What are your responsibilities and rights when leasing a car?

Leasing a car

The following information assumes you're talking about a closed-end lease, the most common type of vehicle lease. With a closed-end lease, you may return the vehicle at the end of the lease term, pay any end-of-lease costs and walk away.

When you lease a vehicle, you have the right to use it for an agreed-upon number of months and miles turn it in at lease end, pay any end-of-lease fees and charges, and "walk away." You may buy the vehicle if you have a purchase option. Take advantage of any warranties, recalls, or other services that apply to the vehicle.

When leasing a car you may be responsible for:

  • Excess mileage charges when you return the vehicle. Your lease agreement will tell you how many miles you can drive before you must pay for extra miles and how much the per-mile charge will be.
  • Excess wear charges when you return the vehicle. The standards for excess wear, such as for body damage or worn tires, are in your lease agreement.
  • Substantial payments if you end the lease early. The earlier you end the lease, the greater these charges are likely to be.