Getting out of my car lease early - Frequently Asked Questions
What exactly is
Swap a Lease is the first marketplace designed specifically for the active trading
of vehicle leases. Our goal is to match individuals and organisations wishing to - exit a car lease early - with those who are looking to enter a short term lease with zero initial payment.
Who can use
As a Seller:
Anyone with an active lease where the leasing company that owns the asset allows lease transfers [contract novation] can
use this site to advertise their vehicle lease by advertising the remaining lease and car or van details. If you have any questions about whether
or not your leasing company allows lease transfers.
As a Buyer:
Anyone looking for a good value on a late-model used vehicle can search for short-term leases. If you'd like more information on what to
look for in a pre-owned lease, check out our 'Tips
for Lease Buyers'.
Please note there is not a requirement to actually swap. You can sell your car lease without committing to take another vehicle. Although when you are in the market again we hope you'll consider us for your next vehicle lease.
How does the
Swap-a-Lease process work?
In short, this site allows lease Sellers to offer their active leases for transfer
online where potential lease Buyers can view them. We then guide the Sellers and
Buyers through the lease transfer process together with the leasing company to satisfy all interested parties.
Do I have to
"swap" leases with someone?
No, you do not
have to "swap" leases. Each vehicle being offered for assumption is handled
individually. If you are offering a vehicle lease and would also like
to assume one of the leased vehicles on the site, you can do this, but the two
transactions are managed separately.
Can I be both a
"Lease Seller" and a "Lease Buyer" with Swap-a-Lease?
We encourage you
to be both a Seller and a Buyer,, so you can take full
advantage of what we have to offer. Even though the sell and buy transactions
are handled separately, we have built the web site to make it possible for you
to use a single account for all of your lease transfer needs. You can monitor
all of your account activity in one place, using a single username and password.
Should I feel
secure about giving Swap-a-Lease my credit card information?
taken precautions to protect your credit card information both during and after
financial transactions. 128-bit SSL encryption protects the information during
processing, and a state-of-the-art firewall protects information on our hosting server.
For credit card processing, we utilises the services of WORLDPAY the
industry standard widely recognized for providing solutions for secure online
payment processing with blue chip web clients.
How often is the
are updated in real time. When Sellers list their vehicles they appear immediately
on the website. Buyers can view the latest listings by clicking on 'Find
a Lease' in the top menu bar.
Leasing and Lease Transfers
Is it possible to
terminate a lease prior to the full term of the contract?
It is possible to
terminate any lease prior to the scheduled end date, however there are normally
significant financial implications to the lessee when doing so. Each leasing
company has their own policy and practice, but most will charge some form of early
termination penalty. It is not unusual for these charges to be in excess of
several thousand pounds.
How do lease
The basic lease
transfer process is the same for all leasing companies. The entity wishing
to assume the lease submits a credit application to the leasing company who own the asset.. The
leasing company will make a decision on the credit worthiness of the applicant.
If approved, normally lease transfer documents are prepared and will be signed by the lease seller and buyer. The transfer is complete when the signed documents are
returned to the leasing company and processed. There are variations in the fees
and details for each leasing company and sellers and buyers are encouraged to make themselves aware of all the precesses and requirements of the leasing company involved - we would strongly suggest taking independent legal and/or financial advice before entering into a lease transfer agreement.
Are there any
additional or "hidden" fees involved in lease transfers?
There are various charges involved in transferring a lease. These
include the advertising fee charged to list vehicles £39.99 and the success fee charged to the seller on completion of
the lease transfer process equalling 2 months rental. Administration charges required by the leasing company who
hold the vehicle lease vary. Leasing company fees vary and can include both credit application
and lease transfer fees. Each leasing company has their own fee structure, and
they vary broadly from one company to the next.
