Car leasing question: who is responsible for repairs on a leased car?

I expect to get a lot of questions like this:

Perhaps you can address something I saw on Nissan’s site about leasing. I checked their lease deals and it says that the leasee would be responsible for all maintenance and repairs. That is the last thing I want. How do I negotiate that they will be responsible?

It is true – most car manufacturers use the fine print to tell us we are responsible for repairs, maintenance and excessive wear on our newly leased vehicles:

lease repairs maintenance

Yes, the lease contract stipulates that we have to pay for repairs if we crash our vehicle (or rip the leather on our seats)…

Because if the leasing company considers it to be more than normal wear and tear, they have the option to charge us.

But there is a fast and easy way around this… read below for my “hack.”

About maintenance…

This is another magic trick performed by the car industry…

Because I have yet to see any leasing company enforce this or charge a penalty for NOT performing maintenance.

Of course, there are “recommended” maintenances. That is all they are – “recommendations”. They are not mandatory.

Seriously. No one will know if we never changed the oil or replaced the cabin filter.

But even if their maintenance were mandatory, lease cars never need anything more than:

A one-time oil change
Today’s synthetic oil easily last 20,000 to 25,000 miles per change. This means the typical 36,000-mile lease requires just one change. And most leases include 2 FREE oil changes.

If oil changes are not included in the lease deal, here is my oil-change hack…

I grab a coupon for the cheapest oil change I can find. I visit the dealership and ask them to match it. They almost always do. This way, I get a top-notch oil change on the cheap.

Windshield wiper fluid and blade replacement
Blades typically wear out every 6 months, because we use cheap windshield wiper fluid.

To DRASTICALLY extend the life of windshield wiper blades, I use this premium windshield wiper fluid.

Tire rotation
This is the cheapest way to extend the life of our tires. I have this done with my one oil change.

The REAL reason lease companies scare us into “maintenance” is money and profit…

Because when we baby our leased car and turn it in, the dealership buys our off-leased car and bank a big-time profit. They “flip it” (usually the same day) and sell it on their used-car lot. They typically average a $4,000- to $5,000 cash profit on this flip.

This is why I almost NEVER trade in my leased car. This is one of the biggest leasing mistakes I see…

Instead, I sell back my off-leased car (to any dealership on the planet) and usually bank a profit.

Anyone can do this. Yet almost no one does.


The lease contract says our tires must have at least 3/16″ tread upon turning in our vehicle. Is this true?

It is true.

The lease company makes up their rules.

We sign their contract.

Rules are rules.


Each lease contract allows us to buy the car instead of turning it in. This voids virtually all the rules on the contract…

This is especially useful for those (like me) who drive more than the lease terms spell out…

Also, purchasing the lease helps us out if our car is “dinged up”…

I reveal how to sell back their leased vehicle for a profit about 7 months before the lease end. I find this is the sweet spot when they can sell their vehicle back to the dealership and make a nifty profit.

Do you have any of your famous tips on how to end my lease?

I sure do – sorted by car manufacturer here:

Alfa Romeo
Land Rover