So you’ve reached the end of your lease term for your vehicle, what’s next? There are a few things you need to know before stepping foot in the dealership to make sure you are prepared and are not going to get raked over the coals in lease end fees and to make sure you’re informed about what comes next for you in the car department. The sales people at the dealership will attempt to sell you into a new leased or owned vehicle.
What Do I Need To Know When Turning In A Leased Car
Alas all good things must come to an end and this is certainly the case when you lease a vehicle. One of the best and sometimes the worst things about the option to lease is that it is short term, usually around 36 months.
A checklist for things you should have and know before going in to turn in your leased car:
- Know what the added cost of mileage overages you will be facing is valued at and have the cash on hand.
- Prepare your car for the after lease inspection.
- Know the equity you have accumulated and the buyout price for your vehicle as well as its current market value.
- Make a plan for your future transportation.
Know What The Added Cost Of Mileage Overages You Will Be Facing Is And Have The Cash On Hand
When you sign up for a lease, you agree to put a certain amount of mileage on the vehicle, well to stay under a certain threshold. Cars decrease in value the more mileage that gets put on them, so you will be penalized if you exceed this mileage count. Typically the consumer will pay somewhere between 10c and 30c per mile once they exceed their limit. And does that add up quickly!
On the flip side don’t expect any form of refund for miles you didn’t put on the car because you won’t see a cent for the value saved by the vehicle owner. If you are partially through your lease and would like to renegotiate mileage because you are driving significantly more or less than what you originally signed for, call and see what your options are.
If you’ve gone over your mileage and are expecting a hefty fee, prepare yourself by calculating the price before entering the dealership to ensure you have the funds and to avoid sticker shock.
Prepare Your Car For Lease Inspection
One of the steps in turning in a car is the inspection process. The car dealership will want to make sure that the vehicle is in proper condition before clearing you of liability.
Any damage that is considered to be more severe than standard wear and tear will be estimated and charged to you at dealership costs. If you know of damage to the vehicle and are in a situation where insurance will pay the damages, be sure to get your car fixed before returning it or you will quite literally be paying the price. More on this later.
Know The Equity You Have Accumulated And The Buyout Price For Your Vehicle As Well As The Current Market Value
Know what your car is worth when you go to turn it in and remember that you cover a ton of depreciation when leasing a new vehicle. The first few years are when the vehicle depreciates the fastest and if you want to get the most for your money, consider buying the car from the dealership. You can also think about purchasing another vehicle that was recently turned in as a returned lease if you want to mix up your ride.
Make A Plan For Future Transportation
Don’t go into the turn in process blind because you risk being taken advantage of by the salespeople at the dealership. Make a plan before turning in your existing car so you don’t get roped into another contract before doing your own research.
How Does A Lease Inspection Work?
When you go to turn in your vehicle a lease inspection will take place. It is important to know that the dealership will not be conducting the inspection personally, instead the financier will provide a privately contracted inspector to conduct the lease inspection before the car is returned to assess what condition the car is in.
A helpful tip is to call and schedule an appointment with the inspector yourself personally. These inspectors are human and are usually more lenient when you are there to plead your case in person. You can book them to come out to your home or office to conduct their inspection the week before you are set to turn in the vehicle and you can be present for the process. When you have the inspection conducted at the dealership, you will not be present for the inspection which decreases the power you may have in the process.
Here’s what the inspection will look at:
- Overall quality of the upholstery including but not limited to tears, burns, scratches, and stains.
- Exterior damage like dents, scratches, or perforations to the paint or body of the vehicle.
- Plastic and glass pieces like headlights, taillights, mirrors, and windows. They will verify none are damaged by scratches or cracks
- Tire quality. Things they will look for includes excessive wear, punctures, etc.
- Wheels. Make sure all of the wheels match and they have not been scratched from hitting curbs. They will check for breaks and cracks
- Interior parts. Broken or missing parts like vents, buttons, door handles and seat belts.
- Aftermarket alterations. Even if what you have put into the car makes it technically more valuable you will have to remove any aftermarket alterations you made after gaining responsibility for the vehicle. They will charge you to remove these items if you leave them upon returning the car.
It is usually much less costly to take care of these things yourself before the inspector takes a look at your vehicle. If you turn the car in with damage you have no room to negotiate the way you would if you went to get the damage fixed with a trusted mechanic or body shop.
