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Sign Of The Times: Employee-Leased Vehicles Flood Re-Leasing Market

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2010 Dodge Charger

2010 Dodge Charger

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Work for an automaker—or even a supplier, or have a relative who works for an automaker—and you're likely to have gotten some type of 'plan' discount on your last vehicle.

But according to those at the lease-trading marketplace LeaseTrader.com, the auto-related layoffs of the past 18 months or so are now beginning to take their toll on the market itself, and these employee-leased vehicles are showing up on the market before their leases are even up.

In yet another sign that the economy hasn't yet rebounded, LeaseTrader reports that so far in 2010, the number of drivers looking to ditch their auto-employer lease deals has doubled.

According to LeaseTrader, these employee plans normally save lessees $2,000 or more over the course of the lease, so their leases might look more favorable on the secondary market.

LeaseTrader says that the majority of the listings for those who want to leave their employee leases are GM or Chrysler products; for example, a Dodge Charger with eight months remaining was recently listed and traded for $149 per month, and a Cadillac CTS was traded for $225 a month with 13 months remaining.

Under most leases, consumers are allowed to trade their lease if they can find another person willing to assume the remaining lease payments. Several marketplaces, such as LeaseTrader.com and SwapALease.com exist to provide a place to facilitate this.

If the rash of abandoned leases continues, it could potentially begin affecting leasing residuals—the projected resale value of the vehicle at the end of the lease, and one of the chief determinants of how low lessors—and lenders—are able to go with monthly payments.

[LeaseTrader.com]

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