Leasing a vehicle offers you the chance to own a brand new car without an enormous price tag attached to the transaction. Although you may need to provide a down payment, these amounts are generally small in relation to the total value of the car. Then, you’ll make payments to the dealership each month. At the end of the lease agreement, you’ll return the car to the dealership, (unless you do decide to ultimately purchase it), where the dealership will put the car back up for sale.
Since the car will return to the dealership, you must make sure that you keep it in good condition. Failure to do so could mean penalties for you. Learning how to preserve the value of your leased vehicle is not only of benefit to the dealership but also to you.
Know Your Agreement
Failure to follow the terms of the agreement for your leased vehicle could leave you with problems. Therefore, instead of just signing on the dotted line without reading the pages, make sure you know what is required of you. For example, you may have to bring the car in to the dealership for oil changes at specified times, or you may need to have service done to the car at the dealership on a regular basis. It’s also possible that your agreement won’t include this information, but you can’t follow the stipulations if you don’t know what they are.
Stay within Your Miles
The agreement is almost certain to contain information about the number of miles you’re permitted to drive. For example, your agreement may permit you to drive 12,000 miles per year. Once you are over this number of miles, you will have to pay. In the event that you know you drive more than the suggested amount, ask for a higher one. It may be more cost-effective to pay for a higher limit than to have to deal with penalties when you return the car at the end of the agreement. In some cases, you may have the ability to get a lease without a limit on the miles though this plan may cost you more.
Procure Proper Insurance
You may get insurance while you are at the dealership. Often, you’ll sit down with the salesperson to call the insurance company. After all, you are likely driving the car away from the lot, so you need to make certain that you have insurance on it. Find out if your leasing entity has additional requirements for insurance. Make sure to get the right features with your insurance package. For example, you will want to get collision coverage so that the car is taken care of in the event of certain damage. The leasing entity may require you to obtain this type of coverage.
Get Your Oil Changed
Letting your car go for months and months on end without an oil change is not the best idea. Your dealership may offer free oil changes, so no reason exists not to take advantage of this offer. During the oil changes, you can also have the car checked out for other problems. Remember that the safety of your car is imperative to your safety and the safety of your passengers, so this step isn’t one that you want to brush to the side.
Schedule Your Inspections
Whether you’re required to go to the leasing agency to get inspections or you’re free to go to your mechanic, you must make certain that you’re doing so. Regardless of whether or not you’re leasing a car, an annual inspection is pivotal. It helps to keep your car in good condition and better preserve your safety. On top of that benefit, the inspection allows you to know about issues with the car. If you bring the leased car back at the end of the agreement and it is riddled with problems, you might find yourself in financial trouble.
Protect the Seats
You might be afraid to bring food or drinks into your vehicle after you think about the times that you have accidentally splashed some of your morning coffee on the seats or after the times the kids have dumped juice on theirs. Instead of feeling uncomfortable in your car, you can look into seat covers. Many different styles of seat covers exist so you can have a vehicle that is aesthetically appealing and protected. For example, you could look into both leather and neoprene seat covers to match perfectly with the seats in your vehicle. If leather and neoprene are not the covers for you, checking out faux leather is another option.
Dispose of Garbage
It’s easy to leave a cup in the cup holder or to say that you’ll pick up your kids’ snack bags in the morning, but these approaches tend to lead to a bigger mess in the long term. While you don’t necessarily need to keep garbage bags in your car, you could start this practice when going on long rides with the family. At the least, you should take a few minutes at the end of the day to pick up the mess in your vehicle. Even if you think that the garbage won’t do any harm, you never know what smudges or leaks could manifest as a result.
Floor mats and car leases
Between 2006 and 2015, over 16.5 million new cars were sold. Around 25% of these were leased. Over the past few years, the amount of leased vehicles on the road has nearly doubled. Leasing is a popular option for those that like to change cars often, need a car for a specific amount of time, or want to keep their debt to income ratio lower.
However, many with a lease find themselves in an expensive predicament at the end if they don’t take stellar care of the vehicle. Heavily stained floor boarding and floor mats, for example, are a common source of lease turn-in fees. It only takes a little planning to avoid such a predicament.
When a leased vehicle is turned in, the dealership performs a five-point inspection to cover the vehicle’s exterior, mechanical issues, windows and lights, tires, and interior. The dealership will charge penalties for excessive wear and tear that lowers the value of the vehicle and exceeds normal wear and tear. These penalties can quickly add up and become a cost that moots your lease savings.
Every vehicle experiences some inevitable wear and tear just from being used, but there are plenty of proactive steps you can take to keep the vehicle’s condition as close to new as possible. One such step is in replacing the vehicle’s original floor mats with your own all-weather floor mats.
Upon lease or as soon as possible, store the original mats so that they remain in pristine condition for your turn-in inspection. Invest in some all-weather floor mats to protect the vehicle’s floorboard from friction, spills, stains, and other deterioration. This small investment will protect the interior of your leased vehicle as you go about using it. When it’s time to return the vehicle for inspection, remove the all-weather floor mats, detail the interior, and replace the original completely unused floor mats.
You won’t have to worry about lease turn-in fees for your floorboard and mats, and you get to keep your all-weather mats for your next vehicle lease or purchase. All-weather floor mats are a win-win investment for anyone in or considering a lease.
Visit the Car Wash
Although you might make a daily effort to keep the interior and exterior of the car clean, you still need to have a professional car wash once in a while. When you go, ask the team to give the car the most thorough clean possible. Make sure that you go to a car wash with professionals whom you trust. You don’t want your car to come out of the wash in worse shape than it was when it went in.
Choose Your Parking Spots Wisely
If someone scrapes the passenger side of your car in a parking lot or nicks the back overnight while your car is parked on the street, you might never notice it. In fact, you may not recognize that any damage exists until you go to bring your car back at the end of your lease agreement. Remember to choose your parking spots wisely and know your vehicle and what it looks like.
Watch Other Drivers
You should check your agreement to see if stipulations exist about other people driving your car. If you are allowed to let others drive your vehicle, make sure you are cautious. If you have any doubt in your mind about lending it to a particular person, don’t do it. They might damage the car and fail to tell you about it, leaving you to deal with the consequences later.
Leasing a vehicle is not a process that should scare you because you have to keep the car in good condition. Many people lease and do not have problems doing so. The first step is to learn more about leasing and about leasing your specific vehicle. In other words, you want to find out what the dealership’s expectations are so that you can meet them when you return the vehicle.