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Car Care & Repair Tips - May 02, 2003

What Your Mechanic Doesn't Want You to Know


Reader Question: I am in the market for a new car and am considering leasing. Is there anything I need to know relative to maintenance and repair of a leased car?

Thank you, Scott

Dear Scott,

Yes, there are a number of important things you need to be aware of, and with the help of leasing expert Al Hearn at LeaseGuide.com, here are a few simple rules to remember.

  1. You, not the lease company, will be responsible for all maintenance and repairs on your leased car. This is typically spelled out in the fine print of your lease contract.

  2. The manufacturer's new car warranty will protect you in case you have problems with your new car. It's important, therefore, that your lease term should not exceed the length of your warranty. You would not want a longer lease term and be exposed to having to pay for major repairs after your warranty expires.

  3. You are expected to keep your vehicle (actually the lease company's vehicle) in good condition and not make any modifications to it that can't be easily undone at the end of your lease. If notified of a recall on your vehicle, you are expected to have the required work or repairs done promptly.

  4. If you have an accident, make sure the repairs are done by a reputable body shop that uses only manufacturers' parts, not "aftermarket" parts. If the repairs are not done correctly, the lease company may charge you at the time you return your vehicle to them.

  5. If your vehicle is totaled in an accident, your insurance will pay what the car is worth (minus your deductible), not what you still owe on your lease, which is usually more. Fortunately, most leases now have automatic "gap" protection, which pays this difference. Check your lease contract to make sure you have it; it's very important.

  6. If you plan to return your vehicle at the end of your lease, you will be expected to pay for excessive mileage, unrepaired damages, worn tires, and wear-and-tear. Your lease contract spells this out in some detail. If you decide to purchase your vehicle instead of returning it, you are not responsible for any of these charges.

Before you decide to lease, it's very important to understand how leases work and if you're a good candidate for leasing. It's also important to know how payments are calculated to make sure you get a good, honest deal. You can get this information, and more, on the Web at LeaseGuide.com, a consumer's guide to smart car leasing.

Sincerely,

Austin C Davis

Austin C Davis


Interested in an e-book about everything your mechanic doesn't want you to know? Sound advice from Austin Davis. Click Here!


The above article is provided for the interest and entertainment of our visitors. The views expressed in this article are only those of the author, who is solely responsible for the content. AutoGuide.net does not endorse any of these views, and is not to be held responsible for any of the content provided in the above article.


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