Lease return fees and how to avoid them
Leasing a car can be a great option. Payments are typically much lower and less of a down payment is required. Plus, you get a new car every 3-4 years, or however long your lease terms last for. Now, with this in mind, leasing a car IS NOT for everyone. First, there are mileage restrictions so if you are unsure of your living or work situation, you may want to reconsider a lease vehicle. If you think you may be moving soon or leaving your job or getting a new job, leasing a car with mileage restrictions can really hurt you if you end up having to drive a lot. More driving means more wear and tear and more miles on the vehicle. Secondly, if you plan on using your leased vehicle for work, it will more than likely hurt your pocketbook when it comes to returning it. Vehicles that are used for work tend to be abused a little more than an average car. This mainly applies to work trucks, mini-vans, and SUVs.
So, the time has come to return your lease. What do you do to avoid lease return fees?
1.) Contrary to the popular belief, not ALL cosmetic damage should be repaired. Here’s why. Things like dings and minor dents SHOULD BE repaired by using a professional ding-removal service. Large dents, scratches, scuff marks, and other major body work including any repainting should be done with caution. It’s human nature to try to save money any way possible and taking your car to a sub-par repair shop to do a cheap fix for these damages is risky simply because of the quality of the repair job. Car dealerships will STILL charge you if cosmetic repairs are sub standard. This means you may end up paying for the repair twice.
2.) Try not to return your lease early before the lease termination date unless you have to. Some car manufacturers may allow you to do this (please call and check) but most will hit you with a early termination fee.
3.) Bring any service and maintenance records you’ve done on your car, even if it was a simple oil change along with all car keys.
4.) Complete any routine maintenance recommended by your car manufacturer if possible. Dealers will perform engine diagnostics to determine abnormal wear and tear.
5.) Get your car washed and detailed.
6.) Remove any aftermarket parts on the car and replace with originals. Installing aftermarket accessories or components is usually a breach of your lease contract and you will be charged for fees. This includes but not limited to bigger wheels and tires, suspension components, engine add-ons and bolt-ons, changes to the exterior (spoilers, front/rear bumpers), interior electrical components (audio systems, alarm systems, etc.) and even TINT!
7.) If you are a smoker, stop smoking in your car!
If your vehicle has some issues and you know you are over your mileage limit, you may be better off returning your car to a company like us versus giving it back to the dealer and possibly paying hundreds if not thousands in fees to just return your car. We can save you money on the fees and take care of any paperwork to release your interest in the vehicle. Either way, you can always contact us for some friendly and honest advice. We are here to help. Happy leasing!
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