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Discussion Starter #1
I was just wondering - what happens if you do alot of mods to a car and then return it after a lease?

Do they have clauses in the lease agreements that "ding" you somehow if the car is non stock?

I would assume that some people have done stuff like put on body kits and then tell the leasing company, "I spend $3K on that body kit so the car should be worth more", but the leasing company things "that is an ugly body kit and we will have more trouble selling this car than if it was stock".

I have never leased a car, and do not plan to, but I was just curious about this.
 

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The lease will most likely say that you cannot modify the car without the leasing company's prior approval. Such clauses are similar to those routinely put in your apartment leases. So, not only will they not give you any money for the mods, but they might actually penalize you for putting all this stuff on (assuming it is not removable once you put it on).

Btw, when is your car coming in?
 

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I remember my first leasing experience: 95 Mazda 626. Didn't know much about leasing, and the dealer snowed me over by adding a 10-disc changer, alloys, etc. Didn't that drive up the price, I asked. Sure, but it also drives up the residual, so you're actually lowering your lease payment, he says.

I don't think it was that simple, and I think i got boned somewhat. But I think that's what dealers try to do--pad your car with all these extras, trying to tell you that it raises the residual. However, generally add-ons do not increase the value of your car, and more often than not will drop the value after 2~3 years even more. (I'm thinking, if I want to buy a used car, am I going to want a stock one that I can customize to my tastes, or a pre-modded one, which probably means the thing was abused!)

If you want to mod your lease car, I suggest using removable components. Besides, who wants to blow big $$ on a car they're only going to have for a couple of years?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the answers - *but* what exactly do they do if you have modified the car.

Lets say that you can't fix the mods, like you did an engine swap or something - can they force you to buy the car because you voided the contract?

I suppose once and a while they get someone who intended to buy the car when the lease is up, but spent all their money on mods, then couldn't afford to pay for the car - so the lease company would have to reposses the car even though it was modified... True?
 

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Originally posted by TEG:
Thanks for the answers - *but* what exactly do they do if you have modified the car.

Lets say that you can't fix the mods, like you did an engine swap or something - can they force you to buy the car because you voided the contract?

I suppose once and a while they get someone who intended to buy the car when the lease is up, but spent all their money on mods, then couldn't afford to pay for the car - so the lease company would have to reposses the car even though it was modified... True?
It depends on your contract TEG. If you have a closed end lease you must return the car at the end of the term in a condition that is worth the residual value est in the contract. If you have mods then YES they are worth NOTHING unless its something worth it. i.e OEM equipment. alloy rims, cd changer, ect.

Now during the lease you can modify the car as long as it is "LEGAL" It must pass all local/state/federal laws at all times.

Yes there are times when someone does not pay for their lease and then looses out of the deal by getting their car repossesed. Now in a situation like that the bank will have to either try to sell it to a dealer or take off the mods and get the OEM parts back on. That is why most dealers will give you a crappy trade in on a car when it is lowered because they take in the price to take it back to OEM specs.

If you are worried about the lease then do as I do .. Keep all OEM important parts. I got my springs, header, exhaust, intake, shifter, and rims for my daily driver so If I decide to trade it back in I can put the OEM parts back and sell the aftermarket parts and not loose my ass off.

You need to find out on your lease if you can purhase the vehicle at any time.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well, my original quesion is only 1/2 answered.

Reminder: I am not leasing, not do I plan to do it.


----
Let me pose the question another way:

I know that the lease has conditions on mileage and leaving the car stock, & you are required to carry insurance so that any crash damage (or theft recovery) is covered. But what about other things not specifically mentioned on the lease... Lets say you returned the car with low miles, basically stock but the seats had alot of cigarette burns or paint stains? Does the contract typically have a way that some outside 3rd party can determine the reduced value and then they charge you for the "damage"?
Also when you turn the car back in are you expecting to get money back from the leasing company and they will reduce that ammount based on over mileage or damage? Are there conditions where you would be required to pay them extra $ when you return the car (lets say you drive 5x the allowed mileage?).

Just curious about how leasing really works.
 

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Well the reason why only 1/2 of your question is answered is because there are 2 kinds of lease.

Closed end and Open end lease.

