Butler County Times Gazette
Advice on keeping your vehicles in good condition, saving on gas and more.
Don't let return charges on your leased car put a dent in your wallet
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Advice from GateHouse News Service on keeping your vehicles in good condition, saving on gas and tips from national auto columnist Junior Damato. Ready your car for the seasons, get advice for your teen drivers, and get the scoop on new, concept and ...
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Advice from GateHouse News Service on keeping your vehicles in good condition, saving on gas and tips from national auto columnist Junior Damato. Ready your car for the seasons, get advice for your teen drivers, and get the scoop on new, concept and upcoming makes and models.
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ARA leasing
The allure of a new car and low monthly payment options draw many people to lease a car, even though they could face serious fines and extra charges when they return the vehicle at the end of the lease term. If you're leasing a car, however, you can take steps to avoid getting dinged by lease return charges.
Oct. 31, 2012 12:01 a.m.



 



The allure of a new car and low monthly payment options draw many people to lease a car, even though they could face serious fines and extra charges when they return the vehicle at the end of the lease term. If you're leasing a car, however, you can take steps to avoid getting dinged by lease return charges.



- Sweat the small stuff: Just about every vehicle on the road has some scratches, nicks, chips and dents. Inevitably, doors get dinged and bumpers scuffed. And even if the blemishes on your leased car are small, don't think the dealership won't notice. Even small flaws can quickly rust and grow into large headaches, so fixing the problem as soon as possible is always the best solution. Fortunately, you can avoid marked-up repair costs by using touch-up paint.



- Tire check: Like a pair of shoes, constant use will cause tires to wear down quickly. Tires are often one of the first places a dealer will look when inspecting a vehicle, and besides being a safety concern, bald or damaged tires can cost you big when your lease is up. Tires with less than one-eighth of an inch of tread need to be replaced before the dealership's inspection.



- It's in the details: Before you hand over the keys for inspection, make an effort to get the vehicle looking and working exactly as it did when you drove it off the lot. Check that all features, including the sound system, keyless entry, windows and any other components, work properly and that all extras, from luggage racks to the spare tire cover, are accounted for. Though these extras may seem insignificant compared to the vehicle itself, the leasing company will check every single aspect of the vehicle when you return it.

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