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What You Need to Know About Lease Returns

You’ve been dreading this moment: the lease on your vehicle is almost up, and now that little issue you said you’d get taken care of eventually is still waiting to be repaired… and you have to make some hard calls about what you want to do. Are you going to be keeping the vehicle? Or are you just swapping it for a new lease on something else?

Let’s go over some of the steps you may have to take in the process of ending your lease and what possible charges you need to be aware of before you are stuck holding the bill.

Expected Fees

The first thing you’ll have to take into account is any preset fees. If you are returning your lease early, you may have already agreed to predetermined charges associated with early termination and the remaining unpaid payments. Alternatively, your agreement may have options included, such as renewing your lease or buying the vehicle, or getting a different lease. The choices you make here could incur additional fees as well. Contact the leaseholder for more information about the details of terminating your lease.

If you are turning in the lease and not replacing it at the dealership, you may expect to pay a fee of around $350. This charge is typically what the dealership charges to add a vehicle into their inventory. These charges should have been made clear to you upfront, so check your paperwork.

The Dreaded Mileage Gauge

Your lease termination fees have two main components: mileage and maintenance. Many leases use mileage as a gauge with a sum of miles per year you agree to ahead of time not to surpass. There is a cost associated with going over your limit, and it’s the primary factor in determining how much you will be paying.

You can expect from 15 to upwards of 25 cents per mile for going over the agreed number of miles, which means this fee can skyrocket very quickly and could cause issues when attempting to arrange a new lease.

Be Cautious of Wear and Tear

You should consider your leased vehicle as a rental because, well, that’s the reality of your situation. The leaseholder expects you to take good care of their property until you return it, and if you do any damage they have to repair, you’ll get the bill for it.

If you are buying the leased vehicle, this isn’t much of a concern, but this is the second leading cause of increased termination fees for everyone else. The leaseholder will often require an inspection performed so that they can assess the damage.

When it does come time for that inspection, besides preparing the vehicle by cleaning it out of personal effects, you should perform all the routine maintenance you think you should. Refill fluids and check tire pressure to avoid looking like you’ve neglected the regular care of the car. Also, confirm the vehicle received all of its scheduled maintenance.

When you’re getting ready to terminate the lease is an excellent time to check in with a local body shop for any of those door dings you collected along the way. At JM Dent Repair, we have specialized tools and techniques to perform PDR (Paintless Dent Repair) to take out many dents without further repair work, meaning you can save money by removing the offending marks before the inspection.

What Sort Of Charges To Expect for Maintenance & What To Do To Prevent Them

  • Alloy wheels that have scrapes longer than an inch will most likely be flagged, though a trip to a local body shop can have these restored to like-new with ease.
  • Less than 3mm of tread remaining on any tire will require replacement.
  • Any cracks or scrapes on the windshield or any chips in the driver’s field of view will need glass repair.
  • Any aftermarket upgrades or changes you’ve made to the vehicle may require removal, which will require you to pay a fee that may be higher at the leaseholder’s discretion.
  • Holes and tears in upholstery are costly to repair, and dealers, in general, will scrap the old seat and charge you for a new replacement.
  • Dings and dents will need to be repaired and will be billed at the dealership’s chosen rate

Some of these issues are insignificant on their own, but when the inspector has to give the report, the less they have to include, the better. At JM Dent Repair, we offer lease return packages to freshen up your vehicle before it has to go under the magnifying glass.

If you have a hard-to-remove crease dent or a small collection of door dings you’ve collected along the way, you may want to consider contacting a repair shop to polish your vehicle up one last time, because the dealership won’t be so lenient on dent repair charges.

Pass Inspection With Flying Colors

When you’re ready to have the inspection to turn in your lease, you don’t want any surprises that turn into a bill before you can leave. Making sure the vehicle is in the best condition possible is the essential part.

Despite all your efforts to protect your investment, dents are sometimes simply out of your control. Don’t worry — at JM Dent Repair, we know how much it means to you to get your car looking new again, and that’s why we’re trusted in the Lafayette area for affordable paintless dent repair.

Paintless dent repair eliminates the worry of a color mismatch or uneven fading, and preserves your vehicle’s appearance and resale value. If you’re driving a leased vehicle, it also helps you avoid expensive “wear and tear charges” on your lease return. Contact us for a quote and see why we’re the best around.

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