Corvette leased car

Shipping a Leased Car - All You Need to Know


Having a good car is something that so many of us have come to rely on. You need a good car for going to work, taking the kids to school, heading out to the beach, and doing the weekly grocery shopping.

The freedom of mobility and independence that comes with owning a car is not something everyone can afford. With the average price of a new car in the United States reading upward of $30,000, leased and financed cars are becoming more common. 

A leased or financed car might save money and provide a convenient way of paying for a car, but they do come with limitations and worries.

Before we go any further, let’s explain what a leased car is, for those who don’t know.  

What is a car lease? 

A car lease is a popular auto financing option that allows people to “rent” a car from a dealership for a certain length of time and number of miles. 

The person leasing the car makes monthly lease payments in exchange for the privilege of driving the car. When the lease is up, the car gets returned to the dealership or there’s the option of buying out the lease and keeping the car. 

What is car finance?

Car finance is an all-encompassing term for a range of options that allow you to borrow money to buy a new or second-hand car. A car lease is one of the car finance options, but there are more. 

Other types of car finance include:

  • Car loan
  • Personal contract purchase
  • Personal contract hire
  • Hire purchase

What’s the difference between leasing and financing?

When you lease a vehicle, you do not own the car. Instead, you’re paying to use it for a specified period. When the lease ends, you can renew the lease, return the car, or buy it. Lease payments can be as much as 60% lower than loan payments for exactly the same vehicle and terms. When you lease a car there are fewer maintenance problems because the lease tends to run for the same length as the manufacturer’s warranty coverage. If a leased car suffers excessive wear and tear, you may have to pay the leasing company a penalty fee.   

When you finance a car, you own the vehicle outright. When you buy a car with the help of financing, you’re responsible for any costly repairs down the road after the manufacturer's warranty has run out. Any excessive wear and tear on a financed vehicle may affect the resale value of the car.

People who have leased or financed cars tend to be preoccupied with the safety of the vehicle. They don’t own the asset completely and are worried that the slightest amount of damage will cost a fortune.

Leased and financed car owners also often overlook the option of using auto transport services because they want to keep their cars safe and minimize any damage.

The procedure for shipping a leased car is slightly different from shipping a regular car, but when you ship a car it’s a very safe and secure way to move a car long distance. 

If you’d like to know more about how to ship a leased car, keep reading.       

Can you ship a leased car?

Yes, it is possible to ship a leased car, but there are some critical steps you have to take. 

How do you ship a leased car?

Let’s explain the process for shipping a leased or financed car.

Read the lease or loan contract

A lease or loan contract specifies the terms and conditions under which you’re leasing or financing a car. They will all have a section that explains what’s allowed and what’s forbidden regarding car transport. 

Some contracts restrict the vehicle to a specified location. If you check through the terms and conditions before you start looking for an auto transport company, it gives you time to negotiate terms with the lessor or loaner if you need to.  

Prepare the necessary documentation

Some auto transport companies require certain documentation before they will transport a leased or financed vehicle. It’s a good idea to contact several transport companies and ask about their requirements. 

There are also individual state laws to take into consideration regarding transporting financed and leased cars. Find out the legal requirements in the states where your vehicle is being picked up and delivered. 

Find a reputable auto transport company

You want a company with a solid reputation and many years of experience to ship your leased car. 

How much does it cost to ship a leased car?

The cost of shipping a leased car is no more or less than shipping a regular car. The actual cost depends on a number of factors that include:

  • Make and model: It’s cheaper to transport smaller vehicles.
  • Distance traveled: Shorter distances cost less. 
  • Delivery time frame: The quicker you need your car shipped, the higher the price. 
  • Transport type: For the best value, choose open car transport. Enclosed auto transport costs 30% - 40% more, but it is a service we recommend for classic, luxury, antique, vintage, modified, and expensive cars. 
  • Vehicle condition: If your vehicle is inoperable, it will cost more than if it was operable. 
  • Location: If you’re shipping between major cities, it costs less than shipping between more remote locations.
  • Time of year: Certain times of the year are more expensive. Winter auto transport cost more because of the dangerous road conditions.  

If you want to know how much it will cost to ship your leased car, the best thing to do is use our instant online quote calculator. All you have to do is input a few simple details, and you’re receive a price in less than a couple of minutes.  

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Preparing a leased or financed car for shipping

If you want to help smooth out the shipping process and ensure your car’s safety throughout the journey, there are some things you can do.

1. Clean the car’s exterior and interior

This allows you to check the condition of the vehicle. At the same time, photograph any damage so you can compare the car when it’s delivered. 

2. Have the vehicle checked by a mechanic

You can perform some basic maintenance checks yourself, but it’s also a good idea to have the vehicle checked by a trustworthy mechanic just to make sure everything is in good working order. 

3. Remove any accessories

Any removable parts must be removed. These might include after-market DVD players, custom stereos, car chargers, and GPS. Also deactivate any toll tags, parking passes, and alarms.  

Returning your leased vehicle

A major difference between shipping a leased vehicle vs. shipping a financed vehicle is the return process.

With a leased car, your lender will, at some point, require you to return the car to the state where you took out the lease. 

With a financed vehicle, the car is your property once you’ve repaid the loan. 

If you’re lucky, the lessor may have a location nearby where you can return the car. Otherwise, you’ll have to return the leased car to the state where you first got the lease. The cost of returning it, whether you choose to drive or use a car shipping company, will be your responsibility. 


Can I ship a leased car to Hawaii?

Shipping a lease car to Hawaii is possible but you need to obtain authorization from the lien holder that you can ship the vehicle.

You need to ask for a lien authorization letter. This is provided by the lien holder and states that they’re giving permission to relocate the vehicle.   

Can you take a financed car out of the USA?

If you’re wondering “Can I ship a lease car overseas?” the simple answer is yes, but it’s a little more complicated. Most banks will not allow you to ship a financed vehicle abroad, but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible. 

The best thing to do is check with your bank and ask for clarification. If you’re in good standing and have given the bank no cause for concern, there’s a chance you’ll be allowed to transport your financed vehicle. 

You will likely need to provide additional documents, so make sure you have the following prepared and notarized ready for the transfer:

  • Lien authorization
  • Title of the vehicle 

Can you ship a financed car to Hawaii?

Shipping a financed car to Hawaii is treated the same as if you were shipping it outside of the USA or overseas. In other words, you need to have written authorization from the lender or lien authorization. You also need to provide the title of the vehicle. 

Can you ship a leased car overseas?

In most cases, lenders will not allow their lessees to take a leased vehicle out of the United States. If you’re wondering why, just remember that you’re merely renting the car. The car is not yours and you’re not the owner. If you try to ship a vehicle out of the US you’ll be blocked by US Customers as they require the Title as your proof of ownership. 

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