Is Swapalease A Good Idea?

I get lots of questions about buying cars from people who know me – I guess because I’m so transparent about how much I’ve spent and the logic I use in the process (you can read more about my Used Car Buying Strategy and the Used Car Gamble).  One couple presented an interesting idea I had never heard of before –  Here are my thoughts:

  • You have the option to ‘exit your lease’ or ‘find a lease’.  Immediately I think “Find a lease!  Why on earth would I do that?”  Then of course I consider the ‘exit your lease’ option.
  • Exiting your lease in this fashion might not be a bad move…for you.  But for the poor sucker taking the lease, may the force be with them.  The cost for the exiting party isn’t that bad from what I can tell, but here are the catches:
    • The leasing company might not allow it.
    • The leasing company might charge additional fees for it.

Anytime I’m presented with scenarios such as this I always want to know what the person is planning to do next.  Are they just going to go get into another car payment situation that might not be any better than the situation they’re already in?  Do they seem to have made up their mind that they’re done living above their means with car luxury?  Are they going to be better off having made this move?

One guy swore to me the reason he sold his perfectly good almost paid off vehicle was so that he could downgrade to something that would be paid for in cash.  But he got shiny stuff syndrome and actually bought an older but more expensive model which upgraded the amount he owed and extended his payments owed from 1 year to 4 years.  It was justified because “the payment is lower”.  Call me crazy, but paying $400 per month for 4 years on a used vehicle doesn’t sound better than finishing 1 more year of $600 per month on a vehicle that was bought new.

It’s all about the motives, determination, and the outcome of the situation.  Best of luck car buyers.  What’s your strategy?

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