THIS is why you shouldn't lease!!!
September 3, 2008 5:46 AM   Subscribe

How to get out from a car lease filter....

okay, my girlfriend leased a car about a year ago that has really high payments ($500/mo) and she is already 2500 miles over the yearly allowance. She is just at the end of year 1 of a 3 year lease. What options would someone have to get from under this without paying a ton of money? The lease is with Honda Cars of North America. Anyone have any ideas?

posted by keep it tight to Work & Money (8 answers total)
Buy it outright.
posted by netbros at 5:55 AM on September 3, 2008

yeah, buying it is your only option that doesn't involve massive lease penalties.
posted by unixrat at 5:57 AM on September 3, 2008

Her best option is to go to a site like LeaseTrader (or LeaseBusters if you're Canadian) and put an ad up for her car for someone to take over her lease.

We did a lease takeover two years ago. The lease-holder paid us $1000 as a cash incentive (obviously not required, but it made his car extra appealing and made it move very quickly) and we took over his payments and terms. It took a single afternoon at the Honda dealership to do the paperwork and etc.

If her lease is with Honda and her payments are $500/month I would guess she's driving an Acura. If so her chances of finding someone to take over the lease are pretty decent. If she's driving a fuel-guzzling SUV it will be much harder.
posted by kate blank at 6:01 AM on September 3, 2008

Thirding "buy it," unless they jacked up the residual value to make some magical number work in the contract. What kind of Honda is $500 a month, anyway?!

On our last lease, we had to park the car about three months before the lease expired so it would catch up on miles. Your GF has two years and theoretically still has the opportunity to curtail driving her car as much. Nothing worse than making payments on a car you're not using... except possibly the over-the-limit mileage fee.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 6:03 AM on September 3, 2008

During the dotcom boom, I suddenly developed a need for an SUV (idiot!). I had a 30+ mile commute to work each way, so I racked up miles fast. That SUV ran me ~$600/month. The boom busted, I lost my job and I went back to the dealership asking if there was a way out of the lease. Buyout was WAY too expensive ($30k). They agreed to let me out of the lease if I purchased a new vehicle from them. So, no money down, I purchased a new Ford Focus (for $13k and which I'm still happily driving 6+ years later). The interest rate sucked and the payment was still kind of high (60 months@$350/month), but I wasn't going to get hit by sudden, massive fees. Was this the best solution? Long-term, it wound up costing me significantly more than had I stayed with the lease, but in the short term, it DID save my butt.

Note: Not all dealerships will be this helpful.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 6:17 AM on September 3, 2008 (like leasetrader)
posted by boyinmiami at 8:29 AM on September 3, 2008 has a story about the lease-trading services linked here. It is worth a look and references some of the services link LeaseTrader and Swapalease. From reading the article, it sounds like it could be a viable option for her.
posted by galimatias at 9:47 AM on September 3, 2008

I did the same as Cat Pie Hurts. I leased a Saturn and a year or so after signing the lease, my job changed and I ended up driving A LOT more. I maxed out my mileage with approx. two years left on the lease. They let me turn in the car as long as I bought another Saturn. I think it cost me $500 to turn in the vehicle early (though my memory is vague on this) which was still cheaper than the overage fees I was going to pay when I turned in my leased car.

I have no idea if Honda will be this helpful, but it's always worth asking.
posted by whatideserve at 10:03 AM on September 6, 2008

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