Leasing a vehicle is all fun and games while your contract lasts. But what happens when that contract is about to expire?
There are a lot of ways you can handle ending your lease, but the easiest option is to return the vehicle to your dealership. It’s the least amount of work on your end, your dealership will be happy, and everyone leaves happy. But is there anything you should do to prepare for that fateful day when you say goodbye to your leased vehicle for good? If you follow these five steps, you should be in good shape:
1: Plan around your mileage
When you signed the contract for your lease, you most likely agreed that your vehicle would not go above a certain mileage threshold. For example, a three-year contract may stipulate that you cannot put over 36,000 miles on your vehicle, or an average of 12,000 per year. As you approach the end of your lease, you want to make sure you stay within that limit.
You could plan to put in extra miles if you are way under the limit, but honestly, I wouldn’t tempt fate. The better condition your vehicle is in, the happier your dealership will be.
2: Give your vehicle a good clean
Even if you’re under the mileage limit, a dealership still can charge you for any extra maintenance your vehicle requires. If you give your vehicle a little extra love and care before turning it in, you might avoid racking up some unintended charges.
A well-cleaned interior and a polished exterior can go a long way to impress your dealership. It might seem like a hassle, but it could be money saved in the end.
3: Determine when your vehicle is due
You’d get docked points for turning in your homework late at school, and you’ll similarly be penalized if you turn in your vehicle late to your dealership.
It might sound like a no-brainer but always double-check when your vehicle is due. You’ll be better off planning the exact time you’ll turn in your vehicle, and you’ll avoid unnecessary stress in case you think your vehicle is due earlier than it actually is.
4: Contact the dealership
As helpful as blogs like these are, there’s nothing better than contacting your dealership yourself. You’ll get an exact rundown of what you need to do to turn in your leased vehicle, and you can get answers to questions that you just can’t find online.
Plus, it’s a courtesy to your salesperson to let them know when you’ll come in. As a bonus, you’ll be ensured that someone will be available to take care of business when you show up if they know you’re coming in advance. Another win-win for you and your dealership!
5: Decide on your next vehicle
Turning in a leased vehicle can feel like a chapter of your life is coming to a close. You made a lot of memories on the road while your contract lasted, but nostalgia can sometimes get in the way of planning your future. That is to say, you need to find out what to do next about a vehicle.
Many dealerships will be happy to lease a brand new vehicle to you the minute you turn in your old vehicle. But maybe you want to purchase a vehicle to own? Perhaps you want to see what else is on the lot in good condition? In any case, the sooner you know what you want to do, the better off you’ll be.
Making big decisions like this can be overwhelming, but I want you to know that I’m here to help. If you have any questions about turning in a leased vehicle, or you’re wondering what to do next for a vehicle, I’d love to hear from you. Give me a call or send me a message whenever you’d like, and I promise to help you find the path forward that feels right for you. Even if a chapter of your life is ending, together we can write the next words in your automotive story.