In leasing, the last 90 days are called the “hot zone.” The leasing company will contact you to determine what you want to do with your vehicle. During this time, the lender will remind you of the buyout price and information on the lease inspection service.

If you choose not to buy the vehicle, then there are a few things you need to look out for before you return it. Depending on the leasing company, some damages don’t need to be covered by you out-of-pocket. So, make sure you aren’t overspending on any minor damages.

Check Guidelines

The easiest way to see what damage the leasing company is looking for is to look at their guidelines. This will list what type of damage the lessee will be charged for, and they’re separated into different sections, including:

  • Interior
  • Exterior
  • Tires
  • Glass
  • Lights

Each car manufacturer is different. Some charge for scratches at a certain length, such as the size of a credit card, as well as dents. Make sure to double check what their rules are and what you could be charged for.

Fix What You Can

money, piggy bankAnother way to save money is to fix any damages out-of-pocket. Stains and deep scratches can often be fixed at home with removers and touch-up paints. Or, if you have the money, you could have the car repaired by a professional. The costs involved could be cheaper than getting dinged by the leasing company.

Another thing to check is tire wear. It’s recommended that you change the tires after three years of normal driving (or just before the lease term is up). Getting charged for a tire replacement can be expensive especially from the dealer so it may be worth the money for you to invest in new tires.

Bottom Line

Leasing has become a popular option for buyers. The downside of leasing is making sure a vehicle stays in good condition during the term. People aren’t perfect drivers, and it can be difficult to keep a leased car scratch- and stain-free.

If your lease term is up, and you’re worried about not having a vehicle due to bad credit, Auto Credit Express may be able to help. Our network of dealers has the lending resources available to work with people in challenging credit situations. Get started today by filling out our free online auto loan request form today.