Vehicle Lease vs Buy/leasing and maintenance
QUESTION: In leasing a car, other than oil changes, am I required to do all the maintenance things listed in the manual? And when they say to do them? I know that when owning a car, you can choose what and when to do those kinds of things, but don't know if it's different when leasing. Thanks
ANSWER: Great Question James,
The advantage of leasing a car is that you are probably only going to lease it for 24-36 mo, therefore maintenance on most vehicles are not going to be extensive anyway. On most makes these days the only requirements are oil changes.
If you are a high mileage driver you will want to be sure that your tires are maintained for obvious reasons. But to answer your question directly. Maintenance on the vehicle does not have to be performed unless you are turning the vehicle in with some kind of indicator light on.
i.e. check engine, oil change, break change etc. If the indicator light is not on at the time of lease turn in and you sign the turn in documents as such than you are NOT required to perform maintenance.
Things we look for when turning a lease in are:
Stars or chips in the windshield
dings dents bigger than a credit card
rips or tears on the interior
wear bars showing on the tire
If you are walking away from the lease you can almost depend on getting some kind of charge. Certainly the disposition fee which is normally about 500 dollars. However if you are stepping into another lease or purchase from the dealership that you are turning the lease into, well there is your negotiating tool. ;-)
"The Mercedes Lady"
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Thanks Cheryl. Other than oil changes, what I was really referring to and I should have clarified it, was the extensive 'scheduled maintenance' list of things to do that are in the owner's manual. You know, the things they say do at 3 months, 6mo. 12mo. etc. Tons of stuff, like inspecting the exhaust system, steering linkage, filters, belts and many more. The dealer usually has a 'package' price for doing those things, which would cost hundreds every time. The thing is, I read that when you lease, you are required to service the car according to its maintenance schedule as part of the contract, which would include doing all that. Is that not true? Or is just doing the oil changes and saving the receipts enough? I sure hope so, because having to follow the maintenance schedule as outlined in the manual would be a major and frequent expense... I don't even do that with the car I still own and I take good care of it! Thanks
What kind of vehicle are you going to lease? Read the owners manual very carefully and/or ask the leasing manager what is "required" maintenance, not "suggested" maintenance. If your sales consultant tells you that your going to have to spend extended amounts of money to maintain a vehicle within a 36 mo 36,000 mile lease I suggest you look at another make and/or model.
What vehicle are you considering?
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