End of Lease Inspection
Reaching the end of your lease can be a stressful time or an easy time-it all depends on the crucial few weeks leading up to your turn-in date. You’ve probably driven your leased car for two, maybe three years now, and it’s doubtless the vehicle has gained wear-and-tear throughout your time in it.
It happens, and lease inspectors know this, but they will still get you for a variety of issues, consisting mostly of damage that is either preventable or fixable. This is why it’s important that you prepare for an end of lease inspection in the most thorough way possible.
It’s better to be safe than sorry in a lease inspection because it’s the leasing company, not you or an objective third party, that will be determining whether you need to pay or not.
On average, a lease return starts about 90 days before the end of your lease. The leasing company (AKA the “lessor”) contacts you to set up an appointment for inspection. Damage that goes beyond the regular price of repairing wear-and-tear will be paid by you.
At Time of Inspection
A lease inspection will typically take about 45 minutes. The inspector will record dents, dings, scratches, and scrapes on the exterior are noted, as are cracks and excessive pitting on the windshield and other windows.
Tire wear and stains/tears on the upholstery are also big in an inspection. Inspectors typically use a computer program to estimate the cost of repairs.
So, how can you prepare for your inspection so that you pay as little as possible? We recommended you take the car to a professional before, but there are a few important things you can do on your own.
The first thing you ought to do is check out the manufacturer’s website, which will typically have a page detailing the end-of-lease process, what damage they consider most important, and their criteria. Typically, any damage that exceeds 2” in length or diameter is considered excessive.
You should take the car for an interior & exterior detail and remove all personal items from it soon before the inspection. Make sure everything that came with the car is there when you return it: keys, floor mats, spare tires, etc. And remove any after-market additions.
We recommend getting your leasing inspection done as early as possible. Knowing what needs to be repaired sooner rather than later gives ample time to make the necessary fixes before the leasing company gets the car back.
It’s best that you take your car to a professional, like the technicians at 360 Express Collision & Detailing, to examine your car and get it ready for an inspection. Ensuring that repairs are completed prior to inspection will result in you savings hundreds of dollars in end-of-lease fees.