Leasing a car comes with many advantages. You can enjoy driving a new model with little money due at signing and switch to a newer model after a few years. Despite the advantages, it’s important to understand the terms of your lease. Failing to live up to these terms could cost you when it’s time to turn in the car or renew your lease. Here are 6 important things to avoid doing in a leased car.
If you are a smoker, take care to avoid smoking in the car at all costs. Don’t assume it won’t be obvious. Even if you can’t smell it, the inspector likely will during the end-of-lease inspection. Smoke damage can come with a hefty cleaning fee for returning the car in an unfit condition.
2. Leave Spills or Stains on the Interior
As with smoking, you will likely be charged a high fee if you return a leased car with stained upholstery, dirt on the floors, or an aroma that clearly indicates you were transporting your dog around town. You may want to use seat covers on a leased car to protect the upholstery from spills and other types of damage. You should also be proactive in treating spills with a stain remover and cleaning.
3. Go Over Your Mileage Limit
It can be easy to go over a mileage limit on a lease, especially over a period of several years. Keep in mind most leasing companies limit you to about 12,000 miles per year. If you go over, you might have to pay $0.15 to $0.20 per mile. This adds up with a fee of up to $200 for every 1,000 miles over your limit. With a luxury car, the penalty for exceeding the mileage may be even higher. Use a mileage tracker to help you stay under your limit. Plan to stay under 1,000 miles every month to avoid exceeding a 12,000/year limit.
4. Forget About Tire Wear
Tire wear can be a big concern when leasing. At the end-of-lease inspection, the tires will be checked for excessive wear or damage. You don’t want to pay a fee for tire wear, nor do you want the cost of replacing the tires soon before your lease is up. Instead, plan to replace the tires about two years into a three-year lease. This allows you to get some use out of the tires while returning the car in acceptable condition.
Don’t be tempted to add expensive options to a leased car, such as a premium sound system or high-end wheels. Every Orange County car leasing company limits the retail value assigned to a car. If you add accessories, you will end up paying for them and essentially giving them to the next person who leases or buys the vehicle. Don’t add accessories unless you buy the car.
6. Skip Maintenance
You are still responsible for maintenance when you lease a car. Orange Countylease companies want to ensure their vehicles retain their value at the end of the lease. This won’t happen if the car hasn’t been maintained, and you can expect a high penalty. Complete all scheduled maintenance on the vehicle as needed, including oil changes and brake pad replacement. Keep proof of completed maintenance to avoid penalties.
If you’re interested in leasing or buying a car, Orange Countyis home to the trusted auto brokers at Below Invoice. Call us today at 949-630-0303, and we can get you started on the process of finding your ideal vehicle.