Understanding Auto Leasing: Part 6 – Driving Into the Sunset

Buying a new carCongratulations! You have negotiated a good lease deal, and you are ready to drive off into the sunset! Before you get too ahead of yourself, though, remember that you have ongoing obligations that you agreed to in your deal. There are a few things you need to keep in mind as a driver of a leased vehicle.

Hold Up Your Side of the Bargain

  • Be careful if you decide to move. Many lease contracts may be restrictive about moving the vehicle, especially concerning out-of-state or out-of-country moves. Remember, if you do move out-of-state, your payments could change because of differing state taxes.
  • Ensure that you maintain the car, make your payments on time, and get any damages repaired immediately. As always, do not allow anyone without a license to drive the car and do not drive while distracted or intoxicated. Have the vehicle serviced according to the scheduled maintenance guidelines for that particular vehicle, and make sure the automotive service is completed by a reputable service facility.
  • Make sure you secure the required type and amount of insurance for the vehicle. The types and amounts of insurance required will be specified in the lease contract. In the event of theft or an accident, make sure to let both the leasing and insurance companies know immediately.
  • Try your best not to exceed your mileage limit before the end of the leasing period. It is easier to keep track of this as a monthly average. You don’t want to pay extra for extra mileage when it is time to turn the car in.

Terminating Your Lease

If you need to end your lease before the set date, try to wait as long as you can. The earlier you terminate the lease, the more costly it is.

Upon the scheduled end of your leasing period, you will probably have the following options: you can return the car, extend the lease, purchase the vehicle, or trade in the vehicle. Your leasing company should contact you at lease 30 days before your lease ends to provide instructions. They will give you the options at that time.

When making your end-of-lease decision, use an online car-valuing website to determine the trade-in and sale prices of your car. If the given price is higher than the purchase price listed in your contract, then it might be a good idea to buy the car or trade it in.

Whatever you decide, you can rest assured that you made a knowledgeable decision now that you took the time to educate yourself about the whole leasing process! We wish you the best of luck and happy leasing!

March 6, 2013 by Jamie Rettig