Lease Assumption? Assume Nothing!

In prep for our move to NYC last fall, Chris and I basically took stock of our material lives and decided that we’d simply start from scratch when we arrived in NYC. And we did. We sold anything and everything that had value over and above its sentiment. It worked out beautifully: I had nothing but boxes to load onto the truck, and Chris got to furnish a new place from the ground up. The kicker? The Volvo lease. That damn Vovlo lease.

Now, I’m a huge fan of leasing an automobile. Three years, bumper-to-bumper service and warranty, and by the time you’re bored with the vehicle, you’re on to the next. When it works, it works. Beautifully. But when you find yourself in a city where an automobile is superflous, and you’re paying garage fees, higher insurance rates, and a lease payment on an automobile that still smells new but is sitting un-used in cold storage? Well, cold reality presses down pretty hard and painful. Kiss that money good bye and try not to be bitter about it. The good news? After nearly 5 months on Swap-A-Lease, (“You Want In, I Want Out” — love that tagline) we finalized the assumption of our lease with an interested party.

I won’t bore you with details, but I’ll share a few warning points to anyone considering lease assumption…

  • 99.99% of the “registered buyers” on have no idea that they actually need to apply for credit with the leasing bank.
  • 99.99% of the “registered buyers” on have bad credit and couldn’t quality for a lease with the leasing bank if they tried.
  • 99.99% of the “registered buyers” on also have their own leased car listed on the site, making it virtually impossible for them be approved for a lease assumption of your vehicle.
  • 99.99% of the “registered buyers” on use it as a social site, wanting to be friends and “wish me luck on the sale” after they’ve wasted hours of my time, signing off with lines like “it’s a great car and a great deal, and someone will be lucky to get it.” (What is this? A yearbook signing party? A break-up party? “It’s me, not you…”)
  • The other .01% of the “registered buyers” on actually assumed our lease, for which I am grateful.

So — if you have the stamina, the fortitude, and the need, automobile lease assumption might be for you. Otherwise? Plan a day trip, go to The Home Depot, hit up Costco, visit your mother. Just put the miles on the car, make your lease payment, and count down the months till you are free to do it all over again.


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