LeaseTrader Review: Can I Trust It?
LeaseTrader is an online platform that connects people who want to trade their lease with people looking for a short-term lease.
They claim to be the most reliable name in car leasing, but it appears that many customers would disagree.
LeaseTrader provides great visibility for buyers and sellers to connect, but they are not involved in the lease transfer. Still, both parties have to pay significant fees to use the platform. Yet, there are some upsides to using the service.
Here’s our full review of LeaseTrader and if it’s worth using.
Table of Contents
- What is LeaseTrader?
- How Much Does LeaseTrader Cost?
- How Does LeaseTrader Make Money?
- What Credit Score Do You Need for LeaseTrader?
- Can You Negotiate with LeaseTrader?
- How to Take Over a Lease with LeaseTrader
- How to Transfer Your Lease with LeaseTrader
- LeaseTrader Review – The Good & The Bad
- Is It Possible to Beat the LeaseTrader Experience?
- LeaseTrader Customer Complaints
- Alternatives to LeaseTrader
- Best Car Deals by Category
- Frequently Asked Questions
What is LeaseTrader?
Started in 1998, LeaseTrader is an online platform for buying and selling car leases. People who currently have leases they want out of can post an ad for their lease.
Those looking for a short-term lease can browse through a listing of available leases.
Is LeaseTrader Legit?
There are mixed responses about the legitimacy of LeaseTrader. They have not claimed their profile on Consumer Affairs, and have many complaints online. Still, it seems as if a few people have had a positive lease trading experience.
How Much Does LeaseTrader Cost?
LeaseTrader charges sellers for uploading listings of the available lease. They have multiple listing levels at different price points. Seller fee options include:
- $99.95: 15-photo listing
- $199.95: 7 days of high exposure (social media marketing, prominent listing, suggested results)
- $249.95: 30 days of high exposure
Upon completing a successful lease transfer, sellers must also pay LeaseTrader a non-refundable $149.95.
LeaseTrader also costs money for buyers. The rate options include:
- $9.99 per month for 6 months
- $19.99 per month for 2 months
- $34.99 for one month
On top of the subscription fee, buyers must also pay a $149.95 commission fee for a successful lease transfer.
How Does LeaseTrader Make Money?
LeaseTrader makes money via its buyer and seller fees above. They charge both buyers and sellers to use the platform, and they also charge each party commission on successful transfers.
What Credit Score Do You Need for LeaseTrader?
You must have “established and good standing US credit history” to take over a lease with LeaseTrader. They screen for credit scores, but the leasing company will ultimately decide if your credit is high enough.
Essentially, there’s no set-in-stone credit score that you need. It will vary based on the lending company, the particular lease, and more. In general, most people with credit scores above 620 may be approved for a lease.
Can You Negotiate with LeaseTrader?
When buying or selling a lease on LeaseTrader, you are not negotiating with the platform. Instead, you are negotiating with the other party.
While the terms of the lease are set by the leasing company, buyers and sellers are free to negotiate who pays what.
For example, some of the most common points of negotiation include who will pay the inspection fees, transportation fees, and/or lease transfer fees.
How to Take Over a Lease with LeaseTrader
Here’s the process to take over a lease as a buyer on LeaseTrader:
- Search. Browse the available listings.
- Contact. If you find a lease of interest, click “Contact Seller”. To do this, you will need to have an account.
- Credit Check. Complete the credit application. LeaseTrader will contact you within 24 hours.
- Documentation. If you are approved, then you must complete lease transfer documents with the seller. This takes approximately 3-5 business days. In some cases, you must mail the documents, which will take longer.
- Finalize Transfer. Once the lease company receives the necessary documents, they will finalize the transfer.
- Register Vehicle. You must then register the vehicle in your name and pay for license plates through the DMV.
How to Transfer Your Lease with LeaseTrader
LeaseTrader does not handle the actual transfer of the lease. Rather, it’s an advertising platform that connects people who want to get out of a lease with those looking for a short-term lease.
It’s up to the seller to then contact their leasing company and facilitate the lease transfer.
LeaseTrader Review – The Good & The Bad
LeaseTrader Pros: Here’s What I Like
- Social Media. Good social media exposure for promoted listings. They have a large Facebook audience.
- Easy Process. Easy to list vehicles and leases.