Are "Buyers" and
"Sellers" free to negotiate any of their own terms concerning lease transfers?
terms of the lease, including monthly payment, mileage allowed and lease end
date remain fixed and are controlled by the leasing company. However, the Buyer
and Seller of a lease are free to negotiate many details of the lease transfer,
as long as they do not interfere with the rules set forth by the specific
leasing company or are in violation of any laws. A common example of a
negotiable detail surrounds who will pay the leasing company's transfer fees.
Sellers are also free to offer or require cash up front as a part of the lease
transfer deal to cover the cost of inspections, mileage, cosmetic repairs and logistics.
How is the lease
Once a Buyer has agreed to take over the lease and completed a
credit check with the appropriate leasing company, the Seller is then notified
and the process begins with a letter of intention and Seller declaration. The seller confirms they
wish to transfer to the buyer and the buyer confirms they wish to accept the
How long does the
lease transfer process generally take?
The time frame
for lease transfer varies from leasing company to leasing company. Some
leasing companies can complete the process in as little as a week while others
may take several weeks.The timing is dependent upon three factors. The first factor
is the credit decision process, which generally takes 24 to 48 hours. The second
factor entails creation and processing of the required lease transfer documents,
which generally takes 3 to 5 business days. Lastly mail and turnaround times
must be included. Typically, figure on at least 14-28 business days to complete
the entire process.
When is the lease
transfer process is final when the leasing company receives all required lease
transfer documents and all fees for the transaction have been paid.
What happens to
the deposit when a lease is transferred?
The initial payment or deposit is
assumed to have been paid by the Seller. However in order to make a transfer more
attractive to a Buyer the Seller may offer an incentive by paying buyers fees or making some other form of contribution or inducement to facilitate the lease transfer.
responsible for potential end of lease charges?
The Lease Buyer
would be responsible for any termination charges at lease end. The Lease Buyer
is assuming the remainder of an active lease, and will be responsible for the
terms as included in the original lease contract. Lease-end charges
may include excess mileage fees and excess wear & tear charges. It is important
that the Buyer satisfies themselves as to the condition of the vehicle prior to
the handover to avoid disputes over condition at the end of the lease. To this
end an independent RAC inspection can be requested by the buyer. The cost of
this service may be apportioned by negotiation. All potential end of lease dehire damage charges
will be defined in the lease transfer documentation. Repair Magic is our chosen partner for cosmetic car repairs - www.RepairMagic.co.uk
long-distance lease transfers normally handled?
separates the Buyer and Seller, normally arrangements to inspect the vehicle and
get it to the Buyer are agreed between the parties involved. We have seen many
different arrangements work, ranging from the Buyer or Seller driving to meet
each other, having the vehicle inspected by independent inspectors. The vehicle
may be transported or driven and the appropriate charges will apply. If you are
interested in getting your vehicle inspected or having it transported please
contact us via phone or email and we will set you up with the service.
Where is the
vehicle turned-in at lease end?
company has their own turn-in policies, however, if a leasing company allows a
Buyer to assume a lease, they normally will have some provision for a new lessee
to turn in the vehicle locally.
How effective is
Swap-a-Lease? (How successful are Sellers at finding someone to assume their
Swap a Lease is a
new service in UK and we have completed a numerous transfers in order to
extensively test the viability of the service and to ensure it works effectively
here in the UK. In USA and Canada there is a well developed market for leasing
transfers. Much of an individual Seller's success is determined by the value
presented in the lease and vehicle being offered. When the monthly payment is
competitive and a reasonable number of miles remain on the lease, it is more
likely that the right Buyer will find the deal in a short amount of time.
Sellers can increase their odds of success, or improve the value represented by
their vehicle and lease, by offering incentives to their basic deal. Sellers
wanting to further increase their visibility can place their advert in the Top
Swap Section highlighted on the front page.
How do "Lease
Sellers" save money using swap-a-lease?
Lease Sellers can
save money by finding someone to complete their lease, instead of the more
costly alternatives involved in early lease termination. If a lessee wants to
pay off the remainder of their lease, there are normally early termination
penalties assessed by the leasing company in addition to the remaining monthly
payments owed. These costs can result in early termination costs running into
thousands of pounds. Policies vary by leasing company, so to be certain of the
terms of your individual lease you should consult your lease documents or
register with us and we will find out on your behalf.
