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How Tires Affect Your Car Lease Upon Return

car lease tireIt is well known that if you return your leased vehicle with a cracked windshield, or a dented fender, you are going to be charged for it. However, did you know that you can be charged similarly for returning your vehicle with worn tires? Before you decide to lease a vehicle, or return your leased vehicle, this is something you should put into consideration.

Many people looking into leasing a vehicle think it is something like a rental agreement, “I bought the insurance, I can return this vehicle in any condition I want!” In most cases, this is not at all true. To avoid receiving fees upon returning your leased vehicle, here are a few things you should look for on your tires.

  • Check your tread depth.
  • Look for any damage to the tires, such as slashes, or bulges. Any damage to the tires will not be accepted.
  • Make sure all of the tires that you will be returning on the leased vehicle are of the same size, rating, and style as the original tires.
  • Be sure that your spare tire and all emergency removal tools are with the vehicle.

On top of all this, you should carefully look over your vehicle to assure there is no damage anywhere else. Most manufacturers allow what is called “normal wear” on their returned lease vehicles, and any damage beyond normal wear will result in more fines. Some common cosmetic issues to look for are damaged or torn upholstery and carpeting, light bulbs and lenses, and broken or cracked glass. Keep in mind also, that broken or excessively worn drive train components such as brakes or shock absorbers will also cost you money when you go to return your vehicle.

How much tread depth is required upon return of a leased vehicle?

This will vary on a case by case basis. You will need to check your lease contract in order to find the specific requirements for tread depth when you return your leased car.

Once you find out the tread depth required by your lease, you can measure your tread depth, and buy another set of tires here if needed.

Now you may know what to look for when returning a leased vehicle, but you should also be aware of a leased vehicle’s condition before purchasing one as well. Just because a dealer may require your lease to be in a specific condition when returned, does not mean that they have to sell the vehicle at the same standard. Some lease vehicles may have been leased to someone previously, and may be in need of repairs before you even take it off the lot. Be sure to visually inspect the vehicle for tire wear, and interior as well as exterior damage. After inspecting the lease, ask to take the vehicle for a test drive. It is your hard earned money being spent, and you want to make sure this vehicle is everything you expect it to be, before you begin making payments.

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