How to Prepare a Car For Inspection Upon Lease Return

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Instead of purchasing a car, you decided to lease because you use low miles and like to have a new car every couple of years. This is just one of many valid reasons to lease instead of buying a car. No matter the case, when the contract expires, you must turn it in. When this time comes, it is important to know how to prepare a car for lease inspection. The value of the car will be determined by wear and tear, overall condition, mileage, and maintenance concerns. It only takes a few steps to get things ready: keeping track of your mileage, checking the car against the pre-inspection list, making sure the car is clean, and taking photos of the car.

Keep track of your mileage

If you lease a car, there are usually mileage limits. If you go over the pre-designated limit, you face extra fees, usually calculated per mile. This can add up very quickly as well as depreciated the car. From the start, keep track of your mileage. Consider renting a car when going on vacation instead of driving long distances. If you can get a good deal on a rental car, you will save compared to the possible mileage fees you may face later.

Use your pre-inspection list as a guide

When you leased your car, the dealership probably went through a pre-inspection checklist with you. You should have a copy in your glove box or with your lease agreement. You can use the same checklist as a guide to prepare for your lease inspection.
For example, when you turn your car in they will check to make sure everything is in its place like floor mats, lighter caps, manuals and other items. They will also check the exterior for damaged areas. There is a long list of things so make sure you are prepared by checking things out beforehand to decide if you need to repair or replace anything or if it is less expensive to pay the dealership to do it.

Clean the car – interior and exterior

A clean car always looks better than a dirty one. This includes the interior and exterior. Consider spending the money to get a professional detailing job done. When cleaning the car, you may find stains on the carpet or seats and scratches in the paint that you didn’t know were there. This will give you a chance to clean or repair things that may lower the value of the car when you turn it in.

Take photos of the car – inside and out

Once you have prepared your car for the lease inspection, take photos of the interior and exterior. This way if something comes up during the inspection that you feel is incorrect, you will have proof to back up your claims.
Let the dealership know you have the photos when the process starts so they are aware that they need to tell their crews to be careful when handling the car. You don’t want to be blamed for a scratch that happened after you turned it in.
Don’t let preparing your car for inspection drive you crazy. If you know what to do ahead of time, you can make the process stress-free. From the start, know what additional fees you may face so you are not hit with surprises. Keep the leased car clean, original parts intact, and a record of the car’s condition and maintenance.

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