What are the fees
for the "Lease Seller"?
For Sellers a £39.99 listing
fee is collected when a vehicle is posted to the site. The listing is good
for 28 days. Once a Seller and Buyer agree to make a lease transfer and we
receive letters of intention. A success
fee equal to TWO MONTHS RENTAL is collected from the seller when a buyer is approved by the leasing company for transfer.
How do I list my
To list your
vehicle, simply click on Sell a Lease from any page on the site. From there you
will be led through a simple listing process where we will collect contact
information, vehicle information and details on your lease. At the end of the
listing process, a fee of £39.99 is collected by credit card. This one-time
listing fee will keep your listing active for a minimum period of 28 days - in practice adverts remain live until they sell. If you have any questions or
difficulties during the listing process, please Contact Us for assistance.
How do I change
information on my vehicle listing or account?
You can edit your
listing or update your contact information when you Sign-In with the username
and password chosen when creating your account. To edit the listing, click on
"Edit Ad". Simply change any details required and submit the form. The process
follows the same steps, which you followed when you originally input your
information. To update contact information, click on "Edit Personal
Information", make any changes required and submit.
How do I cancel
the vehicle listing?
You can let the
listing become dormant by default or e mail us to cancel your ad. You will not
receive any fee refund for making you listing dormant prior to the 28 day expiry
Am I still held
liable once the lease has been transferred?
So long as all
information declared on or before the time of transfer is correct and all legal
obligations have been observed by the Seller the lease is transferred to the
Buyer and with it all liability subject to the terms of the transfer agreement with the leasing company - if in doubt please take legal advice.
How do "Lease
Buyers" save money using swap-a-lease?
"buying" a lease may be able to save a great deal of money utilizing
swap-a-lease's services. When you assume the remainder of an active lease, you
get the benefits of a late model, low mileage vehicle with no down payment,
payments which may have been subsidized by the original lessee with a cash down
payment and a short-term lease with a lower payment which originally reflected a
longer term lease. Visit Tips for Lease Buyers for an illustration of the value
in assuming an in-process lease.
What are the fees
There are two
types of fees involved in the lease transfer process for Buyers. These include
separate fees for Swap-a-Lease and the leasing company involved. Swap-a-Lease
collects a ONE MONTHS RENTAL +Vat registration fee from Buyers. Leasing company fees will
vary by leasing company, and may include a credit application fee and/or a lease
transfer fee. Information on many leasing company fees is included at this site
within Leasing Company Information. If you can't find information on the leasing
company you are interested in, please Contact Us and we will be happy to assist.
Do I have any
control over which leasing company is utilized?
Each of the
vehicles on the site is currently under lease by a specific leasing company, and
is being offered for lease assumption by the current lessee. In lease
assumptions, the original lease terms and conditions apply. A Buyer is not
agreeing to a new lease, but is agreeing to take over the remainder of an
existing lease, through the existing leasing company.
Do I have to
have good credit to assume a lease?
applying for lease transfer will go through a credit approval process with the
leasing company that owns the vehicle. All leasing companies have their own
standards for decision making on credit approvals, and for this reason it is
difficult to say what type of credit history is required in order to gain
approval on a lease transfer. If you have concerns about your ability to qualify
for a lease transfer, please Contact Us and we will be happy to discuss the
situation with you.
What if I can't
find what I'm looking for?
New vehicles are
listed every day, so if you don't find the lease you need
today you can use the Notify Me feature. When you register with "Notify Me" you
will be alerted by email when a vehicle matching your preferences is listed.
What do I do if I
forget my "User ID" and/or "Password" information?
From the Sign-In area you can click on Forgot Password? to request your username and password.
Just enter the email address you have included in your account, and
the username and password will be emailed to you. If you have any difficulty
obtaining the username and/or password, please