So, you leased a car and all of a sudden your lease is over – now what do you do? You’ve got a couple 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 requiredto 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 lease 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 kilometer 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 or read their fact sheet about lease-end buy outs.

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.

ADDITIONAL READING:

Buying or leasing a car – what’s right for you?
Can I Return a New Car?