Take photos and videos of your vehicle before the inspection:
It is a great idea to take a comprehensive report of any and all damages to the vehicle including the sides of the vehicle or location of the damage. Be sure to thoroughly document the condition of the car using tangible evidence like a video or photos should you need to dispute a charge.
Things you are always better off fixing yourself: glass, tires and bumpers.
If you are turning in your leased car and know that you will likely be charged for the condition of windshields, windows, mirrors, tires or bumpers, GET THE REPAIRS DONE YOURSELF BEFORE THE INSPECTION. Finance companies are known for price gouging on these items specifically and if money means something to you it is highly recommended to fix these things yourself. It will be much less expensive to hire a mechanic to make these repairs and they are mostly simple repairs to make.
Things not to stress about: minor dings, scratches and upholstery stains.
If you are worried about being charged for minor damages, don’t. The lease contract will allow for normal wear and tear that is to be expected as a car is used. Check your leasing agreement for the detailed information regarding your lease and the definition of regular wear and tear according to your financer. Usually the rule of thumb is if it is bigger than a credit card for scratches and dings, you will be charged. Stains, tears and dents larger than 1 inch will be charged.
Consider wear and tear insurance:
If you know you are destructive by nature or you have animals or children who have a tendency of devaluing property, consider insuring yourself for wear and tear to your leased vehicle. The coverage amount is usually about $5,000 and can be purchased from your financier or a third party company like Ally Financial.
End Of Lease Frequently Asked Questions
We’ve compiled a list of the questions asked most frequently by people getting ready to turn in their leased vehicles. Check out all the information you need here.
How Long Does It Take To Turn In A Leased Vehicle?
On average turning in a leased vehicle won’t take you longer than an hour. The dealership will check your odometer reading, charge you for any mileage overages, you’ll sign some paperwork and that’s it, you’re done!
It is helpful that you don’t need to be present for the inspection and it likely won’t take place on the day that you turn in the car.
Is It Worth It To Turn In A Leased Car Early?
With the coronavirus pandemic, people just aren’t driving like they used to. While the work from home movement is helping to decrease our carbon footprint as a community, it can be impactful when it comes to the need for your leased vehicle as well as the negotiated mileage that took place at the beginning of the lease.
If you’re not driving as much or at all you may not even need the vehicle if you have a second form of transportation such as a bicycle or second vehicle in your household. So the question here is does it financially make sense to turn in a leased vehicle?
The answer for most individuals is going to be that it makes more sense to keep the leased vehicle, but you should evaluate your options anyways. First gather some information on your particular lease situation.
- Early lease termination fees
- Remaining monthly payments
- Monthly payment amount
- Car’s current equity
Turning in a leased vehicle early usually comes with some hefty penalties, but the best way to determine the value in your situation is to call the dealership or leasing company and evaluate how much in fees you’ll end up paying in comparison to how much you would pay by simply keeping and continuing to use the vehicle.
If you are interested in keeping the car, but are no longer using it to the extent you previously expected, you can call the owner of your lease and renegotiate mileage and you may end up seeing a price drop in your monthly payment amount. At the very least it is worth looking into.
There are 3 excellent options for those of you looking to get rid of your leased car. Here they are.
Option 1: Sell Your Leased Car To A Dealership Or Rental Car Company
Did you know that you can sell your vehicle to a dealership? This is considered to be the most painless way to get rid of your used car because it’s pretty much a turn in the keys and be on your way style process. Thanks to the global pandemic and lower than usual gas prices, used cars, SUVs and trucks are in high demand and there is a shortage in supply particularly for the latter two in this category.
Of course the actual demand and therefore value of your vehicle will vary based on what car you have so you will need to evaluate if this is a profitable option.
The best way to get the most money from your vehicle is by selling it to a dealership that already sells your model of vehicle. So if you lease a Kia Optima, take it to several Kia dealerships to get a quote for the purchase of the vehicle. You’ll need to first evaluate what the buyout option is on the lease before selling the car to a dealership or you may end up paying to sell the car, still in these cases this can be your best, and least costly option.
If the value of the vehicle is lower than the selling price, you may want to consider these other options.
Option 2: Consider A Lease Swap
Much like finding a sublet for a leased housing situation, in many cases you can find a person in need of a car lease who is willing to take over your financial obligation. A lot of the time this is a total win-win situation where you get out of your lease and a person in need gets a vehicle they desire for a smaller lease term at a cheaper price than what they would be offered by heading to the dealership and finding a leased car themselves.
