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End of Lease repair charges, and why you should avoid them

Car leasing is an attractive proposition to lots of drivers, as it allows many of us to get a real taste for a vehicle and how we feel driving it without necessarily having to stump up huge fees for the privilege. You could compare it to renting a home, and in many ways the two are very similar – not least when it comes to the end of the lease.

As any experienced tenant will be able to tell you, once you return a property to its owner you may find that you’re met with a few unexpected charges. Lack of cleanliness, damaged furniture and unkept gardens are some of the more common reasons for extra charges, and car charges are very similar in this regard. If the leasing broker sees an opportunity to get their hands on more of your hard-earned cash, they will.

What can I get charged for?

There are a few common grounds on which you can expect to face additional charges when returning your leased vehicle:

  • Mess – This one is incredibly obvious, but you won’t believe how many people still fall foul of this. Used bottles, stains, cigarette butts, bad smells or dog hairs are big red flags here – make sure to give your vehicle a thorough clean before returning or better still, make sure to clean regularly throughout the course of the lease.
  • Lack of maintenance – With modern vehicles there’s really no excuse for poor maintenance. If your dashboard is lighting up like the Vegas strip, it’s time for some tender love and care. Believe us, your bank balance will thank you when it comes to return day.
  • Extra mileage – Again this is a straightforward tip, but many drivers are unaware of just how steep their additional charges will be when running over an agreed mileage limit. Always make sure to agree to a realistic limit from the outset, as your end fees could run into the thousands here if you aren’t careful.
  • Poor repair work – Showing the initiative to get your repairs done before returning is certainly a good thing, but who you choose for the job is vital. Leasing brokers won’t look kindly on repairs carried out to a poor standard, so if you’re going to have repair work done make sure to solicit the work of the professionals (*cough*). Damaged wheels or cracked alloys aren’t jobs to be handled by your friends, they’re tasks to be carried out by trained technicians – trust us when we say that the difference between a novice and a professional repair is clearly noticeable in the majority of cases.

Should I face the charges? Or should I carry out the repairs myself?

Allow us to paraphrase this question – would you leave your rental property dirty, unkept and needing repair work knowing that your landlord or estate agent will charge you extortionate amounts to put it right?

No? Well, we’d say the same about returning leased vehicles. To put it simply, it just isn’t a risk worth taking.

If your vehicle’s lease is nearing its conclusion and you’d like to discuss your options with a true expert in the field, get in touch with one of our specialist team today who’ll be more than happy to help.

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