What Happens If I Exceed My Mileage Limit on a Leased Vehicle?

If you go over the set mileage agreed upon under your car lease contract, there is no need to panic. You simply need to consider your options and decide on the most convenient solution, especially if you exceed the mileage limit on a leased vehicle.

Leasing companies get cars returned to them with the odometer showing more than the agreed miles. If you didn’t discuss the possibility of exceeding your mileage limit during the contact stage, learn what to do below. 

What to Do If You Exceed Your Mileage Limit 

The best way to avoid an overcharge on extra miles when leasing a car is to discuss your options at the start. Regardless, all hope is not lost if you have already exceeded your mileage limit. Here are some ways to go around it: 

1. Increase the Mileage Limit

Depending on the finance company, you may be able to increase the mileage mid-contract. If unsure, put a call through to the company and ask if they allow this. 

If they do, consider increasing the miles so you can start paying the extra charges. It may be a better option than waiting until the end of the lease when you will pay an accumulated huge sum. The downside to this option is that if you increase your mileage limit mid-contract and end up not using the added miles, you are unlikely to get a refund. 

Decide which you find comfortable between waiting until the end to pay a lump sum or dealing with increased monthly repayments. 

If you decide to wait until the end of the contract to pay the extra charge, you still get to pay. In this case, you are certain you are paying for the miles you used. 

2. Find an Alternative Means of Commuting

planning road trip

While it may sound too hard, it is smart to park the car for a while if you have already exceeded the mileage limit.  

Rather than incur extra charges, set some money aside to pay for an alternate means of transportation. You could arrange with a friend or family member to drive you around.  

Completely keeping mileage off the leased car is a good option for people who work remotely. Since you have fewer reasons to go out, sharing rides for a while can save you from paying hefty over-mileage fees in the future. 

If public transport seems too much work, get a used or affordable car. Consider these Lease Loco Golf deals that will suit your budget.

3. Buy the Car

road trip planner
Bentley

Leasing companies put mileage limits on cars to control the depreciation because they sell the leased car at the end of the term. You can escape paying the extra fees if you decide to buy the vehicle at the end of the lease. How?

You must have set the buyout price at the beginning of the contract, and the finance company will have to stick to this price. If your over-mileage fee is exceptionally high, purchasing the car may be worth it rather than paying the extra. 

In some cases, you may still have to pay for the excess miles even if you intend to buy the car. Some companies will demand that you declare the extra mileage and then charge you.  Doing this might be at their disadvantage since the car’s value will decrease due to its extra mileage. 

4. Save Up for Extra Miles

If you intend to keep using the car, you might as well begin saving to pay for the additional miles. When you start saving early, you will have enough to cover the extra miles when the contract ends. 

Draw up a plan and calculate what might be the total charges for over-mileage. Save up enough to cover the payment, so you are free at the end of the lease. This will help if you believe you may exceed mileage limit on a leased vehicle.

5. Pay the Extra Fee

The total amount of the extra mileage will differ depending on the dealer. You can decide to pay and end your lease. If you exceed your mileage limit on a leased vehicle by several miles and can afford to pay immediately, calculate how much you owe per mile and make the extra payments. 

Conclusion

At the end of a lease, some people find out they have stayed under the allotted miles, while others may have doubled the annual mileage. Both cases are normal and common. If you have exceeded your mileage limit, choose any of the above options to get on track again. 

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Jimmy Im has traveled to 113 countries, stayed in over 600 hotels and has flown a million airmiles. He lives in New York City.

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