The Ideal Cash Incentive for a Lease Takeover

The #1 question most of our clients have when it comes to transferring their leases is pretty straightforward: "how much should I put as a cash incentive"? Fair question. In fact, the most important one if you want to transfer your lease in an "expected" amount of time. It will depend on many things, but basically, will throw up results in an acceptable period.

You Have a "Bad Deal"? Balance it Up

Although it is not a mainstream case, there are some of our customers who had a lousy deal when leasing the vehicle because of one of the following reasons:

  • Another vehicle debt was dumped into this new deal (known as an upsidedown)
  • The moment the lease was signed, manufacturer incentives were low or inexistent.
  • There was no negotiation made at all.
  • Some key aspects were missing during the deal (Warranty for the Entire Lease Term, Wear & Tear Coverage...)

The most important thing is that you can identify what these are. It will help you put your feet on the ground and understand what you have in hands. Once you get these calculated, then you can say, i.e. "by adding 2,200CAD I'm balancing up this deal with an average Nissan Rogue lease deal".

Now, once you get to the "balance point," you will need to add the additional (and actual) transfer incentive:

No Rush: 0 Months Incentive

This would be the case of "those who are OK" with doing a lease takeover and jumping into another car. You are not in a rush and are willing to do the transfer only if the opportunity shows up.

If your monthly payment is, let's say, 400CAD/month, we will consider 400CAD as a month incentive.

By not adding any incentive on top of what you currently have, you are not putting any money upfront and will just wait for the "ideal customer." Another case, maybe that you had an original downpayment that counts now as a non-paid incentive, making your monthly payment to be more attractive than a regular lease of the same model for the same period.

Need to Change Cars: 1.5 - 2 Months Incentive

So, situation #2: you need to change your car in the next 3 - 6 months. You may be either expecting your family to grow, changing jobs or waiting for an external opportunity (a good deal, new model...) that will show up soon. In these cases, it is ideal to have more leads of potential buyers and being in an "expected time" where you can anticipate better by when the contract should go away.

On these scenarios, it is a good idea to offer between 1.5 - 2 months of cash incentive to the person who takes over your contract.

The Ideal Cash Incentive on a Lease Takeover: InfoGraphic

You are in a Rush: 3 - 4 Months Incentive

This may adjust more to situations where you feel you have the wrong car (this happens a lot), it is expensive for you to maintain it in the long run or even the vehicle is kind of a problem for you. You may need it to go away ASAP just because it is complicated to have it around. 

I have a friend who leased a vehicle he "thought" it was going to fit in his small garage: big mistake. (NOTE: please, bring test drive vehicles home and always check if these fit!) So, my friend started parking on the street, he had to get a parking permit as it is in Montreal narrow streets, began considering moving... the end of the story is he had to transfer it and had to pay a considerable amount of cash to do so. His story is very particular, but a sample of situation where you find yourself in an actual rush to have your vehicle contract gone.

Having a cash incentive offer totaling 3 to 4 months seems like a good start to attract possible buyers.

Serious Rush: 4+ Months Incentive

And finally, the most expensive and challenging scenario. Either way, outcomes are hard, but time is a variable that can seriously complicate things. We have had many customers with a clear urgency of transferring because they are either facing bankruptcy, are consolidating debts, leaving overseas for multiple reasons... On these cases, time becomes the #1 priority, and the amount of the incentive goes to a level where the primary purpose is to attract as many people as possible.

These incentives are usually bigger than four monthly payment together.

Time is Money. Yes, it is. And the fact that you need your vehicle transferred, requires you to clearly understand the "Time Value" Part of Completing Your Lease Takeover.

About the author

Jorge Diaz is a passionate car lover, winter driver & Software Engineer. For the last 10 years, he has built Online Solutions used by more than 5,000 companies across the globe. He founded LeaseCosts in 2016 with the purpose of simplifying and helping people to better understand the complex market of new vehicles in Québec and Canada. You can connect with Jorge in LinkedIn or send him a direct message.