3. Continue your lease month-to-month until you are ready to get your next car.
Some people panic as the end of their lease approaches because they don't know what car they will get next. But Swapalease Executive Vice President Scot Hall points out that most leasing companies will allow you to keep the car on a month-to-month basis.
You don't want to do that for too long, however, Cavano points out. If you ultimately decide you want to buy the car you've been leasing, you might have to pay the original residual figure, which will now be outdated, and possibly too high.
Here's why: Leasing companies set the residual figure at the beginning of the lease, and it is a prediction of what the car will be worth at that time. Forecasting company ALG sets lease residuals as a percentage of the original value of the vehicle. So, if you extend the lease, and then buy the car, you are buying the car for what it was worth several months previously.
Still, as long as you go month-to-month as a short-term fix, it can help you buy extra time in your current car. After all, it's never a good idea to buy a car in a hurry.
4. It's easier than you think to transfer your lease before the end of the contract.
According to SwapaLease's Hall, it is possible to transfer about 80 percent of leases with no strings attached. SwapaLease and rival LeaseTrader find a person to take over the lease and, for a fee, handle the paperwork.
But even after a person transfers the lease, approximately 20 percent of leasing companies require the original leaseholder to retain some "post-transfer liability" for the vehicle, cautions Hall. This means that the name of the person who originated the lease remains on the contract and the original leaseholder can be held financially responsible for unpaid balances. These could result from excess mileage charges or lease-end fees.
Still, if you have had a change to your life situation, and it is suddenly necessary to end your lease, transferring the contract is an option that wasn't available until recently. Using these online leasing sites is easy and minimizes financial loss.