-term leases," said Traina.

7 On Your Side does not endorse any service, however Lease Trade is offering $10 off any ads package if consumers use this promotion code: MrFinney.

Lease Trade will also donate $10 to charity with each ad package that uses that promotion code.

Related links:

  • DriverSide
  • Lease Trade


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