What to Do When Your Car Lease Ends
Is your car lease coming to an end soon? Assuming you have a standard walk-away lease (which is the most common type of lease), you have the option to either return the vehicle and walk away, or pay the residual value and keep the vehicle. Use our Lease End Calculator to help you figure out your options.
If You Want to Buy Your Vehicle
You should know what the residual value of the vehicle is. The residual value should be provided when you first signed the lease agreement, and it is the buyout cost you will have to pay in full in order to keep the vehicle.
If You Want to Return Your Vehicle
Check your mileage. Did you drive within the allotted miles? If you went over, you can easily calculate what your excess mileage fee would be. Usually, there is an assigned cost per mile from your lease agreement.
Number of miles over X cents per mile = Excess Mileage Fee
Evaluate wear and tear: Most lease agreements will allow for normal wear and tear. However if you have excess wear and your car needs additional reconditioning or fixes beyond the dealer expectations, you may be have to pay for excess wear charges or replacing parts.
Use our checklist below to evaluate the condition of your vehicle:
|Interior condition||Are there noticeable tears, stains or cuts that are bigger than 1” in diameter? Did you smoke in the vehicle?|
|Exterior condition||Dings and dents within 1-2” in diameter are usually negligible. But any excess scratches, puncture, grinding marks, or broken parts will be best repaired ahead of time.|
|Windshield||Any cracks or hole bigger than a nickle? If there is, you might want to consider getting it repaired.|
|Tires||Tread depth less than ⅛” could be considered excess wear on tires. Also if you’ve replace the tires yourself, make sure they match the manufacturer’s recommended guidelines.|
|Structural damage||Have you been in an accident that impacted the body frame? Make sure you have a copy of all the repairs to prove that the structural integrity of the vehicle is up to standard.|
|Electrical or mechanical problems||You could incur charges for any malfunctioning equipment or incomplete repairs.|
|Broken or missing parts||Can include items such as the DVD player, remote, keyless entry system, etc. Make sure your replacement parts meet the manufacturer’s requirements.|
|Modifications or customizations||This is usually not allowed on leased vehicles, you could be charged if you have any aftermarket alterations on but not limited to the suspension, paint color, engine adaptations or tinted windows.|