Taking Over A Leased Car? Have It Checked Carefully

If you’ve watched car advertising on TV in recent years you’re aware of increased emphasis on leasing vs. buying a car. What began as a business practice now has become popular among the general public. In addition to certain tax benefits, there is a lower investment “up front” and you can turn in the vehicle at the end of the lease.

The lease contract calls for a lessee to have proper maintenance performed on the vehicle. If you’re taking over your own car when the lease expires, you already know how it’s been used and maintained.

Most off-lease vehicles have relatively low mileage with factory warranty remaining. Others, with the more appealing prices, may have been longer leases. Unless the lessee opted for an extended warranty, no coverage remains at turn-in time. This we learned from a friend that works at a dealer in Aurora, IL.

The higher the mileage the more important it is for the buyer to be sure what he or she is buying. While the new car dealer may sell the vehicle with his own warranty it is wise to examine carefully the terms. Many a used vehicle owner has discovered, to his dismay, that the needed repair is not covered.

For this reason, the Car Care Council suggests the buyer have a higher mileage lease car, as with any other used car, carefully inspected by a qualified technician.

Even a newer car, says the Council, may have undiscovered wear or damage that could show up after the car has been driven for a short time. One shining example is the vulnerable CV joint, a rubber boot that covers the flexing joint that delivers power from the transaxle to the wheels. Another is brake pads which, through abnormal use, could be worn.

The Council offers a pamphlet, entitled “AN ANNUAL PHYSICAL FOR YOUR CAR?” that lists some of the more important areas under the hood and around the car to be checked.

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