Are Leased Cars Well Maintained? (Checked & Explained)

Perhaps you intend to buy a previously leased car, or you want to lease one yourself but have doubts.

They tell you leasing has a lot of perks, but you know there are downsides to it too.

This may be the most important question about leasing after expenses.

Allow us to satisfy your curiosity.

Here’s the short answer to whether leased cars are well maintained:

Many people prioritize maintenance of their leased cars because of the strict contract terms. The leasing company no doubt inspects the cars upon return. If they believe the client neglected due maintenance, they’d charge a hefty penalty.

What Are Leased Cars?

Leasing a car is like renting one. The major difference is that it occurs over a longer period. It is the intermediary method used to enjoy vehicles, in between buying and renting.

When you buy a car, you own it after you make all payments in full. When you lease, however, you’ll make regular payments and drive the car for a set time.

This means you never actually own the car, and you’d have to return it to the dealer at some point.

An advantage of leasing a car is that the leasing company may also offer standard maintenance at no extra cost. With such deals, you can see that leased cars usually get their fair share of maintenance.

How Often Do Leased Cars Breakdown?

Leased cars hardly break down, as their sole purpose is to satisfy customers, while taking their money, of course.

A major reason they’re that way is because they have excellent maintenance schedules. Most leased cars are also brand new and are usually covered by manufacturer’s warranty.

Still, an unlikely situation might occur, and your leased car would develop a fault. Simply take it to a trusted dealership across the country for repair under warranty. If it’s a severe breakdown, your number one option is to call roadside assistance.

This would usually be part of your warranty. Since most leased cars are new, you’d encounter little or no difficulty on the highway. Unless, of course, your car brand is unreliable.

Also, remember leasing comes with its own maintenance package and there are several packages to choose from. Whatever the case, sometimes, the standard package is enough to get you back on the road.

There’s no need to spend excessively on redundant options.

However, you should also know that leased cars come with mileage limits per year and other restrictions can follow.

If you violate any of the conditions in your leasing contract, they may disqualify you to receive such services. It could get worse.

Do Leasing Companies Guarantee Few Breakdowns?

Of course, most leasing companies claim to have cars that wouldn’t breakdown incessantly.

They rarely put it on paper, though, since there are circumstances beyond their control. However, given their strict maintenance schedules, we have to give them credit for their efforts.

Again, no matter the severity of the damage, contact the dealership to pick up the vehicle. It’s best to hear from them first to know if your contract covers it or not.

Most car manufacturers have leasing schemes and they often have 2 to 3 year coverage standard on their cars. This makes maintenance practically free for the duration of the lease.

Most of the time, the vehicle you lease will still be covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. This means you won’t have to foot the bill for many expensive repairs. That’s as long as it’s not an accident.

Part of the appeal of a car lease is that you have very little financial responsibility for keeping the vehicle running. Your warranty, insurance policy and the leasing company pay for most repairs and maintenance.

We can hear your thoughts. Why are they so kind?

Well, cars often lose over 20% of their value in the first year. Over the next four years, they can lose an additional 40% of their value. That’s about 10% loss every year.

The depreciation is bad enough. That’s why they preserve the car as best as they can during your lease period.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Adding Coverage on a Leased Car

You can always pay for extra coverage when leasing a car. Some might make sense to get, while others are redundant, since you also have your personal insurance.


Here are some advantages of adding coverage on a leased car:

  • No surprise costs during your lease term.
  • You’re covered should anything go wrong or wear out, no matter how severe.
  • Keep your vehicle healthy without worrying about the cost.
  • Complete peace of mind driving.


Here are some disadvantages of adding coverage on a leased car:

  • May not get your money’s worth if you don’t do a lot of miles.
  • Increases your monthly payment.
  • You may end up wasting money at the end of your lease period.

What Happens If a Leased Car Breaks Down Too Much?

Returning a leased car isn’t easy even if it breaks down too often.

When you sign a lease, you may have a grace period in which you can return the car without penalties.

However, that’s typically within 24 to 48 hours. There may also be a contingency period during which you can return the car, but that’s specific to your contract.

Another option would be to get the car lemon as determined by the laws in your state. Every state has laws regarding what they consider a lemon vehicle. If your car is so terrible that it can be considered a lemon, that’ll be your best option.

The dealers will have to give you a new ride.

However, the car would need to have undergone a significant number of repairs, with no luck. The problems must also be significant ones. If your car satisfies these criteria, you can get another one.

However, you’d need proof, so be sure to keep all the repair records.

Also, the damages may not be severe or you may have finally found a permanent solution to it. In such a case, you can transfer your lease to someone else. The person will then continue with the payments till the lease period ends.

The same rules will apply and you aren’t off the hook till the period is over. That’s because if the person defaults on the payment, the hefty fines come back to haunt you. Hence, you should only transfer a lease to someone you trust.

Your last option would be to back out of the lease. This comes with hefty fees and could affect your credit score. However, if your car is so damaged, it’s a better option than risking your life driving an impaired vehicle.

To avoid frequent breakdown of your leased car, it’s necessary to take care of it as much as you can. Always check your tires, engine and transmission.

Related: Are Tires Included For Leased Cars? (Explained)

Do Leasing Companies Pick You Up When the Car Breaks Down?

Leasing companies can pick you up, but do you really need them to?

There are usually several parties that can pick you up if your car breaks down. The leasing company is one of them. Your manufacturer offers road side assistance and although it may not cover serious damages, you’d get a ride.

Of course, you may have paid for such coverage when leasing the car. That’s why you should go through the leasing options carefully to avoid paying for something you’ve already paid for.

After reading, find out if you can select distinct services to pay for. Different companies would have different policies.

Related: Do Leased Cars Come With Roadside Assistance? (Checked)

How Quickly Do You Get a Leased Car Back When Being Repaired?

The overall process is normally swift and shouldn’t take much of your time under the best circumstances.

However, the promptness of getting your car back depends on a lot of factors. One of the most important factors is the severity of the damage to the car. No matter how top-rated the dealership is, if the problem is too severe, they can’t do much regarding speed.

If you’re lucky and there aren’t many cars to fix, they could fix yours in a few hours. Under great conditions, the paperwork could even take longer than the repairs.

Note that these repairs will usually be granted only if a car component fails. The leasing company or manufacturer isn’t responsible if you’re in an accident unless your coverage somehow covers it.

Do Leasing Car Companies Offer a Substitute Car During Repairs?

This partly depends on the contract signed with the leasing company and the cause of repairs.

If it’s not an accident and it’s covered under warranty, the leasing company may offer a substitute car during repairs.

They would usually provide a substitute car if the repair is going to take a while. If they don’t offer a substitute car, maybe they believe the repair will be done soon.

Repairs differ from maintenance. A repair deals with fixing any component that fails. Maintenance, however, prolongs the life of such components.

Do not expect a replacement car when they pick yours up for maintenance.

Related: How Do Car Leasing Companies Make Money? (Checked)

Final Thoughts

Although most leased cars are well maintained, there are still exceptions. So if you intend buying a used leased car, ensure you conduct thorough checks and make no exceptions.

If you intend leasing a car, it takes a lot of the stress away from you in terms of maintenance. However, you’d need a bigger budget to cope. This is because you’ll still pay for the strict maintenance indirectly.

They just trick you into thinking it comes at no extra cost. Before deciding, calculate the long-term costs, also find out all you can about the legal implications.

Was this article helpful? Like Dislike

Click to share...

Did you find wrong information or was something missing?
We would love to hear your thoughts! (PS: We read ALL feedback)