Buying a car is an enormous responsibility, and not just financially. There’s also the burden of having to choose a car you know you won’t fall out of love with in the next ten years. For those of us who don’t like the idea of being stuck with the same car forever and who enjoy changing out cars every few years, there’s always the lease option. But leasing a vehicle comes with specific questions, one of the biggest being the responsibility for repairing a leased car.
Here’s an Easy Guide to Repairing a Leased Car:
Who Pays for Regular Maintenance On a Leased Car?
Lease agreements always specify who’s financially responsible for regular maintenance and unexpected repairs. Unless you managed to get the deal of the century, this cost is going to be on you – so expect to shell out the money. If you’re derelict in your duties to pay for required maintenance, you could be hit with a super bill when you return the car at the end of your lease.
Where Can I Take My Leased Car For Repair?
If you get into an accident that requires repair, you don’t have to take it back to the dealership. Fortunately, you can stay within lease terms and have an independent repair shop do the work as long as you take a leased car to an auto mechanic that’s approved.
If you work with a repair shop that doesn’t use OEM parts or that doesn’t do the repair work right, you might end up paying a hefty sum to the dealership at the end of your lease. They’ll need to get it back to original working order and original parts. To be on the safe side, always check with the dealer first if you need major work done. They should be able to provide you with a list of local auto repair shops that are certified to perform it.
What Happens If I Total My Leased Car?
Most leased cars come with gap insurance. This means that if you total the car, the dealer will cover the difference in cost between what your insurance will pay and how much you still owe on the lease. In some cases, the dealership will agree to waive your gap liability – meaning that if the car is totaled, they won’t require you to pay that difference. Whatever the case, be sure you’re crystal clear on your responsibilities before you sign a lease and drive that car off the lot. Once you’re on the road, all bets are off.
Read the Fine Print!
There are some pitfalls that you can stagger into as a result of not paying attention to your lease terms. For example, if your leased car breaks down after the manufacturer’s new car warranty ends, you’re on the hook for all and any payment. For this reason, it’s critical that you never lease a car for any longer than the actual warranty. Not unless you’re the gambling type, that is.
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