No matter how much you enjoyed driving your leased car, at some point you will have to return it.

This happens at the end of the leasing contract. Alternatively, you can decide to buy the car or lease another model. Because of this flexibility in the leasing terms, many people who travel to another country for leisure or business purposes prefer them.

Before you return the car, there are a few points you need to consider so that you do not incur any additional costs.

Mileage overage

When you sign a leasing agreement, the dealer has indicated the permitted number of miles. If you lease a car for two years, it will be about 24,000 miles. If you exceed this mileage, you will incur additional costs. These charges are calculated per mile. If the mileage falls below the permitted mileage, there are no charges, you simply return the car.

Lease inspection

There is normal wear and tear of a car and excessive wear and tear. Shortly before the leasing contract expires, the dealer calls you to pick up the car. During this time a car inspection is carried out. The inspection is usually carried out by an independent party. The car inspector looks for cracked windows, excessively worn tires, dents and scratches on the bodywork.

If the damage exceeds normal wear and tear, you will receive a damage report. This increases your costs for returning the car. If the scratches on the bodywork are not deep, you can ask a car paint shop to repaint the car. During the inspection, make sure that you have no personal belongings in the car.

Some of the car rental companies will protect you from wear and tear that is less than $5,000. In this case you don’t have to worry about minor repairs. When inspecting your car, avoid dropping the car at the dealer. While this is convenient, you will be surprised at the costs you incur for the car. In this case, have the inspector come to your home or office and inspect the car while you watch.

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Late return charges

A leased car should be returned at or before the end of the leasing contract. If the car has several dealers, you can return it to any of their shops. In some cases you may have a small grace period for returning the car, but once this period is over you will incur late fees. Most dealers may not be as willing to receive a car that they have not included in their inventory, and it would be advisable to return the car to the same dealer that signed the lease.

Return all things you received

When you take delivery of the car, you must have an inventory of all the items with which the car is delivered. This includes floor mats, spare tires, jacks, etc. When you return the car, make sure that the car contains all these things. You can also decide to clean the car inside and out and probably wax it.

Contesting wear and tear charges

If you find that the bill of charges for wear and tear is excessive, you can dispute it. Some unscrupulous traders are not honest and overestimate the charges. You can negotiate to have some of the items removed. You can also request a second inspection by a separate inspector.

If you can get some simple repairs done, you can and should do them yourself. A broken bumper or worn tires are better replaced before you return the car. Check the tire thread inch. If it is more than an eighth of an inch, the chances of getting charged are reduced. Make sure that the radios, air conditioning, and lights are working. If they are defective, you can call your mechanic to have them repaired. If it is something small that you can repair, the rule is: go ahead and repair it.

Most lease terms consider small scratches or stains to be part of normal wear and tear. However, you will need to read the small print in the rental terms and conditions to confirm what is acceptable.

Buying your leased car

If you find that you have driven many miles with the car and the car has many dents, you can decide to buy the leased car. The penalties will help you decide whether to return or to buy.

Take the car for regular maintenance

To make sure that your car works efficiently, you need to take it in for regular maintenance. This will ensure that your oil is changed, the tyres aligned and all vehicle fluids checked. You can keep the service sheet and show it to the vehicle inspector if he finds that something is not working properly.

Return the car and incur penalties

The last option is the most painful. If you have run out of options, the last one is to cancel the rental agreement and return the car to the lessor. In this case you will have to pay a cancellation fee and pay the remaining depreciation value. The lessor still has to earn money with the returned car and he will sell it at a wholesale auction. In this case your equity will be reduced and you will get the lowest possible price. Instead of going down this route, you should do everything you can to exchange the leasing contract or sell the car yourself.


Leases must be terminated in a specific way if you do not want to incur additional costs. First, return the car before or on the due date. If you return after the due date, you will be charged late fees. You should have the car inspected at your home and not at the dealer. The vehicle inspection is a quick way to know that the returned car is in good working order and free from wear and tear.

Some scratches and dents can easily be repaired by the car owner himself instead of returning the car and incurring further costs. You should check the market value of the car against the residual value. If this is higher, you have the option of buying the car from the dealer. However, if it is lower, simply return the car. The last option is to exchange your leasing contract with the dealer or someone interested in the car.