Taking over a car lease is a great way to get some sweet deals on fresh wheels. But before you sign on the dotted line, there are some things about the car you need to check, otherwise you might end up with some unpleasant surprises down the road. Below are seven things you should check out before taking over a car lease:
- Contract. Make sure you read over the fine print of the leasing contract to fully understand the terms and requirements. For example, it will specify how much wear and tear is allowed and what the charges will be if you exceed the mileage allowance.
- Mileage. Find out what the current mileage is and calculate whether the number of miles and number of months left on the lease will suit your driving needs.
- Under the hood. Even if the vehicle is covered under warranty, you’ll want to check its mechanical condition. If, for instance, the motor oil is low or excessively dirty, it may indicate that the previous driver didn’t keep up with the required maintenance.
- Cleanliness. Another sign of a well-cared-for car is cleanliness, both outside and inside. Some dirt or rain spots from a recent shower aren’t a big concern, but upholstery stains or baked-on deposits are.
- Electronics. Check to make sure that all of the buttons, knobs and special features still work as designed.
- Tires. A new set of tires can represent a fairly significant expense but one that’s often overlooked when taking over a car lease.
- Exterior. Look closely for any hidden dents or problems with the paint. If the damage is beyond what’s allowed in the lease contract, you’ll end up paying for it when you eventually turn in the car.
Note that if you’re taking over a car lease on an out-of-town vehicle, you can hire an independent professional to do these checks for you.
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