I’m buying out my car lease. Do I have to pay these costs?

Photo: pixabay.com

Q. My car lease ended and I already signed a finance package with my dealership plus an additional care package that will have me paying about $500 plus per month to own the car. Now they furnished a list of items that I will need to address costing $1,500. Isn’t the dealer responsible for the repairs? I believe this should have been done by them before my purchase. What do you think?
— Annoyed driver

A. Lots of people are buying out their vehicle leases because supply chain issues have made cars hard to find.

For you, it’s all about the fine print.

While leasing contracts have many of the same components, there is no standard, so the details of what you signed will be specific to your contract, said Jeanne Kane, a certified financial planner with JFL Total Wealth Management in Boonton.

Depending on your contract you may be responsible for a disposition fee, which covers the cost to get the car ready to sell, she said. Some dealerships will eliminate this fee if you purchase the car, she said.

You may also be responsible for wear and tear.

The dealership can charge you for what it deemed excessive in the lease contract, Kane said. This could include maintenance.

Excessive mileage is something else for which you could be held responsible.

“Your lease contract may have stipulated that you were responsible for these fees and charges regardless of whether you took the buyout or not,” she said.

She recommends you challenge the charges and speak to the general manager.

“If it must get done, then it needs to be done,” she said. “You can have the work done by another auto service place. The dealership is not responsible to do work unless it is under warranty or a service contract.”

Email your questions to .

This story was originally published on July 13, 2022.

NJMoneyHelp.com presents certain general financial planning principles and advice, but should never be viewed as a substitute for obtaining advice from a personal professional advisor who understands your unique individual circumstances.