When you lease a car in San Diego County, the dealer will retain ownership of the vehicle and expect it to be returned in excellent condition, unless you ultimately buy the car. This means you have many responsibilities during your lease. You will be expected to keep the car clean, maintained, and free of defects if you plan to turn it back in at the end of your lease. Here’s how to care for the car you’re leasing to avoid significant penalties after the end-of-lease inspection.
Keep the Tires in Good Condition
You will need to return the car with properly inflated tires with sufficient tread and no damage. If you keep the tires inflated to the right pressure and rotated periodically, they should remain in good enough condition for three years. To play it safe, consider replacing the tires after two years. This gives you a year to get some use from the tires before you need to turn in the car.
Get Regular Oil Changes
You will be required to stay on top of scheduled maintenance on the car. One of the most important forms of maintenance is the oil change. Your oil should be changed every 3,000 to 10,000 miles, depending on the model. With most new cars, only synthetic oil should be used with oil changes every 10,000 miles or so.
Keep the Car Washed and Waxed
Most leasing companies allow lessees to get by with small cosmetic damage to the exterior of the car as long as it’s smaller than a credit card. Still, it’s important to take care of the car’s finish to avoid more serious damage. Washing and waxing the car regularly can protect it against damage from the environment, including bird droppings.
Don’t Smoke in the Car
Cigarette smoke is considered a form of damage. During the end-of-lease inspection, the odor of cigarette smoke, ashes, staining from cigarettes, or burns in the upholstery could all lead to a large penalty. Treat your car like a rental and avoid smoking in your leased vehicle.
Protect the Upholstery
All types of car upholstery can be damaged easily by liquid spills, food, pets, and smoke. If you eat or drink in the car or plan to transport pets, cover the upholstery with seat covers to protect against stains and tears. Some San Diego County car leasing companies give a pass on regular wear and tear to the upholstery, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Stay on Top of Repairs
If any repairs are necessary while you are leasing the car, they will be your responsibility. Of course, one of the benefits of leasing a new car is that repairs are less likely. When you lease a new car, it will probably still be covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, which means you won’t need to pay for major repairs. If the car gets damaged, which may happen in an accident, you will also be responsible for the repairs. Be prepared to at least have defects repaired before the end of your lease.
If you’re thinking about leasing a luxury vehicle, get in touch with the trusted auto brokers at Below Invoice today. Call 949-630-0303 to schedule an appointment.