FINANCIAL ADVICE i buying a car

What Happens at the End of a Lease?

Published February 6, 2019

Key Takeaways

  • Remember, it’s your lease, and you’re in the driver’s seat.
  • If love ‘em and leave ‘em is your thing, don’t forget that your vehicle will undergo a standard inspection for wear and tear.
  • At FairLease we don’t try to take advantage of you

For you and your vehicle, an end-of-lease event can be exhilarating, bittersweet, and a little scary all at once. But who needs that kind of drama?

With a little knowledge and planning, you and your car will face the inevitable fork in your contractual relationship with confidence and poise.

Fortunately, your post-lease options are limited, but they’re also quite distinct from each other. Get started by speaking with your FairLease consultant who can help you navigate all the options.

Remember, it’s your lease, and you’re in the driver’s seat. Here are 4 possible ways to command your perfect end-of-lease experience:

Option 1: Lease a different car. You chose to lease for a reason, and now that your term is up, it’s time to find your next dream car. Choosing FairLease guarantees you the assurance that you will receive the same great service and benefits you did with your current lease. Relax and make better use of your valuable time. Let us do all the leg work for you in securing your new car! You remember that experience with us, don’t you? We look forward to the opportunity to continue to earn your trust with your vehicles for life.

Option 2: Lease your car again. Why change a good thing? Sometimes the best choice is the least dramatic. Whether you want a short term or full term lease, you can talk to a FairLease agent about your new leasing options for the car you’re already driving.

Option 3: Buy your car. You know exactly how your car has been treated. You understand each other. It’s like you were meant to be. Plus, there’s no sticker shock when you buy the car you’re leasing, because the buy-out price is already written into the lease. (It’s called the "residual value" and it represents the projected cash value of your vehicle at the end of the lease term.) As a wholly owned subsidiary of Credit Union of Texas, we can also connect you to one of our loan officers should you want to finance the purchase.

Option 4: Walk away from the car. If you’ve done everything you agreed to do in your lease contract, you’re free to ramble on. Maybe you’ve opted for that scooter instead, or your commute distance changed. Or you joined the circus. In any case, you don’t need a reason to just move on.

Appearances matter

If love ‘em and leave ‘em is your thing, don’t forget that your vehicle will undergo a standard inspection for wear and tear. Maybe you’ve been a little rough and tumble on things. What’s done is done, but it certainly won’t hurt to tidy up, remove all trash and debris, scrub out stains, and perhaps pay for any quick minor cosmetic repairs in advance of your inspection. Wear and tear items that further depreciate the value of your car could result in billable charges. Just know that FairLease won’t nickel and dime you – normal wear items don’t fall into billable charges; it’s mainly the big nasties that may have occurred to your car that could result in this.

Too many miles?

You may also owe a mileage fee if you drove more than the maximum number of miles agreed to on your lease contract. The excess mileage fee is typically charged at a $0.15 per mile rate when you exceed your mileage allowance, but at FairLease we don’t try to take advantage of you. Our mileage fee is only $0.10.

Oh, and most leasing companies charge a “disposition fee” at the end of a lease to cover spot-cleaning your car into showroom condition. At FairLease, we do not charge this fee!

Your end of term options can be complex. FairLease is committed to helping you every step of the way at the end of your current lease. Give us a call if you have any questions.

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