So, you leased a car and all of a sudden your lease is over – now what do you do? You’ve got a couple of options! While this isn’t an area we oversee, we’ve gathered some information from the Vehicle Sales Authority of BC (VSA) about your options and some facts to consider once your lease is over.
1. You can return the vehicle.
If you choose to return your vehicle at the end of your lease you can do so with no further obligations. You are, however, responsible for any damage or excess mileage charges that may have been laid out in your original agreement. The cost of the vehicle is usually determined by a residual value or amount agreed upon in your original lease agreement.
2. You can purchase the vehicle.
Once you do this, the dealer is required to ensure that the vehicle meets the minimum requirements (including safety). This can be done in a variety of ways (past service records, a provincial Private Vehicle Inspection, or a previous warranty inspection). Unless it is specified in your agreement, you are not required to have or pay for a formal vehicle inspection done (it is just considered a best practice). You are also not required to have the inspection done at the dealership.
Before you sign another lease
The VSA suggests that before you sign a lease agreement you read the agreement carefully and ensure you know what costs are associated with returning the vehicle at lease-end, and what the costs will be if you decide to purchase. It is also important to consider any possible penalties if you end the lease early, exceed kilometre limits, or need excessive repair work. If you inquire about this from the beginning you know what to expect and there won’t be any surprises or hidden costs.
For more information on your rights and obligations around leasing a vehicle, you can visit the VSA website.
About Consumer Protection BC
We are responsible for regulating specific industries and certain consumer transactions in British Columbia. If your concern is captured under the laws we enforce, we will use the tools at our disposal to assist you. If we can’t help you directly, we will be happy to provide you with as much information as possible. Depending on your concern, another organization may be the ones to speak to; other times, court or legal assistance may be the best option. Explore our website at www.consumerprotectionbc.ca.
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14 thoughts on “What to consider when your car lease is ending”
My friend is ready to buyout her car leased (Honda civic) for 3 years.
Honda said they have a new policy from last year to do vehicle inspection for buyout car of course that policy is not on the contract.
If she does not agree to do vehicle inspection (over $400), Honda could not sell the car to her.
She is frustrated now and needs your advice.
Thank you for your time ahead.
Hi Joanne, thank you for reaching out to us here. It sounds like your friends issue is related to a licensed dealership. If that’s the case, the best people to talk to are the folks from the Vehicle Sales Authority of BC. They licence and regulate dealerships in the province. Here’s a link to their contact info: https://mvsabc.com/contact-us/. I hope this is helpful and best of luck!
Im in a 4 year lease contract. But due to financial set back , I would like to return the car early. Im now running in my 19months.
Would it be possible to return the car?
Hi Earnweald, thanks for your question. I think the folks you would want to talk to about that would be the dealership you leased from. If you can’t come to a resolution with the dealership, you may be interested in contacting the Vehicle Sales Authority (VSA), who oversees dealerships in the province. Here’s a link to their website, if you’re unsuccessful in getting information from the dealership themselves: https://mvsabc.com/. While we regulate and licence 7 industries and oversee specific consumer protection laws, we have no authority when it comes to car leases or vehicle dealerships. I hope this helps and best of luck!
I am going to purchase my vehicle (Lexus) at the end of the lease term. The dealer is asking for 1) Vehicle inspection fee of $148.95 2) Administration of $595 3) Purchase option fee of $300. I understand I need to pay the inspection fee & purchase option fee which shown in the lease contract. I don’t see in the lease agreement that I have to pay the admin. fee to the dealer. Does the deal have a right to charge me the admin fee when I buyout my vehicle? thanks in advance.
Hi James! Thanks for your question. I think the folks you would want to talk to about this would be the Vehicle Sales Authority (they regulate dealerships in BC). Feel free to use the link I shared in the blog post to find their website and contact info. Best of luck!
What is the cost for safety check at lease end on 2019 Encore with 9100 km?
Hi Keith, if you have questions about your lease agreement and how much things will cost, it may be best to contact the car dealership directly.
I have 1 more year on my lease to Nissan and have decided to switch to a Honda. How complicated is it to switch my lease to another dealership? I am under my km. I understand the companies are co-owned. Are there any hidden charges I should be aware of?
Hi Lori, thanks for reaching out to us here. We gathered this information from the Vehicle Sales Authority of BC. They would be the best people to speak to about any concerns or rights you may have when it comes to vehicles sales at dealerships. Here’s a link to their website: https://mvsabc.com/. I hope this helps and best of luck!
When buying a car with debit (cash), and previous owner leased the car, then decided to sell it instead of returning or buying out. The owner made a post on Cragislist. Now the dealership is charging documentation fee and I am wondering who is supposed to pay that fee (legally), the owner who was leasing or me as a private buyer? Thank you
Hi Juia, thank you for getting in touch! You may want to direct your question to Vehicle Sales Authority (VSA) as they license and regulate the car dealerships in BC. Here is their website. Best of luck to you!
I am buying out my Mazda at the end of its lease term. My lease agreement says I “must pay … any fees or costs related to the change of registered ownership and the safety certification of the vehicle”. The dealership says the safety inspection will cost $695.00 which seems really high to me. Is it possible for me to get my car safety inspected somewhere else for cheaper? BCAA does pre-purchase inspections for $199, and safety inspections for $99 so I’m wondering if I can do that instead? Am I obliged to get the inspection done by Mazda? Thanks!
Hi Andrea, thank you for leaving us a message here. As we don’t regulate the vehicle industry, we are not sure if a safety inspection can be done at other places rather than the dealership-appointed one. Vehicle Sales Authority of BC is the regulator of the car dealerships in the province – they may have more information to share about this issue. Here is their website info. I hope they will be able to point you in the right direction!