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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. ;-)

Good Luck,
Cheryl Bowman
"The Mercedes Lady"

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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?

Cheryl Bowman
Check out my FB Fan Page ~ The Mercedes Lady

Good Luck!

Vehicle Lease vs Buy

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Cheryl Bowman


I can answer all questions about financing lease vehicle in the state of Va & Nc. most questions in other states with the exceptions of any rules or regulations governed by that particular state.


I have more than 25 years as a sales associate, along with a finance back ground and fleet sales. I have participated in assisting clients with both retail installment contracts and lease contracts both open and closed end leases.

I currently affiliated with the Mercedes Benz Car Club of America. I am also employed with McGeorge Mercedes Benz in Richmond Va.

Publications Blog for 40 Plus professional women.

I have has extensive training in sales, finance, customer service while assisting clients during my 25+ years in the business. I am currently working on master Certification for Mercedes Benz and have already been certified in other high line brands. Training is on going as the products and technology are always changing.

Awards and Honors
Sales Certifications, and Master Certification with other high line brands. I have also been master certified with domestic products.

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