There are so many options these days on car purchases. Do I want to buy new, used, certified pre-owned, or lease? Do I purchase a car independently or through a dealership? How can I get the most bang for my buck and why can’t I get a good return on a lease? All legitimate questions running through your head when you are thinking of getting a new car or returning your old one. I discussed earlier the Pros and Cons of buying versus leasing a car, but today I decided to talk about the car lease. How you can actually lease a car and get a good return.
A lot of people are considering leasing a car instead of buying. It is becoming more and more popular because, well, you don’t have to put that much down upfront and you have the option of returning the vehicle or buying it when your lease is finished. But what a lot of people don’t understand is how to properly return your lease vehicle and walk away with little to no payments, or potentially cash back! It can happen I promise! You just have to keep reading and follow these guidelines to returning a leased vehicle the right way.
Returning A Leased Vehicle The Right Way ( And Maybe Getting Some Cash Back!)
So it really comes down to the inspection process when returning your leased vehicle. Dealerships are hoping you bring the car back worse than when it left the lot because they can deduct you on what is wrong or missing. If you want to pass the inspection with an A+ grading, then check out these rules before you head over.
Rule #1: Repair The Broken Pieces
My guess is when you leased your vehicle it left the lot looking brand-new. If you have been driving it for the typical 3-year lease, then you might have added some bumps and bruises along the way. Do yourself a favor, spend the money now, and get all the broken pieces taken car of. If you don’t fix the dents, scratches, windshield cracks, or anything else before returning it to the dealership, they will do it for you at a very hefty price. But remember. They are looking for this car to come back all broken down because that’s how they make more money off of you. Get it fixed!
Rule #2: Schedule A Private Inspection
While you are at the mechanics getting everything fixed, you mine as well schedule an inspection. That way you will know if the car will pass the dealers inspection, allowing you to walk away hassle free and with some cash in hand (hopefully!). Click this link to an article I found about an inspection example. You can go over it with your mechanic to make sure everything checks off correctly.
Rule #3: Make Sure You’ve Had Scheduled Maintenance
This rule starts when you lease a vehicle. Always make sure you have a scheduled maintenance tracker. You can check out my article on scheduled maintenance here. Print out this list and keep your lease in check. The dealership will want to verify the car has gone through its normal maintenance checks before buying it back from you.
Rule #4: Keep What It Came With In The Car
You will want to make sure the car has everything it came with when you leased the car, before returning your vehicle. So make sure the spare tire, owners manual, gas cap, lighter caps, and anything else are in the vehicle when you return it. If not, they will just charge you for what is missing. Which means no money back.. Oh! And if I were you.. I would return the vehicle with a FULL tank of gas!
Rule #5: Don’t Go Over Your Allowed Miles
The annoying thing about leasing a car is the miles limit. You will always have a set number of miles you are allowed to drive, and if you go over those miles when you return the car, you are charged extra. So do yourself a favor and watch your miles! Use a friends car for those road trips and buy them ice cream 🙂
So hopefully, if you’ve followed these rules, you can return your lease car properly.. and get some cash back! Taking care of your car is so important. Whether that is a rental (but make sure you rent correctly), leased vehicle, used car, or whatever. Your car is worth more if you take care of it. Which means check your mirrors and surroundings, don’t always rely on that backup camera, give your car a bath, and keep these 5 simple rules in mind to leasing your vehicle. Your wallet and the dealership will thank you!