Swapalease is exactly the place you want to go to find one of these potential leasees. Swapalease is an online platform that pairs people looking to take over a lease with those looking to get rid of a leased vehicle. For the latter in this equation, how it works if you pay a small fee, somewhere between $75 and $100 to post your car, truck or SUV.
As part of this fee, Swapalease provides you with an expert to ensure the legalities are taking place properly and the consumer’s interests are protected. Any and all paperwork is checked over by said expert.
Before taking this step and signing up (aka spending your hard earned dollars) with Swapalease you need to look into the terms of your lease. In some situations a leasing company may not allow you to swap your lease.
Again similar to the subleasing option for housing, you may have to put up some cash to make your leasing option attractive to potential buyers. While it is upsetting to lose money on a leased car, this may be your most financially sound option.
You can also opt to find a subletter yourself by utilizing digital platforms such as Facebook marketplace, craigslist, letgo or just your own personal network of friends, family members and colleagues. Again you can move this process along more quickly by offering a signing incentive such as cash upfront to whoever takes over the lease.
You may end up losing $500 to leasing a car on Swapalease or some other form of vehicle sublet, but if your other options are going to run you in the thousands of dollars, this could be quite enticing if you’re motivated enough to part with your leased vehicle.
Option 3: Buy The Car Yourself
You can always utilize the buyout option in your lease yourself. In most leases, you will have a predetermined early buyout amount written into your contract. Whatever that amount is, it doesn’t hurt to give the leasing company a call and speak with an agent about negotiating down that price. Once you decide to buy out the vehicle, from there do one of two things.
- Keep your car and love it forever (or until you decide to sell)
- Flip the vehicle for either a profit or a loss.
If you decide that buying your car outright is your best option, you can either purchase the vehicle using financing or with liquid cash you have on hand. Go you.
If you decide to promptly sell your vehicle after buying it out from the leasing company, know that you will likely fetch the best price for it by finding a private third party buyer.
You can also consider selling to a dealership. Again go on brand when selling the vehicle to make more money. Toyota is going to pay more for a Toyota because they already have a supply of buyers interested (and on location) in that model of vehicle. In addition they already have the parts needed to make any repairs and their mechanics are familiar with the car so it won’t need to be sent out.
If you decide to keep your car yourself, know that you can do a leased buyout but that you will exchange a longer payback period and financial commitment for a lower monthly payment. On the bright side you are the owner of the vehicle and you are not only building equity but you are free to cause as much damage to the car as you want, drive as many miles as you would like and make any and all the aftermarket upgrades you desire.
There are five great reasons to buy your leased car:
- You love your car, haven’t put many miles on it and have taken above necessary care of the vehicle.
- You can buy the car for less than it is worth. (SCORE!)
- You beat the car up and don’t want to pay the fees. Though now the vehicle is yours and that will come back to bite you if you ever decide it is time to sell the car.
- You went significantly over the lease terms mileage. In most cases you are going to pay .25c for every mile you put on the vehicle over the car’s limit. That can be a lot of money if you put several thousand extra miles (or more) on the car. It might be worth it to buy, especially if you are driving less thanks to covid and the car will go back to an average of 10k miles per year of age.
- You hate the hassle of shopping for a new car and are happy with the vehicle you have.
What Happens If I Don’t Turn In My Leased Car?
Well, it is going to depend on how long you keep the vehicle. The exact consequences of keeping your leased car past your contract will be detailed in your lease. Generally if you keep the car for a couple extra months you will be charged for the extra time along with some fees.
It takes a while for paperwork to circulate, so not much else is going to take place in this time frame. You’ll likely get a few phone calls and letters from your financer asking you to contact them or return the car.
You should definitely reply to these and communicate with the owner of the vehicle. If you continue to neglect your obligation to return the vehicle or pay the buyout amount agreed upon in your lease, the car will eventually be repossessed which will do some damage to your credit.
Do You Get Credit For Unused Miles On A Lease?
The simple and sad answer to this frequently asked question is no. No, you will not receive credit for the miles you agreed to that were not used and it is in your best interest to use as many of those miles as possible because you are paying for them. Opt to drive your leased vehicle over another when taking a road trip if you are not going to hit your full mileage amount.
