Changing cars during the leasing period
Changing cars during the lease period
As life becomes more unpredictable, you may find that being stuck on a leasing contract for years with the same car no longer works for you.
You may have got a new job offer and want a better car, or maybe your family is growing and you need a larger vehicle.
Whatever the case, changing cars during the lease period is possible. However, in most cases, you’ll face significant costs for doing so.
In this guide we’ll cover the different options and whether changing a car during the lease period is worth it.
Can I change cars in the middle of a lease?
Changing cars in the middle of a lease is an option that most leasing companies offer, but it's not easy and is often quite expensive to do so.
Unfortunately, it's not as simple as being able to swap out a vehicle and continue with the same monthly payments.
The options available include:
- Lease buyout
- Cooling-off period
- Early termination and balloon payments
It is important to note that we are using the term “car lease” as an umbrella term to encapsulate all leases for vehicles for both business and personal use.
With that in mind, let’s look at your options for changing your contracted lease car in more detail.
One way to change your current leased vehicle is through a lease buyout. But this only works if you have a Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) contract in place.
This involves paying the residual value of the car, the remaining balance of payments and possibly additional fees.
Changing vehicle right after delivery
Most leasing companies have a 14-day cooling-off period during which you can cancel the contract and get a different vehicle without incurring additional costs or fees.
In most cases you don’t even need to provide a reason for the cancellation. However, if you don’t want to run into hefty fees, the best solution is to decide early into the agreement whether you want to change the vehicle or not because the further you go, the harder it becomes to swap.
Early termination and balloon payments
If you need to terminate your lease agreement early, this is possible, but you may be subject to early termination fees and balloon payments.
Balloon payments are large fees due at the end of a lease term.
Costs involved with early termination might include paying off at least 50% of the existing financial balance, providing no more than six months remain on the contract.
On top of that, the condition of the vehicle and accrued mileage can play a role in the total payment required to terminate the contract early.
On the other hand, if your vehicle is on a personal contract purchase plan agreement, you can use voluntary termination to end the contract, early but only if 50% of the total amount is paid off.
By total amount, we don’t just mean half of your monthly payments, but half of the amount payable over the entire course of the contract. This includes other fees such as interest and the optional balloon payment in case you decide to become the legal owner of the vehicle.
Additionally, if you’ve paid over 50% of the total amount, the leasing company won’t refund you.
With PCP, you’ll also have to factor in additional extra costs on top of the voluntary termination charges such as:
You may need to pay extra admin fees depending on your agreement with the leasing company. Some common admin fees are collection charges, where you pay the lender for picking up your vehicle after terminating the contract.
Not just with PCP, but also with all other forms of vehicle leasing contracts, you’ll agree upon a yearly mileage threshold that you must follow unless you want to pay extra fees. When you return your vehicle early, the mileage on the clock will be checked and if you have exceeded the limit, you could pay up to 30p per extra mile or more, depending on the vehicle and initial agreement.
Checking for vehicle damage is crucial because repairing costs at the end of a leasing contract can be substantial. If the wear and tear on your vehicle is unacceptable by the BVRLA (British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association) standards, you will be liable for the repair costs.
We suggest you check for BVRLA guidelines beforehand and check for any damage as leasing companies’ inspectors will check the vehicle thoroughly and charge you for any damage that’s beyond standard expectations.
Keep in mind that you can also ask for a second inspection if you don’t agree with the leasing company’s damage assessment of the car’s condition, and you also have the right to dispute the charges if you deem them unfair.
Check the terms of your agreement
Before taking the early termination route, make sure you read your leasing contract thoroughly to find details about the early termination policy, some terms are very rigid whereas others can be more flexible.
This can vary vastly from contract to contract depending on who is providing the lease.
Sometimes, there are terms within the agreement that allow alternatives to early termination, but you should still check this before signing the contract.
If the agreement allows it, then you should get in touch with your provider as they can take you through the process of how to change your car.
Enjoy more freedom with a car subscription - an alternative to leasing
Although changing cars in the middle of a lease is possible, it can often be time-consuming and costly. There is an alternative.
Our car subscription service offers complete flexibility when it comes to how long you have the car with a rolling monthly contract - you’re not locked in.
What’s more, our car subscriptions are all-inclusive, meaning your insurance, tax, servicing, maintenance and breakdown cover are all included in a single monthly payment - offering greater ease, value, and flexibility compared with a traditional lease agreement.
So, why not choose a more flexible and hassle-free approach with a Drive Fuze car subscription? Take a look at our range of cars and sign up for your car subscription today.