How to Return your Leased Car without Issues

In General by Magnus SellénLeave a Comment

return leased carNo matter how much you enjoyed driving your leased car at some point you will need to return it.

This happens at the end of the lease contract. Alternatively, you can choose to purchase the car or lease another model. This flexibility with lease terms makes them preferred by many people traveling to another state for leisure or business.

Before you return the car there some issues you need to factor so as not to incur additional charges.

Mileage overage

When you are entering a lease the dealer will have indicated the allowable mileage. If you are leasing a car for two years it could be something like 24,000 miles. If you exceed this mileage you will incur extra charges. These charges are calculated per mileage. There are no charges for under mileage, you simply return the car.

Lease inspection

There are normal wear and tear of the car and there is an excessive tear. Just before expiry of the lease, the dealer will call you for a car collection. A car inspection is performed during this period. An independent party mostly does the inspection. The car inspector will look out for cracked windows, excessively worn out tires, car body dents and scratches.

If the damages are beyond the normal wear and tear you will receive a report for damages. This will increase your costs of returning the car. In case of body scratches that are not deep, you can have an auto paint shop do some repainting. When performing the inspection ensure that you do not have any personal belongings in the car.

Some of the car leasing companies protect you from wear and tear that is below $5,000. In this case, you do not need to worry about small repairs. When having your car inspected avoid dropping the car at the dealer. While this is convenient you will be surprised at the car charges you will incur. In this regards, have the inspector come over to your home or office and have the car inspected as you watch.

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Late return charges

A leased car should be returned on or before the end of the lease. If the car has multiple dealers you can return to any of their shops. In some instances, you may have a slight grace period to return the car but once it is over you start incurring late charges. Most of the dealers may not be so willing to receive a car they had not put in their inventory and it would be wise to return the car to the same dealer who issued the lease.

Return all things you received

When receiving the car you need to have an inventory of all the things the car come with. This will include floor mats, spare tire, jack, etc. When returning the car ensure that the car has all these things. You can also choose to clean the inside and exterior and probably wax it.

Contesting wear and tear charges

If you find that the charge sheet for wear and tear is overstated you can contest it. Some unscrupulous dealers are not honest and do overestimate the charges. You can negotiate to have some of the stuff removed. You can also request a second inspection by a separate inspector.

If you can there some simple repairs you can do yourself. A faulty bumper or worn out tires are better off replaced before returning the car. Check the tires thread inch. If its over one-eighth of an inch then probability of getting charged is reduced. Ensure that the radios, air con and lights are all working. In case they are defective you can call your mechanic to have it fixed. The rule if it is something small that you can fix go ahead and fix it.

Most lease terms consider small scratches or stains as part of normal tear. But, you need to read the fine print on the lease terms to confirm what is permissible.

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Buying your leased car

If you notice that you have done a lot of mileage on the car and the car has a many dents you may opt to purchase the leased car. The penalties will guide you on whether to pay or buyout.
Take the car for regular maintenance
To ensure that your car operates efficiently you need to take it for regular maintenance. This will ensure that your oil is changed, tires aligned and all the car’s fluid checked. You can keep the maintenance sheet and show the car inspector in case they find something not working properly.

Return the car and incur penalties

The last option is the most painful one. If you have run out of options, the last one is to terminate the lease and return the car to the lessor. In this case, you will have to incur a termination fee and pay the remaining depreciation value. The lessor still has to make money off the returned car and they will sell it at a wholesale auction. In this instance your equity reduces and you get the lowest price possible. Instead of taking this road, make every effort to swap the lease or sell the car yourself.


Leases need to be terminated in a certain way if you do not want to incur additional charges. Firstly, 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 vehicle inspection at your home instead of at the dealers place. The car vehicle inspection is the lesser way to know that the returned car is in good working condition and devoid off wear and tear.

Some scratches and dents can easily be fixed by the car owner instead of returning the car and incurring more charges. You should check the market value of the car against the residue value. If it is higher you have the option of purchasing the car from the dealer. However, if it is lower just return the car. The last option is to swap your lease with the dealer or someone interested in the car.

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