Each year, Leasebusters’ Jim Matthews connects thousands of Canadian automobile leaseholders looking for a trade.
There’s plenty of money to be made from the business of matchmaking. People are willing to pay an intermediary for a quality introduction.
And it’s not always about romance: Jim Matthews specializes in matching people interested in a purely financial transaction. He’s the President and General Manager of Leasebusters, a unique lease matching service.
The company connects one person who is looking to take over a vehicle lease (the lease buyer) with a second person who wants to exit a leasing obligation (the seller).
“We speak to every seller to do a lease assessment to make sure it can be sold,” says Matthews.
Once a match is found, and both parties are in agreement, the leasing company for the vehicle will process all necessary paperwork and make arrangements to finalize the lease transfer.
Why assume an existing lease?
Matthews says people are interested in taking over an existing lease for several reasons. Lease buyers can enjoy an almost-new car without paying the upfront fees associated with a new lease which can run anywhere from $1000 to $3000.. Some people don’t like long-term deals – and taking over an existing lease may let the lease buyer enjoy a shorter commitment of only 12 or 24 months – while inheriting an attractive lower monthly payment rate originally negotiated as part of a longer-term 48 month deal. And, there may be a cash incentive paid to the lease buyer by the lease seller because the latter person would otherwise pay a large penalty to break the lease.
Leasebusters charges an upfront marketing fee of $299 to the lease seller. The lease buyer doesn’t pay any money for the service. Matthews says his company uses Chase Paymentech to process its online transactions.
How big is the market?
In business since 1990, Matthews says his Mississauga, Ontario-based company will “lease bust” 12,000 to 15,000 vehicle leases a year – all in Canada, where 1.5 million new cars are sold annually. “Canadians have better credit so we don’t operate in the United States,” he explains.
The company focuses on the retail marketplace for lease transfers to find customers. “We find sellers through online marketing, search engine optimization strategies and our dealer field representatives.” Currently, there are over 200,000 unique visitors each month on the company’s website at Leasebusters.com.
In addition to its lease matching service, Leasebusters also carries a stock of vehicles for lease and Scotiabank’s automotive finance centre handles the financing.
“In terms of a finance group, the bank has been excellent to us,” comments Matthews, a Scotiabank customer for 20 years. “They are very customer service oriented. All of the different sales reps I’ve had over the years have been engaging – especially in terms of the bank products they are selling.”
What’s next for the company?
“I really like looking for solutions to vehicle leasing and financing problems faced by customers,” explains Matthews. He’s on a mission to help even more people.
For example, he sees a future where Leasbusters works directly with car companies. “We hope to work with an automotive manufacturer that leases lots of cars (such as Honda or BMW) and help them on a national basis to do ‘hardware upgrades’ on their leases,” he explains.
“We can help to bring solutions back to the customer,” enthuses Matthews.
[DISCLAIMER: The experiences of this customer and the customer’s relationship to Scotiabank are unique to that customer and may not necessarily apply to any other individual business. The combination of Scotiabank advice, information and resources presented to this customer constitute a customized solution for that particular customer and therefore should not be expected in a different business situation.)
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