Don’t Ruin Your Lease — The Steps No Lease-Owner Can Afford to Skip

Leasing has become a popular option for people who want to drive a new car without paying new car prices. But leases can quickly become an expensive headache, if you don’t take certain precautions. Learn how to keep your leasing process going smoothly, and how to avoid extra charges.

Avoid High Mileage

Leases are meant to be an affordable way to drive a new car. The dealer will be quick to charge you for putting too much wear on the car. Lessors will generally give you a range of annual mileage options that you are not supposed to go over. Typically, these range anywhere from 10,000 to 19,000 miles per year.

Pick the range that’s closest to your essential commuting, such as to work, school, and family visits. Do your best to use a different vehicle or carpool for road trips and vacations. Two-way, 100-mile-plus trips will add up in a hurry and could leave you with more than just a big bill at the gas station.

Don’t Skip Repairs

Maybe you can live with that cracked bumper, but your lessor will charge you for it big time. In the long run, any money you save by taking a cheap repair option, or by skipping repairs altogether, will only cost you more when it’s time to turn in your car.

Small damage like scratches and dings, however, may not be a problem depending on the terms of your lease. If you’re worried about some chipped paint, check your lease agreement before rushing out to have it fixed. Many lessors have specific criteria for what damage needs to be fixed and what doesn’t. If you’re still feeling unsure, the “Credit Card Test” is one simple rule of thumb for determining whether or not you need to have something repaired. Basically, if the repair could easily be covered up by a standard credit card, you probably don’t need to worry.

Be Strict About Maintenance

Not following the dealer-prescribed maintenance schedule is one of the easiest ways to break your lease and end up paying penalties. Make sure you have your oil changed, tires rotated, and fluid levels checked regularly. Make sure you hold onto your maintenance paperwork, so that you can avoid unfair hassles later on.

Keep Up with the Original Parts

This one might seem obvious, but people get in trouble for this all the time. Little things, like floor mats, spare tire covers, or headrests for a row of seats you never used, are easy to forget about. But you can be sure that the dealer will remember. If you feel like taking these things out of your car for some reason, make sure you keep them organized in one space so that you can find them later.

Take It to the Right Shop

Just as you can be fined for not taking care of your leased vehicle, sending it to lousy mechanics can cause damage and cost you money in the long run. To protect your lease and your hard-earned dollars, trust the certified technicians at Colony One in Sugarland to get your car maintained, inspected, and repaired, up to dealer standards. Just bring your car by the shop, or request a service online to get started.