When you signed the lease on your car, you may have had visions of road trips floating through your head. It’s a great way to take a vacation, especially when you know it’s not really “your car” that’s going to have a little wear and tear. However, one of the biggest mistakes made with leased cars is going over the mileage.
Every lease is different, and if you enjoy frequent road trips a high mileage lease is probably for you. These leases let you go farther and add more miles on the car with slightly higher monthly payments—but no risk of a penalty at the end of the lease.
When taking a road trip, take a look at your lease. Hopefully, drivers are calculating how many miles on average they drive per month. If so, it should be pretty easy to see if it’s reasonable to take the trip and finish the lease without going over the miles. If not, simply divide the miles you’ve put on the vehicle with how many months or weeks you’ve had it. Leave plenty of buffer room. You never know when a sudden out of town trip may be in order.
If there’s no way to take your leased vehicle without going over, you may be able to negotiate and change your lease to a high mile option. Ask the leasing company, because it’s not possible for all vehicles. However, it’s more common if the lease is relatively new. Otherwise, you may be better off renting a car and saving your miles. If this is the route you take, make sure the rental car has a good gas mileage and you’re allowed to take it to every stop along your road trip.
Leased vehicles, just like any other vehicle, needs a little prep work before a long trip. Make sure there’s plenty of tread on the tires. A check-up with the mechanic and running a diagnostics test will let you know if there are any lurking problems. Leased cars can often be taken to the dealership for a low-cost and sometimes even free check-up. Nobody wants to be stranded on a road trip, particularly when some breakdowns can be very dangerous.
Unlike owned or financed vehicles, it’s usually not a possibility to add accessories like roof racks or trailer hitches to leased cars. However, these add-ons may be a necessity for some trips. You can always ask the owner of the lease to see.
In some cases, these additions can be seen as increasing the value of the leased vehicle and approved. However, you may need to allow the lease owner to choose the type and installation shop for the additions.
Leased vehicles can certainly go on road trips, however some precautions need to be taken. Remember that these cars are on loan, not owned. They need to be kept at relatively low miles and in good condition so they can be re-leased or sold in the future.
High mileage leases are one of the best ways to travel in a leased vehicle without causing any worries. Map out the trip in advance and know exactly how many miles you plan to drive—then add on an additional ten percent. You don’t want to avoid side trips or sudden changes to the route just to stay within your given miles.