Which of the following is not a cost typically associated with owning a car?
c) Wear and tear fees
Wear and Tear fees
Leasing can be a good strategy for keeping a new vehicle in good condition for a few years. A dealership will inspect your vehicle when you turn it in. The dealership’s representative will evaluate your vehicle for wear and tear during this inspection. It is possible to be charged fees if wear and tear exceeds reasonable use. Car leases do not give a lessee any ownership rights over the leased vehicle. The leasing company owns the car, and the lessee pays just for the right to drive it. Because of this, most lease contracts stipulate what condition the car must arrive back in once the lease is over. When a vehicle is returned damaged or in poor condition, most leasing companies charge the lessee a wear and tear fee.
Check your lease agreement to find out what kind of condition your car should be in at the end of your lease. Be objective when evaluating the condition of your leased car. Your leasing company may charge you wear and tear fees when you return it if it is in unreasonably poor condition.Buying the leased car at the end of the lease does not require you to pay wear and tear fees. Leasing companies do not care about the condition of your vehicle when you buy it. This is one of the benefits of leasing.
The wear and tear charges of some leasing companies have been accused of being excessive. There will always be some bad apples in any business, and it is probably more common than you think when the leasing company has the legal authority to charge you for wear and tear. You should request a detailed written estimate of the specific damages along with the repair costs if you feel there is excessive wear and tear on the vehicle.
Normal Wear and Tear Fees in a Car
A lease contract usually describes the normal wear and tear of the car. This is typically a minor damage that doesn’t reduce the value of the vehicle significantly. Common examples include brakes, light bulbs, and minor scratches. As part of routine maintenance, you may need to replace your tires, light bulbs, and brakes.
You should get your car repaired before returning it if there’s been more extensive damage caused by an accident or another event, such as extreme weather. As part of your lease, you’re required to carry full coverage car insurance, which may cover this damage.
Excess Wear and Tear Fees in a Car
If you damage the vehicle, you will usually be charged for it. Depending on which is cheaper, you may be liable for the cost of repairing or replacing the vehicle. Depending on the terms of your contract, the company might state what it considers “excessive wear and tear,” while other companies might charge for what they consider “reasonable” wear and tear. Damage due to excessive wear and tear includes scratches, a bad color match, bumper damage, sanding marks, and body damage bigger than 2 inches in diameter. Excesses of wear and tear include cracks, broken glasses, cuts, tears, and stains that measure more than 1/2 inch. The paint is also considered damaged if there are four or more dents or scratches.
A vehicle’s wear and tear can affect your liability under most open-end leases. Unless the deficiency in the actual vehicle value and the residual value is greater than 3 base monthly payments, you can expect to be charged excessive wear-and-tear charges if you return the vehicle. Whether a lessor can collect residual deficiency charges without bringing legal action may be limited by the three-payment rule. The three-payment rule is explained in detail in the glossary entry Open-end lease.
A lease agreement defines excessive wear and tear as wear that exceeds the standards. Wear-and-tear standards are generally spelled out in the lease. These standards must be reasonable. No matter if a vehicle is leased or purchased, excess wear and tear usually decreases its value. Suppose you return your vehicle in a certain condition, and your residual value will be based on that assumption. If you want to avoid paying an excessive wear charge at lease termination, you should be aware of the lessor’s wear-and-tear standards and follow them.
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