One of the chief differences between buying and leasing a car is the mileage restriction dealerships place on leased vehicles.
These limits are there for a reason. Cars lose value as you drive them. The more you drive, the more your car’s value depreciates.
That’s why dealerships charge extra for drivers who go over their mileage limit. It’s a way of recouping the added loss of value.
Sadly, many drivers find themselves going past their mileage limit, and aren’t sure what to do next.
How can I tell if I’m going over the mileage limit in my lease?
It’s a pretty simple calculation. Look at the miles you’ve put on your car and divide that figure by the number of months you’ve had the car.
Let’s say you’re allowed 12,000 miles a year. You’ve had the car for 18 months. If you’ve put just 17,000 miles on the odometer, you’re still under your limit. If you’re at, say, 22,000 miles and still have another year and half to go on your lease…you may have a problem.
What can I do to avoid going over?
If it seems like you’re going to exceed the mileage restrictions on your lease, there are some things you can do to avoid paying extra when you return your car:
- If you know you’ll be taking a long trip – say a road trip for work, or a family vacation – consider renting a car.
- Find more direct routes whenever possible.
- Spend less time on the road. Commute to work with a carpool, or by public transportation. If neither of those options work, see if you can work from home.
- If your lease contract allows for another driver in your family, swap cars with them from time to time if you know they have shorter commutes.
- Start saving now to cover the cost of an overage.
Can I just buy extra miles?
At Prime Motor Car, we offer leases up to 15,000 and 18,000 miles, but also offer drivers the option of purchasing what is known as an extra mileage lease.
These extra miles can’t be purchased once your lease begins. It’s something you’ll need to do before signing, based on your estimate for how many extra miles you think you’ll need.
Paying for added miles can be less costly than paying a fee for going over when your lease is up. And some companies can give you a refund for unused miles.
If you have questions about our leasing options, call us today at 561-997-2886. We’re confident we’ll be able to put you in a car you love.