End of Your Lease? How to Turn in Your Kia

June 12th, 2020 by

A close up is shown of a car key being handed over at an end of lease turn-in.

Leasing vehicles is typically a much more feasible option than outright buying one for many drivers. There are plenty of advantages to leasing a car, such as generally lower-priced monthly payments and a consistent and straight-forward upgrade path every two to three years. Starting a lease can take the burden away from the monotony of putting your previous vehicle on the market. A large number of manufacturers offer their vehicles through leasing in one way or another, including Kia, who provides an exceptional leasing service along with competitive APR. And while there is a lot of information out there about how to obtain a lease, what exactly happens at the end of one? Today, we are going to go over the end of lease turn-in process to answer that very question.

Before Your Lease Ends

Once you’ve leased your vehicle, you’ll be renting it for about 36-48 months on average. During these few years, you’ll be paying a monthly payment and will have coverage in the event of malfunction due to faulty parts that aren’t derived from driver error. When your lease is nearing its end on your Kia, you’ll receive something called a ‘Lease-End Kit’ in the mail. This kit will arrive at your home about 120 days before the lease is up and is the first place to start the turn-in process. The primary purpose of the Lease-End Kit is for you to assess any visible damages to your vehicle. Utilizing the information you receive from the kit allows you to categorize damages easier to give you a better estimate of any potential fees due to damages.

Assessing Any Damages

A woman is looking at the scratch on her bumper.

The first thing you should do when you receive the kit in the mail is to inspect your vehicle by looking for any scratches and categorizing the length of any dents or scratches using the included measurement assessment tool. Kia refers to this process as the walk-around, which is a crucial part of the turn-in process. Other blemishes on the exterior that should be measured include any chipped parts of the paint, that measure at over half an inch long plus any windshield damage such as scratches and cracks.

With the included measurement tool, you should measure the treads of your tires to figure out how much rubber is missing. According to Kia, the raised treads on your tires should ideally measure at ⅛ of an inch; otherwise, they will require replacement before turning in.

It’s not a problem if the tires on your vehicle aren’t the exact originals it came equipped with by the end of your lease; however, there is a caveat. In order for your new tires to be eligible for the turn-in process, they must have identical speed and size ratings to the originals, which are also referred to in the vehicle’s owner’s guide. The wheels will also require an inspection and should be free of any warping, cracks, or anything that could be identified as ‘damaged.’ If your vehicle came equipped with a spare tire, it must be present when turning the car in; otherwise, there will be an additional fee.

A Clean Interior

The walkthrough process continues into the interior of your vehicle. There are many things that can happen to an interior; they are prone to human error. You must look through to find all possible damage throughout the inside of the vehicle. What you should be searching for the most during your damage assessment are holes, burns, stains, and cuts on the interior upholstery. Keeping your interior clean and free of cosmetic blemishes is just as important as your exterior.

If you turn in your leased vehicle with any cosmetic damages, you will face additional fees, but the alternative is to take your vehicle in for repairs prior to your turn-in. Depending on the repair services you require, it is possible you would be saving more money by getting repairs first rather than paying the fee for the damages. If you are unsure about your assessment and would like a professional opinion before you turn in your lease, you will be able to get a free inspection by Kia as long as you are within 60 days of the turn-in date.

The interior of a car is being vacuumed.

Wrapping Up Your Lease

After assessing any damages on your vehicle, the next thing you should do is clean out the interior of any personal belongings, followed by disconnecting Bluetooth devices, toll tags, and garage door remotes. Any headrests, owner’s manuals, or keys that came with your vehicle originally must also be present when you turn it in. After you successfully prep your Kia for a turn-in, all you will have to do next is to drive the vehicle to a Kia dealership. Upon arrival, you’ll be completing a few pieces of paperwork to finalize the lease, including an odometer/mileage disclosure that states you fully understood and adhered to the mileage limit associated with your lease. The dealership will then perform their assessment and send you an end of term invoice that will act as a summary of your lease, including anything you may owe in unpaid fees or damages.

Once your lease is done, you’ll have to purchase the vehicle outright or upgrade to a new one. Upon signing the contract initially, you will be made aware of the vehicle’s residual value, which is the amount you would pay should you decide to keep the vehicle after the lease. For those who are looking to upgrade to a newer vehicle, they will have to do a few extra things to get their vehicle set up for its turn-in. According to Kia, your turn-in fee may be omitted if you choose to finance yourself a brand new Kia vehicle within 60 days of the initial turn-in.

Why Leasing is Important

Financing your vehicle contains a variety of benefits that many drivers prefer rather than purchasing a car up-front. By leasing, you’ll be treated to the newest vehicles every few years, allowing you to experience top-of-the-line performance on a regular basis. Theoretically speaking, by having access to the latest vehicles, you will always be equipped with modern-day safety features on the road. The combination of driving the latest vehicles while paying lower monthly payments inspires many people to lease their next vehicle. With competitive financing options from manufacturers such as Kia, leasing a new vehicle has become a much more feasible option than it was in the past.

Whether you’re financing a Kia vehicle or purchasing one, you will have an exceptional experience regardless. When you purchase your Kia, we recommend you visit us at Raceway Kia for our vast catalog of vehicles, both new and used. We offer many different types of Kia vehicles such as sedans, compacts, crossovers, and minivans, plus we offer a list of certified pre-owned vehicles amongst our used selection. We have an on-site service and parts center along with a financing department full of hardworking, dedicated, and knowledgeable employees who are eager to assist you. When you’re ready to step into the world of Kia, visit our location at 4044 U.S. 9, Freehold, New Jersey, and we will be ready to get you started.