Tips

My Car Is Leased. Am I Responsible For Maintenance?

Many drivers choose to lease a vehicle instead of buying one. The main advantages of leasing over buying are–you can get a new car every few years without the commitment of a purchase, and lease payments tend to cost less than loan payments. As for scheduled maintenance and repairs, the driver’s responsibilities should be spelled out in the lease agreement, so they can vary from situation to situation. This means you should read and understand the terms of your lease agreement to ensure you keep up your side of the bargain.

When the Agreement Doesn’t Cover Maintenance

In many cases, the driver is responsible for wear-and-tear tasks and regularly scheduled maintenance like tire rotations and oil changes. When you hit the mileage points outlined in the maintenance schedule, it’s vital to have the car serviced as required. Skipping the work not only endangers the vehicle and your safety but threatens to void the contract.

In addition, at the end of the lease period, the dealership will inspect the vehicle and you will be charged for any wear-and-tear parts that need repair. In short, you can spend the money on regular maintenance or be charged down the road. Either way, driving a leased vehicle means you carry a certain amount of responsibility.

When it comes to repairs, most agreements come with a manufacturer’s warranty that spans the length of the lease, but again–make sure to read the agreement for minute details and fine print.

The Advantage of GAP Insurance

When leasing, having Guaranteed asset protection (GAP) insurance protects you if the car gets totaled or stolen. More specifically, it makes up the difference between the amount owed on the lease and the car’s value. Most agreements include GAP, but you should take note if yours doesn’t (you will have to pay out of pocket if the car gets stolen or totaled). In fact, if GAP doesn’t come with the lease, you might consider looking elsewhere for a better deal.

Conclusion

As you can see, the fine points of any agreement can differ. When choosing to lease, you should always read the agreement carefully and ask for clarification when necessary. Understanding the particulars of maintenance, repairs, GAP insurance, and wear-and-tear items will keep you from owing more money than anticipated.

For all your vehicle’s repair and maintenance needs, call Mark’s Auto Service in Rockford at 815-398-9871 or Loves Park at 815-318 0200.

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