LeaseTrader Cons: Here’s What I Don’t Like
- Customer Service. Slow customer service that does not intervene often.
- No Inspections. Do not verify vehicle listings or perform inspections.
- Fees. Non-refundable fees.
- Not Guaranteed. No guaranteed success with lease transfer.
Is It Possible to Beat the LeaseTrader Experience?
While LeaseTrader may help you transfer a lease, it’s not the only solution. There are many important complaints about using LeaseTrader.
Ultimately, it is definitely possible to beat the LeaseTrader experience. It’s not the only solution for transferring a lease.
Still, LeaseTrader may be a good tool to use. Here are some tips for improving the experience:
- Browse Alternative Sites for Listings. Check the alternatives listed below, and see if you can find a listing on a free site before creating an account.
- Pay Close Attention to the Lease Agreement. Before moving forward with any lease transfer, make sure you understand the terms and what you are responsible for as the buyer or the seller. You may want to consider a lease buyout as another option.
- Create Accurate Listings. If you are selling your lease, then provide accurate details and photos. Clearly exhibit the condition of the car and the lease details. Creating a more detailed, accurate listing improves your chances of finding a buyer who wants to move forward.
- Offer Incentives. While lease terms are not negotiable, the deal between the lease buyer and seller is. Consider offering reasonable incentives to help your listing stand out. Just be careful not to overdo incentives to the point where you lose a lot of money.
LeaseTrader Customer Complaints
To be honest, there are a lot of customer complaints about LeaseTrader. Still, they have 3.9 out of 5 stars on Consumer Affairs. The most negative reviews commonly complain about similar issues including:
- Lack of Listing Verification. Several buyers see listings of interest, but they must pay for an account to contact the seller. Only after paying for the account do they find out the listing is no longer available.
- Poor Customer Service. Many reviewers cite poor customer service, including slow response times and a lack of helpful solutions.
- Scammy Feel. Many reviewers question the legitimacy of the service, stating that charges are not clear, there’s no guarantee that you find someone to take over a lease, and that their experience made it seem like LeaseTrader cares more about getting people to pay than helping them.
- Trouble Removing Listing. While people seem to find making a listing easy, they stated it was difficult to end a listing, and they experienced many charges after trying to remove the listing.
Alternatives to LeaseTrader
LeaseTrader is not the only solution for trading a lease. Here are some of the top LeaseTrader alternatives:
- Swapalease: Swapalease is the main direct competitor to LeaseTrader. The platform works very similarly, charging for listings and buyer subscriptions. While Swapalease also does not verify listings, many reviews suggested a more favorable experience with this platform. Check out our full Swapalease review here.
- Free Platforms like Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist. On either website, you can post local ads. With Facebook Marketplace, you can even reach people around the country. Better yet, neither buyers nor sellers need to pay to use these sites. However, the responsibility of the entire lease trade process will be on you.
- Online Brand Communities. Many leading auto brands also have online forums, clubs, social media groups, etc. You can also join one of these communities and post about your lease.
- End Your Lease Early. While it can be costly to get out of a lease, there are times when this could be a better solution. Read our helpful article to learn what you need to know about the different options for ending a vehicle lease early.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I be a lease buyer and seller with LeaseTrader?
Yes, you can buy and sell on LeaseTrader at the same time. When you do this, you can log in on one profile for both. However, LeaseTrader is not clear about fees. You’ll likely have to pay both the fee for buyer subscription and seller listings when you do both at the same time.
How long does the lease transfer process take?
The time of the transfer process varies depending on the leasing company and finance company. The process may be finalized in as little as one day, but it could also take several business days.
Can I terminate a lease prior to the full term of the contract?
In most cases, you can terminate a lease before the lease-end date. However, this typically includes several additional expenses that may not be worth it. For example, many lease companies have a hefty early termination fee. Depending on the cost of ending your lease early, it may be financially smarter to transfer your car lease instead.
Can I back out after starting the transfer process?
Until the final transfer documentation is signed, the buyer or seller can change their mind. However, any fees paid to LeaseTrader are non-refundable once the process starts.
How often are LeaseTrader listings updated?
LeaseTrader claims that listings are updated in real-time. However, several customer reviews suggest that listings are not always accurate with the most up-to-date information.
Where is LeaseTrader available?
LeaseTrader is available throughout the United States. It has listings from around the country, including Los Angeles, Miami, New York, and more.