Lease Return Repair

APR your car: lease repairs

Ever wonder, when leasing a car, who pays for the lease return repairs when you return it? Well, it’s you. The good news is, you can save serious dollars by bringing the car to Auto Paint Repair for the work before returning it at the end of your lease period. APR works a lot cheaper than most of the body shops hired by the lease companies themselves. They may also add their own fees to the lease repairs, and it doesn’t have to be heavy damage; just normal wear and tear, including key scratches, door dings, bumper scrapes, damaged wheels and minor interior damage.

Photo of a small car and a large calculator encouraging vehicle lease customers to explore the costs of lease repairs from APR.

At APR, we begin with a free, total vehicle inspection to identify what needs to be repaired in order to “pass muster” with the lease company. Here’s what we look at:

  • Bumpers

    Any kind of bumper damage that removes paint will count against you, including what you may consider minor scrapes. This is one of the easiest kinds of damage for lease company inspectors to spot. We can save you significant costs repairing this type of damage.
  • Glass

    Of course a cracked windshield is a big no-no, but inspectors also look for small cracks, pits and chips. If they find them, you’ll be charged a premium rate for a new windshield. Our windshield repair service can save you hundreds of dollars for certain kinds of damage.
  • Dents

    You can actually get away with some small dents on a lease return, assuming there’s no paint damage. Anything smaller than a quarter may be ignored by the inspector. For larger dents without paint damage, paintless dent repair is a real money-saver. This is a process of gently reforming the dent back to its original body shape without harming the paint, and we can do it much faster and cheaper than normal body work.
  • Scratches

    Lease companies typically give you some latitude here, too. They know a used vehicle will have a certain amount of normal wear without significantly affecting its value. Light scratches and scrapes smaller than a credit card may be overlooked. We can help you determine which parts to ignore and which parts to repair to avoid undue attention from the lease inspector.
  • Interior damage and wear

    Our auto detailing technicians can help you get rid of interior spots and stains because this is something the inspectors will notice and charge you for. An overall detailing is a good move anyway because it presents the inspector with a positive first impression, which can only work in your favor.
  • Wheels and tires

    You may not be charged for light “curb rash” and normal tire wear, but some damage to alloy wheels will not be overlooked. We’ll help you make a determination on whether these kinds of repairs are needed, and we can bring in an alloy wheel specialist from our team, if necessary.

Call APR at (316) 262-8888 to learn more about lease repair in Wichita, Kansas.

Other tips for returning a leased vehicle

Request the vehicle inspection at your home or business

Your lease company will probably hire an outside professional to do the inspection, whom you typically won’t meet if the inspection is done at the dealership. This can work against you, as inspectors are human and often deliver much harsher reports on vehicles they examine without the owners present. On the other hand, if the inspection is done on your “turf,” and you’re present for it (make sure to be there), they may decide to cut you a break, here and there, because you’re a human being rather than a column of check boxes. Industry experts say this really works.

Replace bald tires

Lease Return Repair - Photo of checking tire tread before returning a lease vehicle to the dealership.

If you have less than 1/8 inch of tread on your tires—or mismatched tires—you’ll probably be charged for a full set by the lease company. More than 1/8 inch of tread depth is typically considered normal wear.

Make sure everything is there

Check for any parts you have removed because you don’t use them much, like spare tire covers, luggage braces and nets, any removable parts you may have stashed aside temporarily. It will be on the inspector’s list.

Regularly maintain your vehicle

Be diligent about normal, scheduled maintenance on your car or truck. Better yet, pick up a vehicle maintenance notebook and record everything, from checking fluid levels to rotating the tires. This is especially important if you ever have mechanical problems because it shows you’ve done your part of the maintenance and are therefore less likely to be at fault.

Watch your mileage during the lease

Exceeding your annual mileage limits can be a big cost at the end of a lease. You can be charged up to 15 and even 25 cents for every mile over the limit. At a quarter a mile, an overage of 5,000 miles would cost you $1,250! If you plan on driving longer distances during the lease, buy the extra mileage up front, and you’ll only pay around 5 cents per mile.

What does a lease repair cost?

Every situation is different, but APR offers some of the best pricing in South Central Kansas on a full range of services that can bring your lease vehicle to a condition that saves you money compared to letting the lease company contract out the work. There’s no “typical” lease repair cost, but you’ll do yourself a favor by asking APR for a free quote; we can probably save you money.