Not Sure How to Get a Short Term Car Lease? Here Are Your Best Options

A quick work assignment in another state, a family emergency that will take you away for a few months, a long test-drive – there are many reasons people look for a short-term car lease.

Whether you need a 3-month car lease, a 6-month car lease, or a 12-month car lease, you may quickly realize it is not as easy as you may have thought it would be.

That is why we have created this guide to finding a short-term car lease. We will share:

  • The average age of a lease
  • Whether or not used car leasing is an option
  • Your top short-term car leasing options
  • The best options for a 3-month car lease
  • The best options for a 6-month car lease
  • The best options for a 12-month car lease

By the end of this guide, you will have a good idea of what you can do when you are in need of short-term car leasing.

See Also: Cheap Car Leasing | Guide | How to Find & Get the Cheapest Cars to Lease

Average Length of a Lease

If you are in the market for a short-term car lease, the first thing to realize is how long a normal lease lasts.

Normally, leases start at 24 months. The most typical car leases are for 36 to 39 months. These are definitely not the time ranges for people looking for short-term car leasing.

If you are looking for a 3-month car lease, 6-month car lease, or 12-month car lease – you will have to read through our top options below.

It is important to realize right away that your options will be very limited – and could be potentially quite expensive. But that does not mean you have no options at all.

Is There Such a Thing as Used Car Leasing?

Short answer: Yes.

Real answer: Used car leasing is very hard to find.

Not every dealership will offer used car leasing, and those that do probably will not advertise it so much. If you can find one, it is a way to really save some money.

However, keep in mind that it is already difficult to find a dealer who will give you a short-term car lease, so to find one who does both short-term car leasing and used car leasing may be a real challenge.

The best idea is to weigh the pros and cons and see which rare type of leasing is more important: short-term or used car leasing.

All-in-One Change Management Tools

Top Rated Toolkit for Change Managers.

Get Your Change Management Tool Today...

The Four Short-Term Car Lease Options

Here is the good news: we have four short-term car leasing options for you.

Here is the bad news: they may not all be your ideal situation.

short term car lease

Short Term Car Lease

What you need to do is read through our descriptions of each option, and then decide exactly how long you will want a short-term lease. Once you know, keep reading to find our ideal recommendations for each time length.

For example, what works for a one-year car lease may not work for a 6-month car lease.

Don’t Miss: The Best Cars to Lease | Guide | How to Find & Get the Best Car Leases

Short-Term Car Lease Option #1: Transferred Lease

If you are looking for a 12-month car lease/6-month car lease/3-month car lease, you may be able to take over someone else’s lease. In fact, this is the #1 to get a short-term car lease.

If someone has a few months left on their lease, but needs to get out of it for any reason, they often look for someone to transfer the lease to. This is one of the best – and only– ways for getting a short-term car lease.

Companies like Lease Trader or SwapALease allow people to do this short-term car leasing online. Simply fill in the search options with what you are looking for:

  • Make, series, model, style
  • Year
  • Type
  • Monthly payment
  • Months remaining
  • Miles per month
  • Zip code within a certain number of miles

While many of these transferred leases are over a 12-month car lease, you can still find options under a 1-year car lease. You just may have to drive out of your city or state to get it.

Remember, there are normally some fees involved with transferring a lease. But the cost still might be less than our next option.

Short-Term Car Lease Option #2: Long-Term Rental

When it comes to really short leases – like a 3-month car lease or a 6-month car lease especially – monthly car rentals may be your best option.

Hertz, for example, does not have many of the downsides that come with leases:

  • A minimum time commitment
  • Down payment
  • Bank fee
  • Mileage limitations
  • Extra mileage fee

On top of these perks, using a car rental company for short-term car leasing often lets you switch out the vehicles. This is a great option for those using a short-term car lease as a test-drive.

The downside of choosing rentals as your short-term car lease option is they are often more expensive. That is why this option may be best for 3-month car leases, or possibly even 6-month car leases – not necessarily one-year car leases.

