Time for an Auto Lease Return?

Time for an Auto Lease Return

I usually blog about what is going on in my life (auto wise) and right now it is turning in my leased vehicle. The time is always bittersweet, “Yes! It’s time to get a new car!” and “What is the dealer going to charge me when I turn in my current vehicle?” This can be a little scary, and I don’t even abuse my car! It is really just the little things that happen during the leasing period.

I am happy to report I do not have any major dents or scratches, but you can find some door dings, a curbed wheel or two, and maybe some rock chips on my windshield. I think, “Great, what is this going to cost?” Well, it was time to start the process, so I reached for the phone and called the lease return number on the letter I received. They offered me some options, and I informed them that I will not be leasing the same brand of vehicle this time. The representative on the phone said, “Ok, call your dealer and make an appointment for the lease inspection when you are ready to turn in your car.”

Here is the Hint

Well I’ve learned over the years that you can request a “pre-inspection” and most likely it will be free. Keep in mind they may not offer this to you, but you should ask. Here are my thoughts, if I look over the car and bring it to an auto body shop and have them fix every door ding, dent, cracked reflector, rim, etc it could get expensive. After all, what if the lease return inspector is willing to accept reasonable wear and tear?

What are the Lease Inspectors Looking For?

  • Mechanical Issues
  • Dents, dings, scratches and scrapes and curbed wheels
  • Glass cracks, stars or excessive pitting
  • Excessive wear on tires or mismatched tires
  • Upholstery tears or stains that cannot be easily refurbished

The Pre-Inspection

I made my pre-lease inspection appointment and was able to find out exactly what needed to be repaired by an auto body repair shop. Surprisingly it was not as bad as I anticipated. The appointment was quick and pretty painless.

I Have the Repair List, What Now?

Fortunately, Airpark Collision Center is a one stop auto body shop in Scottsdale and the staff will take care of really minor items like door dings, small scratches, small auto parts and rim/wheel repair. Airpark Collision Center is known for repairing major collision damage, but never turns away small auto body repair jobs. Customer reviews on multiple sites, report competitive pricing.

You can stop in at Airpark Collision Center for an estimate, no appointment needed. Show the estimator the list or tell them what you would like repaired. He will print out an itemized list of each item, so you can competitively shop. Once you choose to have your work completed with ACC, simply make an appointment to drop off your vehicle.

Don’t Worry

Customers of Airpark Collision Center, (yes, I am one too) know that they can be confident that they will receive quality auto body repair work for the price. Once, the car is free of dents, door dings, scratches, etc. you can make the lease inspection appointment and turn in your vehicle.

A Couple More Tips:

Don’t forget, any new damage between pre-lease inspection and the final inspection might be seen, so be careful! Also, keep in mind you may still be on the hook for other costs like additional mileage and a return fee. Unfortunately I cannot help auto body repair shop customers with that aspect of the lease return…


  • Call the phone number on the letter regarding your lease return.
  • If you are planning on just turning it in, ask if you can make an appointment for a pre-lease inspection. Usually it is free, but ask if there is a charge.
  • Bring list of items to be repaired to Airpark Collision Center. We are confident we can help you and have the best prices at our auto body repair facility.
  • Pick up your vehicle from Airpark Collision Center, and schedule your final inspection and return with dealer.
  • Don’t be caught by surprise during a final inspection, you will be handed a bill with dealer repair costs. Taking advantage of a pre-lease inspection can save you hundreds of dollars.

Hopefully, you see why asking for a pre-lease inspection is worth your time. I’d hate to go straight to the final inspection and be given a bill for repairs to be made by the dealer! Airpark Collision Center is an independently owned auto body shop and we simply do not have the mark up on labor like a dealership, in addition we consistently demonstrate excellent customer service and offer a lifetime guarantee on our repair work.

Tina Small has been part of the Airpark Collision Center team since 2006. Working directly with customers, her goal is to share frequent customer questions, and proper methods of collision repair.