MIAMI (TheStreet) -- Want to lease a car, but the financial crisis forced your local dealer out of business? Grab a plane ticket, a change of clothes and some Cheetos and Red Bull -- it's time for a road trip.
Just as automotive leasing is recovering from the credit crisis that decimated it in 2008, dwindling dealership ranks have left customers with greater demand than supply. According to lease sales firm LeaseTrader.com, potential lessees are traveling eight to 12 hours and 500 to 700 miles to take over vehicle leases from other lessees and avoid the cost of having a car delivered to their doorstep.
Facing a sales landscape with fewer dealerships, people are driving 500 to 700 miles to take over vehicle leases, according to LeaseTrader.com.
We've been around for about 10 years, and what people used to do was just ship the vehicle," says John Sternal, vice president of marketing communications for LeaseTrader.com. "Shipping costs have gotten a little bit out of hand, so a lot of people are deciding that, instead of paying several hundred or $1,000 to ship a vehicle, they'll pay $100 or $200 for a plane ticket and drive it back."
As a result, and in order of popularity, the following markets have seen sharp spikes in lease sales:
1. Daytona Beach, Fla.
4. Nashville, Tenn.
5. Thousand Oaks, Calif.
6. Tucson, Ariz.
8. St. Paul, Minn.
9. Reston, Va.
Part of the reason for this surge in interstate vehicle shopping are the lousy terms some lessees were stuck with as a result of the financial crisis. Sternal says most lease sellers still have $9,500 to $10,000 in payments remaining, which becomes substantial savings when the lease is sold. Those desperate sellers are helping customers within driving distance of warm-weather cities such as Tucson, Phoenix and Daytona Beach parlay a deal into a desirable weekend getaway.