A car lease is a type of auto financing that permits you to drive an automobile, truck or SUV for any predetermined period of time and number of miles. Some leases are for 3 years, a short-term car lease allows consumers to lease a vehicle for a few months up to two years. These types of leases are less common but can be a wise decision if you need a vehicle for any brief period.
What a short-term car lease is
A short-term car lease is an agreement is just like a typical car lease except that it provides a significantly shorter term. While there’s no official rule that stipulates the precise period of a short-term car lease, many experts say it’s 24 months or less. The standard car lease typically has a three-year or four-year contract. For some, the standard car lease length is more than they want to invest in a particular vehicle, making the short-term lease a viable option. For instance, if you have a temporary need such as traveling out of town for work, or else you simply want to test drive an automobile for a while of your time.
Because the term is shorter than a traditional lease, monthly payments are typically higher with this kind of contract. And even though it's short-term, these leases still typically require paying sales taxes and fees in many states.
3 short-term car lease options
There are some short-term car lease choices to select from, all with their very own advantages and drawbacks.
1. Takeover someone else’s lease
You can do this for some months. Most auto manufacturers will allow someone else to consider on the car lease in the original lessee who wants from their contract.
While this transaction can be achieved between two individuals, it’s simpler to use a third party, for example SwapALease or LeaseTrader, simply because they focus on pairing current lessees with those searching for a short-term car lease.
Getting a short-term lease via a lease transfer allows you to avoid making a down payment. The monthly lease payment would be the rate the original lessee negotiated when ever they started their lease term.
2. Get a long-term rental
Many car rental companies offer long-term rentals, that are effectively short-term or sometimes called “mini leases.” This method has some pros and cons to think about.
- Flexibility: Because these are car rentals and not leases, you’re not locked right into a contract and can return the automobile at any time.
- No mileage limits — more often than not: Unlike whenever you lease an automobile, there are usually no mileage restrictions when you opt for a long-term rental. But this may not always be the situation, particularly when it comes to specialty vehicles.
- Change cars when needed: Rental car companies often allow renters to change cars throughout the term, giving you the chance to drive more than one vehicle.
- More expensive: Around the downside, as the minute rates are lower than an ordinary car rental rate for several days or perhaps a week, long-term car rentals continue to be typically more expensive than the usual lease-takeover.
3. Traditional lease
You can also take out a conventional car lease but for a much shorter-term. However, the shorter the car lease, the harder it's to find, and you'll need to look around at several dealers.
Longer-term car leases generally include more lease deals from automakers. When vehicles aren’t selling well or get to the end of the product cycles, automakers attempt to boost sales with special lease deals with lower costs. There are many more 36-month lease deals than there are 24-month deals.
When you opt for a conventional lease with a shortened timeline, for example 2 yrs, your monthly payments will be higher because you’re spreading the cost of the contract on the shorter-term.
The bottom line
A short-term car lease can be an attractive option if you don’t want to commit to one type of vehicle for a lengthy period or else you have temporary needs for any vehicle.
Remember, however, that shorter terms often include higher prices. Before deciding on a short-term car lease, look around at multiple dealers to find the most competitive contract and do a price comparison with long-term rental options too.