Detail your leased car before turning it in!
Leasing vehicles is at an all time high. One out of four cars on the road were leased in 2016. The appeal is that people afford the lease payment of a nicer vehicle than if they financed it. There is nothing wrong with leasing a car but there are some rules you must follow when leasing. Mileage restrictions are put in place, you have to be sure to perform the regularly scheduled maintenance and keep the vehicle cosmetically in shape. Normal wear and tear is acceptable but can be a grey area. Having a detailer to take care of your leased car could help with the wear and tear aspect of your lease. After reading many lease return requirements I have found many similarities in the normal wear and tear area for most manufacturers. That being said every contract is different dependent on the vehicle. I do not work for a dealership or have I ever leased a car. I am just putting together this so if you read it you can maintain your car or if you are a detailer than you can offer your customers a lease return service. I am going to use Lexus as an example in this case. You can find the info on their lease Wear&Use section. They break down the different areas of the car from exterior body, interior, and wheels.
They list that the paint cannot have a scratch bigger than a credit card that is through the paint finish. So to me this means they don’t look for swirls and marring as much as they do large, deep scratches. So if you do infact have a deeper scratch you may have the option for a detailer to remove or level the deeper scratches on the paint to make them less noticeable.
Whether you do a full paint correction, which seems like an unnecessary cost for lease returns, or just have certain focused areas fixed this can prevent very expensive hourly dealership labor rates. Next they list any dent bigger than a credit card. If you have any dents this large, so anything bigger than a regular door ding, you can find a local detailer who offers paintless dent repair. This is more than likely what the dealership will do anyway and they will surely mark it up when you let them handle it at turn in.
The last thing they cover is the wheels. Wheels must have no scratches or gouges bigger than one inch and must be in good condition. Wheels that have damage may be quoted as needing a replacement at the time of the lease return and this could cost you thousands depending on the car. Many detailers offer wheel repair services to wheels with curb rash and this may cost a few hundred dollars but will not cost as much as an OEM replacement. Wheels also take a beating from brake dust. Keeping them clean will prevent pitting and corrosion from the brake dust which could also require replacement cost from the dealer. Your detailer should use the proper tools and products to keep the wheels tidy and preserved.
The glass section is pretty straight forward. No cracks or major rock chips can be present. Not really much you can do to prevent this from happening. The also specify that you cannot have any non factory window tint on the vehicle. Again, they will charge you extremely high labor rates to remove the aftermarket tint. This is something your detailer can do as well. While having the other areas detailed be sure to have them remove any tint added during the lease. Some detailers also offer glass chip repair which could fill in the small chips or cracks.
The interior excessive wear section probably is the most preventable. Any rip,tear or stain bigger than a credit card is considered excessive wear. The rips and tears are up to the customer to ensure nothing will be dragged across the interior that causes rips. Stain charges can be avoided. The longer you let a stain sit the harder it is to get out. Clean ups of spills have to be addressed quickly. If you do have any stains then your detailer should have the tools to get these cleaned up, again saving you possibly thousands on return.Seats, carpets, dash, door panels, floor mats and center console areas all are exposed to some sort of dirt every day. Cleaning all interior surfaces on a regular basis will prevent anything from sitting too long on any interior surface causing irreversible damage. We specialize in interior detailing services. Contact us today to see how we can help restore your vehicles interior to like new conditions.
So whether your car is regularly detailed throughout the lease or having a major service done before the car is turned back in this article will help you focus on what the dealerships look for. You can talk to your detailer about these areas or if you are a detailer you can offer these services to your customers.