One you sign a car lease agreement, you generally expect to see it through to completion. After all, you spent all that time shopping for the perfect car and haggling with the salesperson, you’re not going to waste that on just a few months of driving contentment. However, bad luck or unforeseen circumstances can intervene, and put you in a situation where you really need to get rid of that car. What can you do? Luckily, most lease financing companies will allow you to transfer your car lease to another individual, as long as they pass a credit check and agree to take over the payments. You’ll avoid the stiff early termination penalties you could face, and the new lessee gets to reap the benefits of your haggling. So how do you go about successfully transferring a leased car?

First off, take the time to understand the process. Lease trading, also referred to as lease assumption by the legal community is now a fairly common occurrence. As the seller, you must find a buyer either through your personal network or by listing the vehicle on a website that affiliates these deals. You can either handle it privately, through Craigslist or the social networks, or use a lease transfer web service that does this and this alone. In that case you will have to pay a fee, but the speed with which the deal can be finalized could make it worth the money.

Next you must understand why someone would want to take over a lease. This will be hugely important if you want to avoid that service fee and transfer the lease to a friend, family member or acquaintance. For the buyer a lease transfer can be hugely appealing. He or she has the opportunity to enjoy a fairly new car without having to put out the associated down payment. The transferred lease will always be shorter than a new lease, which makes it ideal for students or executives who only plan to need the vehicle for a year or two. Anyone experiencing a lifestyle change that wants to try out a much different type of vehicle would love the opportunity, especially since they don’t have to make a long-term investment. And the new lessee will still have the opportunity to purchase the car after the lease is complete, even though they only made a portion of the payments.

To make sure you are fully prepared to handle the lease transfer, you must also acknowledge the potential costs. Lease transfer websites aren’t the only entities that will charge a service fee. The leasing company may charge one as well. The majority of those costs will be assumed by the new lessee, but be prepared to pay something. In addition, understand that you will never get back the down payment you put in, even if you’ve only had the vehicle for a couple of months. You should also know that 10% of leasing companies will not let you completely off the hook after a lease transfer. You will continue to have some sort of liability responsibility, so make sure you confirm that does not apply to your situation before spending the time and energy on a lease transfer.

Finally, do your due diligence. Take the time to completely read over your lease. Have the car inspected so you know you won’t be held responsible for anything not reported to the new lessee. Look online to see how other lease transfers are being handled, especially if your used cars paisley seats have some rips or tears that would cost the new lessee upon turning in the vehicle. You don’t want that to sour the deal. But as long as you consider each end of the agreement and transfer, it’s a fantastic option and a real money-saver.