Tips for returning the vehicle at the end of the lease

End of lease - vehicle return - what should you consider?

The leasing period comes to an end, the return of the vehicle is approaching. What needs to be considered when returning a leasing vehicle so that there are no nasty and usually expensive surprises? If you follow the following tips for returning the vehicle at the end of the lease, you can look forward to the appointment with confidence.

When signing the leasing contract

Preparing for a vehicle return at the end of the leasing period actually begins with the signing of the leasing contract. When concluding the leasing contract, you should make sure that the residual value is not set utopian high. Low leasing rates are usually very tempting, but the fixed residual value cannot usually be achieved in these cases. When you return it, you expect high costs and mostly endless discussion. A realistic residual value results in slightly higher leasing rates, but the residual value is realistic and achievable at the end of the leasing period.

During the leasing period - follow the tips for returning the vehicle now

Signs of usage

Of course, no dealer expects you to return a vehicle that is like a new car after the leasing period. Slight signs of wear and tear cannot be avoided over time and of course increase depending on the length of the leasing period. These normal signs of wear include minor scratches without deep damage to the paint or signs of wear on the rims. These signs of wear are not normally billed separately and should not give you a headache.

Repairs to the leasing vehicle

It is advisable to have worn and defective vehicle parts replaced promptly for every vehicle, but especially for a leased vehicle. This avoids a backlog of repairs at the end of the leasing period, which is usually associated with higher costs. Worn and defective vehicle parts can cause damage and result in consequential damage. Repairs are becoming more and more expensive. Carrying out repairs in a timely manner or having worn parts replaced ensures that the vehicle retains its value. Expensive surprises when returning the vehicle at the end of the leasing period can thus be avoided. With SMART repairs, minor damage can be eliminated beforehand at low cost. The repairs should, however, meet the requirements of the lessor.

Adhere to inspection dates

It generally pays off if a vehicle is maintained according to the inspection intervals recommended by the manufacturer. This applies, of course, or above all to leased vehicles. By keeping to the inspection dates, you ensure that any minor defects that may exist can be discovered and remedied promptly. Maintenance and thus an essential part of care is also guaranteed. An example of this is the regular oil change. It is ensured that the engine is not damaged by oil that is too old. Of course, this applies to all contents of the inspection. It serves to maintain the value of the vehicle and this becomes apparent at the end of the leasing period at the latest.

Regular maintenance of the leasing vehicle

The outside cleaning

Of course, you don't have to spend your weekends and all your free time in the car wash or polishing the vehicle with it. Nevertheless, thorough external and internal cleaning should be carried out every now and then. Dirt such as bird droppings, pollen, dust and insects damage the paint. Preparing the paint is significantly more expensive than washing it in a car. If the paint damage is already too large, washing the car is no longer sufficient. If the paint is completely damaged, reprocessing is no longer enough.

The interior cleaning

The interior should also be cleaned thoroughly from time to time. So the dirt does not settle at all and at the end of the leasing period the interior does not have to be polished for hours. The longer dirt and odors can accumulate, the more difficult they are to remove. When returning a leased vehicle, the same applies as almost everywhere, the first impression counts. If the appraiser encounters a rolling rubbish dump, he will certainly subject the vehicle to a particularly thorough inspection. And if you search, you will usually find what you are looking for. Impress when you return your leased vehicle with a clean and well-maintained vehicle.

The day of vehicle return at the end of the lease is approaching

Prepare yourself thoroughly for the return of your leased vehicle. In addition to repairs and cleaning your vehicle, it can be helpful to have the vehicle assessed by an independent appraiser. This is especially true if you don't know yourself very well. Take photos and in an emergency you will have proof of the condition of the vehicle. A comparison object, for example a coin, helps to document smaller scratches or the like.

The day of return - tips for returning the vehicle

Take your time on the day you return the vehicle. This should not take place with the stopwatch between two appointments. You must sign numerous documents and forms and should read them. The devil is often in the details here too. If you are unsure of what the content means, ask. When you return it, you should always take a witness with you. Your dealer will also not appear alone. A person you trust gives you security and may also be able to advise you. In an emergency, you still have someone who can confirm your statements. In general, ask for a copy of all documents, especially if you have signed something.

Claims and disputes

If there are high claims when returning your leased vehicle, check these claims and their proportionality and justification. A complete repainting of a vehicle due to a smaller scratch is certainly disproportionate. Find out about the market situation before returning. In an emergency, if you cannot agree with the dealer, you have the option to find a buyer yourself. Clauses in your contract that prohibit you from selling are generally ineffective. If you cannot find a solution, check the leasing contract again if necessary, if necessary also with the help of a lawyer for illegal clauses.


As a general rule, serious dealers usually do not have insurmountable problems, and there are not always disputes and discussions. A leasing contract usually does not involve any more risks than financing or cash purchase of the vehicle. Usually the dealer wants to keep you as a customer. Pay attention to the tips for returning the vehicle at the end of the leasing period and look forward to the return day in a relaxed manner. Impress the appraiser with a clean, well-kept car and, to be on the safe side, have a professional carry out the cleaning before returning it. In the best case scenario, you have already thought of returning the vehicle when you signed it. Otherwise, it helps to follow the tips for returning the vehicle during the leasing period and on the day of the return at the latest. Under these conditions you don't need to worry, the dealer will be happy about a well-maintained vehicle and a loyal customer.