Short-Term Car Lease Option #3: Find the Right Dealer

This next option is your least-likely option for a short-term car lease, and it is only a remote possibility for a 12-month car lease. If you need a 3- or 6-month car lease, you should only focus on the first two options.

Though we know that most leases start at 24 months, there are some situations where a dealer may offer a 1-year car lease.

The only way to know if a one-year car lease will be possible for you is to call all the dealers in your area and ask about your options.

Short-Term Car Lease Option #4: Buy a Used Car

If you really want to try short-term car leasing, this last option may seem out of the question. But listen to the ways it could work, especially for a 1-year car lease.

  • Every month that you spend money on a short-term car lease – or a monthly car rental – that money is simply going away. You never get it back.
  • When you buy a used car for a certain period of time, however, you then have the opportunity to sell it and make your money back (or most of your money back).
  • If you do your research right and find a car with great resale value, you could potentially come out even.

Of course, with all of the work involved, this may be a better alternate option for those seeking a 12-month car lease. You can consider the time it takes to find a buyer and any loss your “1-year car lease agreement.”

Related: Best New Cars Under $20,000 | Rankings | Fastest Cars Under 20k (Comparison Reviews)

Best Options for a 3-Month Car Lease

Now you know all your options when you are looking for a short-term car lease. Let’s take a closer look at the top choices depending upon how long you will need the car.

nissan used car leasing

12 Month Car Lease

We will start with the best choices for a 3-month car lease:

  • Rental: See our short-term car lease option #2 for more info
  • Transferred lease: While you may have better luck finding a 12-month car lease for transfer, there are absolutely options for a 3-month car lease

Buying a car for three months is probably not worth your time, and a dealer will probably never offer a 3-month car lease.

Best Options for a 6-Month Car Lease

Now let’s move on to a 6-month car lease. These can be difficult because they will cost more than a 3-month but don’t have as many options as a 12-month car lease.

Here are the best choices for a 6-month car lease:

  • Rental: See our short-term car lease option #2 for more info; remember six months of car rental can get quite expensive
  • Transferred lease: You should be able to find more lease options in this range than with 3-month transfers.

Buying a car for six months may not be not worth your time (you will have to weigh those pros and cons), and a dealer will not likely offer a 6-month car lease.

Best Options for a 12-Month Car Lease

When it comes to a 1-year car lease, long-term car rental will start to get quite expensive. Instead, you may want to consider the other three options for a one-year car lease.

Here are the top choices for a 12-month car lease:

  • Finding a lease transfer: See our short-term car lease option #1.
  • Talking to a dealer: A one-year car lease length is the most-likely option for actually finding a dealer who will give a short-term car lease.
  • Buying a used car: If you do your research and find a car that holds resale value, you should be able to sell it again at the end of your year.Even if you lose a few hundred bucks – even a thousand bucks – you may still be ahead than with a the cost of a 12 month car lease.

Popular Article:  Best Cars For Teens | Rankings | Safest Used Cars For Teens (Good, Used, Cheap Cars)

Conclusion – Is a Short-Term Car Lease Right for You?

Now, you need to decide which short-term car lease option is best for you and which makes the most financial sense.

This will largely depend on whether you want a 3-month car lease, a 6-month car lease, or a 12-month car lease.

Once you decide how long you will need the car, go through our short-term car leasing options, call dealers/car rental companies nearby, and figure out how you can be driving a car for a short period of time.

Image Sources: 

AdvisoryHQ (AHQ) Disclaimer:

Reasonable efforts have been made by AdvisoryHQ to present accurate information, however all info is presented without warranty. Review AdvisoryHQ’s Terms for details. Also review each firm’s site for the most updated data, rates and info.

Note: Firms and products, including the one(s) reviewed above, may be AdvisoryHQ's affiliates. Click to view AdvisoryHQ's advertiser disclosures.