A car lease offers a car to those who cannot afford to make the monthly payments on a finance plan. It is also more ideal for those who only plan to stay in a particular city for a set number of years; that way, they aren’t tied to the burden of payment they would not have been able to keep. But when your car lease is over, what do you do? Do you just drive it to the dealer and leave it at that? Do you pay any additional fees? Read here to find out more.
What to Do When Your Car Lease is Over
Once the contract has expired, you are given a set of options: buy the car, sell the car, or return the vehicle to the dealer. But before anything else, the dealers, or the official owners of the car, will need to talk to you and go through your car to see if you’ve been faithful to the contract during your time with it.
Here are a few things you should prepare yourself for when your car lease is up:
The Vehicle Inspection
When someone returns anything they borrowed from you, the first thing you do is give it a thorough inspection. The same is true with returning a leased car. It will be inspected thoroughly, and they will be taking note of the damage, tire wear, and the miles you have accumulated.
Normal wear and tear are fine, as it is expected of a daily used car. However, significant dents, broken mirrors, and an overall poorly maintained engine may lead to some more extensive costs.
That is why lessees are always advised to maintain their car as best they can. This shows that you respect the dealer enough to want to return the car in almost the same condition as when you got it.
Choosing a Lease End Option
Once the inspection has been done, the lessee is often given a set of options to choose from. The given choices will vary from dealer to dealer, and will also depend on the result of the inspection and what is stated in the contract you signed at the beginning of the lease.
- Purchase. You will be given an option to purchase your car. However, given the condition and the costs it will take to maintain the vehicle, it is at the lessee’s discretion if they want to buy the car for their own. It’s best to do your research on the car first before opting to buy it.
- Turn in. This tends to be a more practical approach to ending a car lease. You can return the car to the dealer; no questions asked and walk away. Or you can trade the vehicle in and get another car for another lease. This gives you the opportunity to drive a new car for the next 3-5 years. The downside to this option is that the price you pay may be a little higher compared to the previous contract.
Leasing a car has a lot of benefits attached to it: low monthly payments, no money spent on repairs, and a promise of the car becoming yours at the end of the lease. But fair warning to all those who choose rent to own instead of car finance: it is easy for dealers to charge you more than what you owe them, so it’s essential for you to do the research and make sure that everything adds up. Do not be afraid to ask any questions if you don’t understand, and have them explain to you in detail why you are being charged the amount.
Bottom line is, keep your vehicle well maintained, clean, and make sure it is well taken care of.