What happens if I don't repair my lease car?

If you don't repair your car before returning it to a lease company, you are really throwing caution to the wind. You will have to pay for any devaluation from excessive wear and tear, and you will be relinquishing all control of what you pay.

The lease company will tally up any and all damage to the car and from a list, they will pull a price for repair, repair and repaint or replacement.

If the total cost of repairs is under a threshold, then they probably won't charge you, but if it goes over, they will hit you with the whole bill. 

With many kinds of damage, there are various levels of repair. For example, if you have a scratch on your bonnet, it might be able to cheaply polish it out. If it is a deep scratch, it might be possible to polish out most of it and touch in the rest, making a large scratch a small scratch which avoids a recharge -- often you don't know until you try. However, if you leave it and send the car back, the lease company doesn't have the option to try various cost effective methods of repair, they will just charge you the cost of repair-and-repaint.

To be fair to the lease company, if you had your bonnet repaired and repainted, the correct way would be to blend the paintwork over the front wings, which means you would actually be paying to have three panels repainted, so if they only charge you for the bonnet, the cost of the recharge is likely to be less than the cost of a real world repair. However, it is likely to be 3-4 times more expensive than having a detailer buff it out with a machine polisher.

If you have the work carried out before the car goes back, there are often ways to greatly reduce costs or even avoid charges completely. You lose all these options if you just send your car back as it is. 

Written by Danny Argent. Last updated 16/06/2022 15:51