If you decide to consider lease, you will act as its caretaker. If you are less considerate, you may get an expensive reminder at the end of your lease when there will be an inspection. When it comes to lease return trucks, you have to be conscientious especially if you do not want hundreds if not thousands of dollars in turn-in fees.
Here are some hacks on how to save on turn-in fees:
Do not drop the car at the dealership
It is imperative that the dealership will not inspect your car when the time comes to return it. In most cases, the leasing company will hire a contractor that will check the car and produce an inspection or damage report.
If you drop the car at the dealership, there is a possibility that you will get terrible surprises. If your leasing company allows it, you should schedule the inspection at home. This way you can join the inspector during the walk around. You can even plead your case and there is a possibility that the inspector will give you a break.
Fix damaged components
If there is something that needs repair, you need to act immediately. For instance, if your tires are bald, you are in for replacements but if there’s at least 1/8 inch of tread remaining, you won’t probably be charged.
For your damaged bumpers, dislodging and replacing it will cost at least $1000. In the same way, you will be charged for any equipment that will not properly function like navigation systems, window regulators and radios. To that end, it is important that you get these things repaired in advance if you do not want to leave your checkbook wide open.
Read lease policy
It is crucial that you read and understand the lease policy. In this piece of paper, you can determine if small dings, scratches, and stains are considered wear-and-tear. The rule of thumb is you are subject to “credit card test”. This test states that if the damage is a scratch that can be covered by standard credit card, you do not have to worry about it.
Ensure that the car avails of scheduled maintenance
Even if it is not your car, it does not mean that you forego scheduled maintenance. If you do not want to spend on costly turn-in fees, you have to give something. If you submit the car to regular maintenance, you need to keep a record so you can prove that you changed the oil and checked the fluid levels.
Do not exceed mileage limits
Before you commit, it is important that you assess the mileage allowances. Lessors generally offer different mileage allowances from 10,500 miles to 20,000 miles per year. If you exceed your limits, you will be charged.
The charge will depend on the lease but in most cases it is 15-25 cents per mile. If you know that you are going to do serious driving, you should check if the lessors allow you to buy extra miles. This is better than the penalty charge.
Although you can save on monthly payments if you consider a leased car, you should know in yourself that you are able to handle its upkeep. If you do not properly handle it with care, you are inviting more turn-in fees – nobody wants that.