So let me answer the questions for you in both situations. ( of course the contract states the real conditions )

1.I was just wondering - what happens if you do alot of mods to a car and then return it after a lease?

A. If you turn it back in with an closed end lease you will get charged to bring back the car to OEM specs. If you have an open end lease you are better off selling the car to a private party for what you owe on the lease.

2.Do they have clauses in the lease agreements that "ding" you somehow if the car is non stock?
A Yes if they find out (which never happens)

3. I would assume that some people have done stuff like put on body kits and then tell the leasing company, "I spend $3K on that body kit so the car should be worth more", but the leasing company things "that is an ugly body kit and we will have more trouble selling this car than if it was stock".
A. Worth $0 unless it is a factory upgrade i.e. OEM spoiler and under body kit.

4.But what about other things not specifically mentioned on the lease...
A. Nothing is not listed on the lease. It contains all the fine legal print.

5.Lets say you returned the car with low miles, basically stock but the seats had alot of cigarette burns or paint stains?
A. Well here is thing about leases. If you decide to turn in the car. well they dealer can negotiate the price for the fix on the seats if you buy another car from them So lets say you have a $500 over mileage penality, what you do is tell them to waive it since you are going to purchase another car from them and 99% of the time they will. And it is up to the bank/dealer to determine if the cost is adjusted for the low miles.

6.Does the contract typically have a way that some outside 3rd party can determine the reduced value and then they charge you for the "damage"?
A. Nope.. you can always take it to a 3rd party prior to turning it in to get a projected cost.

7.Also when you turn the car back in are you expecting to get money back from the leasing company and they will reduce that ammount based on over mileage or damage? Are there conditions where you would be required to pay them extra $ when you return the car (lets say you drive 5x the allowed mileage?).
A. NO money back unless you sell the car under an open end lease. If you have a closed end lease then you can negotiate the price of the vehicle trade in. You are required to pay the overages on the lease to the bank no matter what you do if you went over. even if it is 1 mile they will ding you.

TEG the questions you are asking are kind of hard to answer because there is no one answer for it. I have dealt with leases and have learned how they work If you want you can e-mail me for further details on what options you have and other situations.

[email protected]
 

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"Lets say you returned the car with low miles, basically stock but the seats had alot of cigarette burns or paint stains?
A. Well here is thing about leases. If you decide to turn in the car. well they dealer can negotiate the price for the fix on the seats if you buy another car from them So lets say you have a $500 over mileage penality, what you do is tell them to waive it since you are going to purchase another car from them and 99% of the time they will. And it is up to the bank/dealer to determine if the cost is adjusted for the low miles."


That's not entirely true. Depending on your lease you may have a damage waiver provision. For instance if you have a damage waiver provision of $1000, any damage to a car estimated up to $1000 will be waived. A lease I recently saw said that if you do not agree with the dealership's estimate, you may do another estimate wherever you want, and I think the dealership has a choice of either letting you fix it there or lowering their estimate accordingly. Did I answer the question?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yeah - thanks guys! I think I get the idea.

Basically everything should be covered in the lease agreement, and you have to read it carefully to know all the details. I bet once and a while something wacky happens, at which point they will revise the wording of future leases until (eventually) "nothing ever slips through the cracks".
 

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Originally posted by Lost_soul:
"Lets say you returned the car with low miles, basically stock but the seats had alot of cigarette burns or paint stains?
A. Well here is thing about leases. If you decide to turn in the car. well they dealer can negotiate the price for the fix on the seats if you buy another car from them So lets say you have a $500 over mileage penality, what you do is tell them to waive it since you are going to purchase another car from them and 99% of the time they will. And it is up to the bank/dealer to determine if the cost is adjusted for the low miles."


That's not entirely true. Depending on your lease you may have a damage waiver provision. For instance if you have a damage waiver provision of $1000, any damage to a car estimated up to $1000 will be waived. A lease I recently saw said that if you do not agree with the dealership's estimate, you may do another estimate wherever you want, and I think the dealership has a choice of either letting you fix it there or lowering their estimate accordingly. Did I answer the question?

We Both did ..basically you have to read the Lease contract. Yet the only thing about a lease is if you want Open end or closed end.
 
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