In some cases you can renegotiate the mileage amount on your lease. With many individuals not driving as much as earlier anticipated thanks to Covid19, this has become a more favorable option. Call up your financer and see if you can exchange a lower monthly payment for less mileage usage. This is only an option if you are still in the midst of your lease. If your lease is coming to an end, don’t expect to see any refund for unused mileage.
How Does A Lease Turn In Work?
Leases inevitably come to an end. At the end of your lease contract, which is generally about 36 months after when you signed but can vary from contract to contract, you will have an inspection and then will simply turn in the vehicle. You will also have the option to purchase the vehicle if you so choose for a purchase amount that is predetermined in your lease agreement. You may also have the option to transfer your equity to a new vehicle for purchase.
You can expect to be charged for any damages to the vehicle that are documented in the inspection process as well as any overages in mileage that you accumulated.
Do You Have To Turn In Your Leased Car To The Same Dealership?
No, you don’t have to turn your leased vehicle in to the same dealership, but you should attempt to do so if you can. In some cases a dealership will turn you away if you attempt to process your return through them. Most dealerships even if they are the same brand will not want to be bothered with the process, and why should they? They have nothing to gain by processing your return unfortunately.
The exception here is if you plan on buying something else or leasing another vehicle from this dealership. The dealership will be much more motivated to help you out if you are also purchasing something from them.
Is It Worth Buying Out A Lease?
The answer to this is that it depends, but in most cases no. When you terminate a lease early the financier will collect a good sum from you in early termination fees, and you are legally obligated to pay them.
Why companies profit on your lease: Car leases are generally quite profitable for the financer. They buy the car new from the dealership and you are on the hook for three months of payments which include time depreciation and mileage.
When you turn in the vehicle (assuming you don’t want to buy the car when your lease is up) the financier sells the car to an auto auction where they will usually profit on the sale or at the very least break even. The financer makes their money in your lease payments and isn’t super concerned about profiting on the sale of the vehicle after the lease is up. Not THAT concerned anyways.
Can I Hand Back My Leased Car Early?
Yes, you can hand in your lease early, but there isn’t generally much of a reason to do so as you will still be responsible for fulfilling payment detailed in your contract for the length of the lease whether you are in possession of the vehicle or not.
Turning in the car will not terminate your contract unless you choose to pay the early termination fees. If for some reason you are moving out of the country or to another state you will want to consider other options than early lease turn ins. Let’s break it down further
Moving out of the country: in most cases a leased vehicle can not be taken out of the country so you may be forced to turn in the vehicle early. You may be able to transfer the lease to a friend, family member or other third party in some cases and it is worth investigating this option to save yourself some money. This is similar to subletting an apartment, where another individual will take over the contractual obligation of your lease.
Moving to another state: if you are moving states and won’t be able to return the vehicle to the same dealership, this shouldn’t be an issue. You can return the leased car to another dealership in a different state if necessary. Just call and make arrangements with the current dealership and financer before dropping the vehicle off. In many cases the dealership will help you find a place to return the leased vehicle.
What Is Car Leased Equity Exactly, And What Creates It?
Vehicle equity is essentially the value that you have earned through the car based off of the percentage you have paid off. Renting anything (houses, cars, boats, etc.) doesn’t build equity because you have no ownership in whatever that property is. In contrast when you buy a car or home and choose to finance those items you are still building equity as you own that property even if you have a loan on it.
There is a buyout option at the end of your lease which takes into account what you have paid over the contract. This is essentially a rent to buy style option. When you choose to purchase the vehicle when your lease term has expired you are essentially collecting the equity in the form of the payments you made throughout the lease.
The companies responsible for your car lease are pretty great at estimating the car’s value, however they don’t always price the vehicle appropriately due to market fluctuations. As the market rises and falls with the economy and the overall influx of vehicles, your car’s value appreciates and depreciates accordingly.
Why Bother Knowing What Your Leased Vehicle’s Equity Is?
The main reason why you would want to be informed about what your car is worth when going into the dealership to turn in a leased vehicle is that the dealership will offer you a buyout option and you could profit off of buying the vehicle and then flipping it.
You could just love your leased car and want to buy it outright if you are gaining value in the equation or you may decide to flip the leased vehicle and make some money or use it as a trade in. Regardless of your reasons there is much to be gained just by knowing what the market rate for the vehicle is at the time of your lease end.
In some cases where the vehicle may have damage or be over it’s mileage, the consumer would be paying hundreds and even thousands of dollars in return fees. This can be avoided in the right scenario by simply selling the car. In some cases the lessee will save and even profit up to $5,000 when considering fees and money earned when the vehicle is sold.
