Even though it’s most common to buy or lease long term to get a car, that’s not always possible or the right decision. In some instances, it’s best to get a vehicle for short-term use instead.

For instance, if you are on military leave or traveling for work.

Whatever the reason is, it’s important to know how to obtain a short-term car lease and how to use it to your advantage.


So what is a short-term lease?

Generally, car dealerships prefer to lease out vehicles for two years or longer.

Because of that, a lease or rental that’s less than 24 months is defined as short-term. A large and very clean white range over is parked on a cement road with green trees behind in the background and green grass on either side.A short-term lease is often considered a car rental, rather than an actual lease.                                                           For that reason, a short-term car lease will cost you more than a standard lease would.

It will also be more difficult for you to obtain. Take the time to learn how to get a short lease and what you can expect from such an agreement below.


Obtaining a car using a short term lease

If you don’t want to use a standard long-term lease or own a car, a short-term car lease is the next best option. There are several different ways to acquire a short-term car lease.

But they usually aren’t through a car dealership. someone wearing a grey shirt is handing someone else a black set of car keysInstead, you can get a short lease by working with an individual or car rental company. You can take over someone else’s lease, or rent for months from a rental company.

Assuming the lease of another

When getting a car for less than two years, assuming a lease is often the most affordable option. By assuming, or taking over, the lease of an individual, you get to enjoy their low-cost payments.

You also get to enjoy any other perks like a reasonable mileage allowance that comes with the lease. You can take over a lease by working with an individual and making payments to them for permission to use the car.

Or, you can also assume a lease by transferring the agreement through a bank.  

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Before assuming any lease, ask all the following questions about the car and the lease agreement:

  • What is the mileage limit on the agreement?
  • How many miles are left on the car before going over?
  • What are the maintenance and repair conditions?
  • Does the car need any work done currently?
  • What are the monthly payments?
  • Are there any fees I should know about?

Make sure that you see a full copy of the lease agreement, look at the car in person and test it out before assuming the lease.

Some of the top lease swapping sites are Swap a Lease, Lease Quit, and Quit a Lease.

Obtaining a monthly car rental

The simplest way to obtain a car short a short period of time is by using a car rental. Car rentals are normally just for a few days or for a few weeks, but not always. It’s possible to rent a car for several months at a time. Talk with local rental companies about their monthly car rental options.

Monthly car rentals normally come at a discounted rate compared to the daily or weekly rates offered. They are often more expensive than assuming a lease though. Ask about discounts, vehicle availability, and any restrictions on your rental.

Normally there will be a mileage restriction for the rental.

Also, ask about maintenance and damage liability before you sign up for a rental. Keep these considerations in mind to avoid costly penalties during your rental period.


Using Car Sharing to Get Around

Carsharing is another powerful solution that makes it possible to travel conveniently without having a contract in place at all.

Instead, you sign up for a carsharing program, get a card, and have instant access to cars spread throughout the city. Companies like Zipcar make it possible to enjoy a rented car at reasonable rates.

Above all, costs start out at $9 per hour or $74 per day, giving you access to a vehicle that you can drive anywhere that you like.

Compared to a month-long lease, a carshare monthly membership plan comes to a reasonable $7.00 per month, and you pay for the cars when only when you use them. Carshare services are available in several U.S. cities including Boston.

a woman with black hair and a grey shirt is standing on the side of the street while holding her phone and ordering a rideshare

If you only need a car a few times a month, ride-sharing is a very affordable way to access a vehicle without spending much.

Examples of well-known companies like Uber and Lyft, give you a similar benefit as taking a taxi, where you won’t be the one driving to your destination. These companies cost a bit more per trip than something like Zipcar, but finding rides is more convenient, and you’re more flexible with your day’s activities.

Ridesharing with Uber or Lyft is marginally cheaper per trip over taxis. Most trips start off with a $1 – $2.50 base fee and cost between $1 and $2.00 per mile from there. The average Uber trip is about $25.

Below are some of the most popular carsharing and ridesharing companies you should know about.

Carsharing companies to know about:

  • Zipcar
  • Car2go
  • Maven

Ridesharing companies to know about:

  • Uber
  • Juno
  • Via
  • Lyft


Why a short term lease or rental isn’t always the best option

According to AAA, the cost to own a vehicle for a year is about $8,469 on average or around $706 per month.

Of course, the cost varies depending on the price of the vehicle that you purchase and how fast it depreciates. That cost includes depreciation, maintenance costs as well as interest paid on the loan of the vehicle and is a pretty reasonable cost overall.

All in all, the costs to rent a car monthly vary between $800 and $1,200 per month on average depending on location. Airport rentals tend to be more costly, so travel away from the airport to get your long-term rental.

Lease swaps offer even more in the way of savings, but only if you take care to choose a car with plenty of miles left, and you pay close attention to the fees involved.

Either way, if you are only owning a vehicle for 12 months or less, you will likely save by using a lease swap.

But the cost of a short-term rental is likely to be more costly than buying a car outright and selling it at the end of the year.

Now that you know how to use a short-term car lease, you can consider the option when it makes sense to.

For example, when moving to a new location and staying in short-term housing, you could use a unique lease while there. Make sure you consider all the options before you decide on how you’ll obtain the vehicle. This is vital to help you avoid paying more than necessary.

With an understanding of short-term leases, finding reliable transportation is simpler. Blueground offers fully-furnished short-term rentals for the greatest convenience. Work with Blueground to keep things simple when renting month-to-month.

Blueground offers fully-furnished, equipped and serviced apartments in some of the world's most sought after cities.

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