Leasing is a popular way for people to get into a new vehicle — even though it’s probably money expert Clark Howard’s least favorite way for you to get transportation.
A Look at Swapalease
Leasing may seem like a pretty sweet deal because of low monthly payments. But you can get hit with fees for going over your mileage allotment or for returning the car in less-than-pristine condition at the end of your lease term.
Despite Clark’s reservations, a lot of people still choose to lease.
“One key bit of advice I have if you’re going to lease is to stick to leasing terms of 36,000 miles over three years,” Clark says. “Any longer than that and you’re really doing yourself financial harm.”
Of course, not everyone follows that rule. So what happens if you find yourself stuck in a lease and you want to get out?
Swapalease offers a marketplace where you can transfer your lease to another party and exit without penalty, or you can get into somebody else’s lease.
Here’s a look at how it works:
1. Make Sure Your Lease Is Eligible
The first step to seeing if you can work with Swapalease is checking eligibility.
You’ll need to type in this information to see if you’re eligible:
- Year of your vehicle
- Lease company
- Your name
Swaplease’s website says most leases do qualify for a transfer.
2. Create Your Listing
Once you know your lease is eligible for transfer, it’s time to create your listing. You’ll input the following info:
- Specific vehicle features
- Remaining miles and months on your lease
- Monthly payment
- Detailed personal description of your vehicle
Once you create your listing, it will stay up on Swapalease for as long as you have your ride.
But Swapalease is not a free service. There are several packages you can purchase based on how many bells and whistles you want on your listing.
TIP: The “Swapper’s Club” is regularly priced at $199.95, making it the cheapest all-in membership. As of May 2020, there’s a special discount: $159.95. This level of membership includes the $150 “success fee” if your lease transfer goes through. You’re allowed to post 12 pictures with this plan.
The next cheapest package is the $74.95 standard membership. But the standard membership does not include the $150 “success fee,” and you’re allowed to post only one picture. That brings the total price to $224.95, and your car gets less visibility.
3. Transfer Your Lease
Swapalease says it gets traffic from millions of potential customers each year. If one of them is interested in your lease, Swapalease will help you complete the lease transfer process.
Now the hard part is done; you just have to complete the transfer documents provided by your leasing company. Then, hand over your keys to the lease buyer and your transfer is officially complete.
Leasing isn’t for everyone — in fact, Clark Howard recommends leasing in only a very limited number of circumstances.
So if your financial circumstances change and you need to exit a lease, Swapalease could be your answer.