How to Sublet a Used Car

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A sublease allows a person who originally leased or financed a vehicle to lease it out to someone else. An individual may opt to sublet their car in order to alleviate the financial burden of ownership, or to make some extra money. Subleases can be for a time period as short as a few hours or may last up to several years, depending upon the needs of both parties.

  • Determine what terms you want to offer for your vehicle. You should decide how long you are willing to let someone else use the vehicle, whether or not you will need to use the vehicle during the sublease time frame, and how much you want to charge someone for subleasing the vehicle.

    Some subleases work similarly to renting a car, they allow someone to pay you a flat rate for use of your car for several days or even several months. Other subleases allow someone to share your car with you, giving them access on certain days a week or certain times of the day. This often works well for college students or individuals who only have occasional need of a vehicle.

    If you are leasing or financing your car, you need to thoroughly read your own documents and make sure subleasing is allowed by your contracts.

  • Advertise your car for sublease. You may want to do this by taking out an ad in the newspaper or posting a classified ad online. You should describe what you want to do with the car, the terms of the sublease and how much you plan on charging during the sublease. The amount you charge should correspond with the condition of the vehicle and its value. Also, decide how you want to handle the issue of car insurance. In most cases, you will want to require full-coverage car insurance for the duration of the lease.

  • Have an attorney write the contract for your sublease. The contract needs to be a full and binding legal document. Do not attempt to write the contract yourself. Make sure all terms are fully addressed in the contract, and that you outline who will pay for repairs, maintenance, insurance and the value of the car at the time of the lease. You may also want to limit the amount of miles that the person is allowed to drive within the time period of the lease. Set up a firm payment schedule and make it clear it has to be adhered to. You will also want to thoroughly document how you will handle the situation if the leasee defaults during the period of the sublease. The more specific your contract is, the better protected both you and the person leasing the car will be in the event that a problem occurs.

  • Sign the contract in the presence of a notary, and begin the sublease.

Tips & Warnings

  • Remember that you are still fully responsible for meeting all the terms of your own lease or financing contract, regardless of what the terms of the sublease are. This means that you are still responsible for making timely payments on the vehicle, maintaining proof of insurance coverage and registration - regardless of what the person leasing the car does with it. This means that even if the person you subleased the car to stops making payments or defaults, you will still have to make the payments. Without a high quality legal contract, you may have no way to recoup your losses if the sublease goes bad.
  • If you stop making payments or are unable to maintain your side of the sublease agreement, the person you are subleasing the car to may take you to court for breach of contract.
  • Legal issues involved with subleasing can vary from state to state. Research applicable state laws thoroughly before subleasing your vehicle.

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  • Photo Credit Barry Austin Photography/Photodisc/Getty Images
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