Do You Have To Turn In A Leased Car With A Full Tank Of Gas?
No, you don’t have to fill the tank when dropping off a leased vehicle and you’re better off not bothering or spending the money to do so. All the dealership cares about is that the car has enough fuel for them to park it. At that time it will become the auction company’s problem if the car has fuel or not and they will take care of it.
So by all means coast into the dealership on fumes if you want to. You will not be charged for low fuel levels, just for any damages to the car or mileage overages.
Can You Return A Leased Car In With A Dent
Yes, you can turn a leased vehicle in to the dealership regardless of the condition, however there are instances where you will be charged for damages that are considered not to be typical wear and tear. Review your leasing terms to find out if your dent falls under the normal wear and tear category, usually this means that the dent is within the size of a credit card.
If you have found that the dent is going to be above the size that your financier allows, consider getting it repaired yourself before returning the vehicle. 99% of the time you will find that hiring out a body shop to make the repairs yourself is less expensive than whatever your financier will charge you.
Can You Negotiate Mileage On A Lease?
Yes, you can negotiate mileage on a leased vehicle. The best time to negotiate mileage is before signing the contract, however you can still negotiate with your financer after the paperwork has been signed in most cases. The mileage on the vehicle directly correlates to it’s value and negotiating a lower or higher mileage will be reflected in your monthly payment amount.
Check the terms of your lease for information on mileage negotiation and give the financier a call to see if they will work with you. In many cases mentioning that you have fallen on hard times due to the global pandemic can help the company sympathise with you.
How Does The End Of A Lease Work?
The end of a car lease is really simple. You will drop off the car at the same dealership that you leased the car. From there the vehicle will be assessed by a contracted inspector who is hired by your financier (not the dealership). Sometimes the inspection will happen the same day, other times it will happen weeks later, it will just depend on the availability of the inspector.
Any damages to the vehicle will be billed to you by the financer after the inspection takes place. When you drop off the vehicle be prepared to pay for any mileage overages that you may have accrued as well as the damages to the vehicle should the inspection take place then and there.
That’s it. Turn in the keys and go. Unless the dealership manages to rope you into purchasing or leasing another new vehicle!
Can You Negotiate The Buyout Price?
The price of the lease buyout is typically set at the beginning of the lease and is documented in the lease contract. Buying out the vehicle at the end of a lease is generally a good way to protect the equity you have built in the car.
You can definitely negotiate the buyout price for your vehicle BEFORE you sign the lease. It is pretty simple to do, just tell them what you are looking for and see if you can find agreeable terms. Follow these steps to make sure you are negotiating properly.
- Do your research and know what the make and model of the leased car will be valued at (rough estimate as the future can be unpredictable) including how many miles you intend to drive the vehicle.
- Negotiate directly with the financer which is different than negotiating with the dealership. The financier is going to hold the majority of the negotiating power as the dealership is not the owner of the lease. Make sure you aren’t wasting your time with someone lacking the power to give you what you want.
- Make an offer based off of your research and see what you can do to come to an agreement with your financer.
After you sign the contract it will be more difficult to negotiate on this though it can be done depending on your financier. Check out what your current buyout amount is (you can find this in your lease) then call up the owner of your lease and see what they can do for you.
How Does Breaking A Car Lease Impact Your Credit?
In the event that you decide it is in your financial best interest to end a lease early, don’t worry, it won’t impact your credit to do so. The contingency of this is that you will have to pay the lender whatever you owe them when turning the vehicle in for the early termination. You can find the details of the fees you will accrue for taking this route in your lease contract.
Usually you are going to rack up a ton of fees for turning in a lease early. This is the financiers way of ensuring they make their profit off of your lease whether you keep your contract or not.
If you decide or have to default on your lease payments and wait for your car to be repossessed you can expect your credit score to drop at least 100 points though this will effectively end the contract of your lease. Unfortunately you will still be legally obligated to pay off the early lease termination fees associated with your contract and failure to do so will further dock your credit score.
What to do instead of early lease termination:
Some, but not all, leasing contracts will allow you to sublet your vehicle. The process is similar to transferring an apartment lease. You will need to first ensure that your lease can indeed be transferred by checking over your contract and calling your financier (not the dealership)!
