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Leasing a Car: Your Options at the End of the Lease

Leasing a car is a great option for many drivers; you get to enjoy all of the perks and benefits of a new vehicle without making a long-term commitment. While some people have a lot of questions when looking at vehicles and considering a lease, many more questions come up as the term of a lease draws to a close. If you have a lease that is going to end soon, then you might be wondering what your options are and what you need to do before the lease ends; this is why we are here to help take the confusion out of the process.

Differences between Manufacturers

Before we get into some answers below, we should note that you always want to check your paperwork or the website for your particular lease details. Most leases have some terms and requirements in common, but you might need to do certain things differently or take some steps on a particular schedule based on your leasing agreement. You should always go off the specifics of your lease and make sure you are fulfilling your end of the agreement––if you are uncertain about anything, then just reach out to us, and we will be happy to help.

End-of-Lease Inspection

One of the most important things you need to do as your car lease comes to an end is take care of an inspection prior to the end-of-lease date. Your lease agreement will indicate when you need to have this first inspection handled––it is usually within the last 90 days of your lease. This inspection is complimentary, and you can schedule it within the timeline of your lease agreement at a licensed dealership or service center.

The purpose of this inspection is to look at the condition of your vehicle and make sure everything is within the terms of your lease agreement. In many cases, the inspection will find that everything looks good, and you do not need to worry about any repairs or service, as long as you keep it in great shape until the end of your lease. If any issues are found in the inspection that violate the terms of your lease, then you will need to have them taken care of.

For example, the inspection might find a small tear in the upholstery or a ding to the body of your car that is not allowed under the terms of your lease agreement. You will need to have these problems repaired prior to the end of your lease, or there will be additional charges for the repairs when you turn in your vehicle. This inspection gives you time to have any issues addressed and to find the most cost-effective way to handle them. If you leave the problems until you turn in your lease, then you are at the discretion of the dealership where you return your vehicle and how much they charge for the repairs or service.

Returning Your Vehicle

Assuming you handle any issues that arise in the inspection, you will then need to return your vehicle to an agreed-upon location (often the dealership from which you leased the vehicle) by the end-of-lease date. You may or may not need to schedule a date and time to return your vehicle; this depends on the terms of your lease. When you take your vehicle in at the end of the lease, you then have several options available to you…

End-of-Lease Options: Buy Your Car

If you have fallen in love with your vehicle while you have been leasing it and want to continue driving it, then you can buy it at the end of your lease. This is one of the simplest options at the end of your lease, particularly since you do not have to worry as much about repairs for the lease conditions since you plan on buying it. When you return your leased vehicle, you can then buy it for a price based on the remaining value of the car after the leasing period.

Most people who buy their leased vehicle still need to figure out financing in order to pay for it, which your dealership can help you with. At this point, it becomes much like buying any other car, except you already know the vehicle you want, and there are no questions about what it has been through with a previous driver. Once everything is finished up, then you simply drive away in your vehicle and pay off your financing just like you had bought a car.

End-of-Lease Options: Sell Your Car

In some instances, you may be able to sell your vehicle to a third party or to another dealership as the lease comes to an end. What you are effectively doing is having someone else buy your car, just like you can do when your lease ends, and they pay you the difference between a price you agree upon and the cost of the vehicle. In recent years, manufacturers have been eliminating this option by requiring that vehicles are returned to a dealership at the end of the lease rather than letting you sell them. You will need to look at the terms of your lease agreement to see if this is an option for you.

End-of-Lease Options: Turn in Your Lease

Finally, if you have enjoyed your vehicle but you do not want to continue driving it, then you can return it at the end of your lease. Simply take it to a dealership that can accept your leased vehicle, and they will perform a final inspection on the car to ensure it is in great shape. Once all is said and done, you will sign the final paperwork and you are done with your lease––if any repairs are needed, then there will be some additional end-of-lease fees to cover the work.

From there, you are free to simply walk away, look at a new vehicle to lease, or look at new and used models that you can buy. Many people like to go from one lease to another, enjoying a brand-new car every few years without committing to buying one. If this is something you are interested in, then let your dealership know, and we can help you find the next model you want to lease before you turn in your previous one, ensuring there is no downtime between leases.

All the End-of-Lease Help You Need

As you can see, the steps you need to complete at the end of your lease are pretty simple, but it is important that you follow everything properly to avoid any unexpected surprises. Your lease paperwork and financing website you use can help you with all of the details for your specific lease agreement, so you do not have to worry about missing any deadlines. If you are still uncertain of what you need to do as your lease end date nears, then contact us, and we will be happy to help you figure everything out. Handling things properly will help you avoid any unexpected fees, ensure you always have a vehicle you can rely on, and take away anxiety from not knowing what you need to do.

DePaula Chevrolet

785 Central Avenue, Albany, NY 12206, USA

DePaula Ford

799 Central Avenue, Albany, NY 12206, USA

DePaula Mazda

799 Central Avenue, Albany, NY 12206, USA

DePaula Auto Group 42.6799691, -73.7883761.