UPDATE: How long? With us, your lease can be transferred in less than 30 days.
I love car leasing, and most of it because it is the best balance between affordable alternatives, warranty and the low risk of having transportation issues. I will address only the time since you got someone interested to the point when you finally sign all the documents and deliver your car to someone else. But still, the biggest gap in time, will always be on the time it takes to find the right person.
First Thing, Know Your Credit Score
This is vital. You will regret transfering your current car if you don't have a good credit score to jump into the next one. First, always check your credit score to avoid unpleasant surprises. Our partner agency, Borrowell Canada, offers a FREE Equifax Credit Score in only 2 minutes.
If somehow, you are under 700, I strongly suggest you to build it up before going ahead. Borrowell Canada Credit Build Tips offer a very innovative way of improving your credit and consilidating it all the way up.
Primarily, It depends on your Original Deal
Noone wants to take a bad deal from someone else. And with a bad deal, I mean, that you may be paying more than a brand new model leasing from the current year. I mean so because I've seen some many cases like these: you are posting your lease for a 2016 X vehicle at 450 CAD/month, and it can be leased now with the manufacturers at 440 (including PDI and all taxes).
This is why it is so important to negotiate with the dealers to get the best deal possible so you don't have to haggle later with someone else in case you need to transfer it. While in most cases, the price is fair enough, you have to be careful and do your math before signing. For example, consider not including accessories that you may need but you can get elsewhere. This will reduce your monthly payments and simplify the deal with the car.
Incentives Speed Up the Lease Transfer, For Sure
Incentives will speed up things, but use these with caution. See what other people pay for your car and evaluate if it is worth or not to pay that amount. This will be the only wildcard you'll have if your initial deal isn't attractive enough to everyone.
I suggest you dig more into the incentives in my previous article Lease Takeover: 5 Things to Do Before Starting.
Once you got a "buyer", there is "One Week" Left
Yes, that is the answer: at least one week. This is the approximated time that is required for the paperwork, the credit check, the signature...
I'm sorry I had to do all the intro of the two first sections, but it is crucial to understand that reaching the "transfer period" isn't that fast. In fact, before this "last week" you will spend most of your time trying to find the right person for it.
Once you got someone, the main interest of the bank (of the manufacturer financing entity) is to ensure someone will do what you initially promised in the original contract: lease the vehicle during a term at a specific price.
Don't see it as a complicated process. In fact, doing a lease transfer is perfectly allowed in the original terms of the initial contract as a valid process.
So, if you are on it, document yourself enough to avoid surprises and make all things work as you need them to.