Then you will need to acquire a party interested in leasing your vehicle. Generally speaking you will need to use a third party to find an interested subletter like Lease Trader. These sites charge a fee to allow you to list your vehicle and then match you with a subletter whose needs match your vehicle.
Typically you will have to throw in some form of signing bonus to sweeten the deal for these subletters to lower their monthly payment. Though costly it is usually less expensive than breaking a lease and can be a great option for some in a desperate situation to get out of their car lease.
Do Dealerships Pay Off Negative Equity?
In some cases dealerships tout that they will pay off the equity of your vehicle, no matter how much you owe. In the cases of individuals who are upside down on their lease or have what is referred to as negative equity, this isn’t always true and can be especially misleading for consumers.
Negative equity, or being upside down on a vehicle is when you owe more money through financing than what the car is worth. Negative equity only happens when you don’t pay for the vehicle outright. If you were to try to sell the car then you would end up paying more money to your financer to finish out the length of your loan than what the car would fetch when you sold it. That is unless you found someone who was willing to pay more money than what the car is worth. Both unlikely and unethical.
The dealership is a business and their primary function is to make money. If you are trading in a lease to buy a car or lease another and the dealership is offering to to take care of the negative equity of your car, know that that money is going to come from somewhere and it is not going to be simply covered by the dealership. They may tack on extra fees or bump up the cost of the new lease but if it sounds too good to be true, evaluate the offer because it almost always is.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) even warns consumers to read the fine print when making one of these types of deals. That’s because in many cases these ads are untrue and the dealership is simply taking on the negative equity to your new lease increasing the monthly payment.
Say your car is worth $20,000, but you owe $25,000 on it. You have $5000 in negative equity on the vehicle. The dealership buying the car in exchange for a trade in will not simply eat the cost of that $5000. That’s just bad business! They would never be profitable if they operated in such a fashion.
According to the FTC who makes a point of consumer protection, understanding how negative equity works especially with a vehicle trade-in, it is imperative to making a well informed decision and one that will help you on your way to financial prosperity.
Federal Law mandates that every consumer must be presented with written documentation showing the cost of their loan. Make sure you fully understand how your negative equity is being handled BEFORE signing anything. Check over the length of the financing, monthly cost as well as the down payment before putting your signature on the line.
If you suspect you have found a predatory dealership who is not abiding by lawful behavior you can and should report them to prevent them from continuing such business practices. If you have fallen for such behavior you can be entitled to compensation. Report predatory lending behavior to
- You local attorney general
- The Federal Trade Commission
Can You Return A Leased Car The Next Day?
Unfortunately whether you buy or lease a car there is no buyer/leaser remorse period where you can change your mind and return the vehicle. Be very careful with making rash decisions when leasing a vehicle. Take your time and evaluate your options thoroughly before signing any contract because there are no take backs when it comes to buying or leasing vehicles.
How it works: You have a contract which is owned by a finance company and from that point forward any administrative issues with the lease should be handled through your finance company and not through the dealership. The dealership will be your point of contact for any car specific needs you may have regarding maintenance or your warranty.
Is It A Good Idea To Extend A Car Lease?
This depends on your situation. Generally the initial lease monthly cost includes a ton of depreciation which comes with any new vehicle, so be sure to renegotiate the monthly payment if you decide you want to extend your lease. You can also consider buying out the vehicle at the pre negotiated buyout price.
If you are panicking that you don’t have another vehicle lined up as your lease is drawing to a close and you want time to do your research before committing to another vehicle, extending your lease for a few months is a great idea. Just know that if you are paying the same monthly amount you aren’t getting a great bang for your buck. Most leasing companies will be happy to extend a month to month option to you. Give your financer a call.
What Happens When You Damage A Leased Vehicle?
Damaging a leased vehicle is a lot like damaging a leased apartment. IF the damage exceeds what is considered to be “normal wear and tear” then you will be charged for the damages should you decide not to repair the damages before returning the car.
Normal wear and tear is going to be defined in your leasing contract so check there or call your financier for detailed information regarding the terms of your lease. Typically any scratch or dent that is smaller than the size of a credit card will be overlooked. Stains or rips to upholstery and in some cases dents to the exterior of the vehicle that are bigger than an inch will be charged.
If you are dealing with damages that you will be charged for you are almost always better off getting the car repaired yourself from a mechanic or body shop. You are at the financier’s mercy if you choose not to make these repairs and they will charge the highest amount that they can for these repairs.
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