Q: Our 26-year-old son made the extremely bad decision of leasing a Lexus. After about one year on this three-year lease, he’ been transferred overseas by his company, an arrangement that will last at least 18 months. He’s not taking the car with him, of course, and has asked us to “deal with” the lease, as he had to pack up and move in only a week. We know nothing about leasing and aren’t sure how to get this taken care of with the least financial harm to him. Can you point us in the right direction?
A: Yikes. This will be thorny, and not cheap.
He doesn’t get to simply pay a penalty and have you drop off the car. He committed to 24 more months of payments.
So first, get a copy of the lease agreement to understand the specifics (pay special attention to the early-termination clause), then call the leasing company to find out the precise amount an early-return payoff will run (it costs much less to pay out the remainder of the lease when it’s closer to the end of the lease period than this one is).
Getting the specific real-time info from the leasing agency is a starting point against which to weigh other possible options. Keep in mind, though, that since the agreement was signed not by you but by your son, it’s probable representatives won’t be real eager to engage in these conversations with you. Your son probably will have to have some long-distance conversations.
In his situation, his best approach – if his lease agreement allows it – will likely be to work through a lease transfer company, like leasetrader.com or swapalease.com, which link up people who want to get out of their lease agreements early with people seeking to assume a lease contract. He has to follow a very specific process dictated by his leasing company.
And you won’t be able to make any final disposition of the car since it’s not your name on the lease.
So, in the end, you can collect information for him to whatever degree is possible and he’ll execute whatever he decides best from afar.
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What’s your question? Sharon Peters would like to hear about what’s on your mind when it comes to caring for, driving and repairing your vehicle. Email Sharon@ctwfeatures.com.