Short-term car leases have become popular because they allow you to get a great car quickly and easily. They also come with a flexible payment plan that doesn’t contain any absurd hidden fees. What’s more, 6-month car leases don’t even require you to make a down payment or pay the dealer’s fee. So all you’ll have to worry about is making your regular monthly payments for the lease period.
These leases are often seen as a temporary fix, but they might be a great long-term solution for some. Still, because they’re meant to serve a different purpose, short-term car leases work slightly differently than long-term ones. Like everything in this world, 6-month leases come with some advantages as well as disadvantages. So, to determine if they’re suitable for you, let’s talk about the what, the why, and the how of 6-month car leases.
What Is a Short-Term Car Lease?
Short-term leases generally consist of you taking over someone’s outstanding car payments for the remainder of their contract. These are also known as “lease-assumers” or “lease-takeovers,” and they can last for anywhere from 1–24 months.
They work as either a fixed-term contract or a rolling 28-day agreement. In the former, you’ll have to make an agreed-upon number of monthly payments for up to two years. With the rolling 28-day agreements, you’ll pay for the deposit, and then make monthly payments for up to 12 months.
How Does a 6-Month Car Lease Work?
The process of assuming a lease starts with the seller’s leaser filing the necessary paperwork to change the car’s ownership. The fees vary depending on the lease company, but the process itself is typically pretty quick.
Then, all you’ll have to do is follow along with your payment plan for the rest of the lease. Once the agreement expires, you can choose between returning the vehicle to the leasing company or purchasing it. I recommend keeping the car if you enjoy it and think it can serve you in the future. Also, know that if you return it, you’ll be charged for all excess mileage or damage to the vehicle.
Who Are 6-Month Car Leases For?
These short-term car leases can benefit a lot of people, from small business owners to singles and families alike. For example, many start-ups purchase 6-month car leases at first, when they have limited funds to work with. Also, if you need a flexible transportation solution and are on a budget, these leases could be a lifesaver.
Car aficionados who always want the newest model can also reap the benefits of short-term car leasing. Moreover, you’ll be able to get a new car every six months and won’t constantly have to worry about your warranty expiring.
You could also get a 6-month lease if you want to purchase a car, but you need to know precisely what you can expect from it. You can look at the short-term lease as a sort of a test drive that just happens to lasts much longer.
Short-Term Leases: The Pros and Cons
If you’re still unsure if short-term leases are the best option for you, considering the advantages and disadvantages might help. So I’ve boiled everything down to these two lists to see if 6-month car leasing is right for you.
- Flexible contracts
- Much cheaper than daily rentals
- You can upgrade your car more frequently
- Great for those on a budget
- You don’t have to make a long-term commitment
- More expensive than long-term leases
- Slightly more difficult to find than other rentals and leases
How Can You Get a Short-Term Car Lease?
As I mentioned, 6-month car leases might be more difficult to come across and negotiate than others. If you want to get one, these are your best and safest options.
Go Through a Car Dealership
Even though most car dealerships typically offer long-term leases, many of them will also grant you a 6-month one when you specifically ask for them. After all, they’re in the business of making money, so it’s in their interest that you sign a contract for a longer time period. Still, that doesn’t mean you should incur additional costs, especially when you don’t have to. If you take your time, you can find a dealership that won’t charge you an additional fee. But be sure to ask about that beforehand.
Take Over Someone Else’s Lease
You can take the situation into your own hands by visiting websites that have a database of people who want to turn over their leases. For example, you can visit swapalease.com or similar sites and set the filter to leases expiring within the following six months.
Then, either of you will have to get the current leasing company onboard with the idea. Since 6-month leases are typically beneficial for all parties, you shouldn’t have any trouble with this part. Moreover, some leasing companies will agree to do everything for you — for a fee. Others could even agree to transfer ownership of the lease for free.
Sign a Long-Term Rental Agreement
Long-term rental agreements are a great way for you to negotiate a fair rate for a car. That way, you’ll also be able to lock the price upfront and avoid paying any additional charges in the future. These agreements work similarly to leases, as you must make a commitment to pay for a car for a specific period of time. Also, you won’t have to worry about any changes in policy or price hikes. That is because long-term rental agreements can’t be modified without the consent of both parties.
Alternatives to 6-Month Car Leases
Leasing a car for six months might not be the best option for everyone. Moreover, depending on your current needs, there might be better alternatives out there.
For example, you could rent a car by the day if you only need it for a couple of months. This type of renting is also perfect for those who only need a vehicle for a few days of the week. Even though that isn’t the best long-term solution, daily car hire does offer the same type of flexibility as short-term leasing. However, keep in mind that you’ll likely pay up to 70% more for this service if you need the car for six months.
Finally, you should also think about investing in a quality used car. If it holds its resale value, you’ll be able to use it for a while and get your money back when you no longer want it.
As you can tell, 6-month car leases aren’t for everyone, but they do fulfill a specific purpose on the market. For one, they’re perfect for car aficionados who always want to drive around in the latest and greatest models. Also, they can be of great help to those who are short on funds and in dire need of a reliable vehicle.
However, you do have to do your homework on 6-month leases to know what you’re getting yourself into beforehand. Hopefully, this article has helped you do just that and has cleared up any confusion you might have had.
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