3 Benefits of Using End-of-Lease Independent Vehicle Inspections

When it comes to the end of a vehicle’s lease, all involved — lender, dealer, and lessee — appreciate when the turn-in experience is a pleasant one. Third-party vehicle inspections can go a long way toward ensuring that happens.

End-of-lease independent vehicle inspections have become increasingly popular for bringing efficiency to the end-of-lease process. These inspections are designed to inform lessees of what their obligations will be when they turn their vehicle in to the dealer. They are conducted by third-party companies that systematically examine each vehicle and identify any excessive wear and use.

This “pre-inspection” is generally scheduled 60 to 90 days before a leased car is turned in. To keep the process as convenient as possible, the lessees choose the location for the inspection (often their home, but also can be performed at work or their dealership). Afterward, they receive a report detailing the findings, along with estimated costs for repairs. The lessees now have a good idea of the charges they’ll be responsible for when the vehicle is turned in.

Added Value for All Parties

When lessees have these findings ahead of time, everyone involved benefits. Consider these upsides:

  1. No surprises. Because lessees receive advance notice of any wear and use deemed to be more than normal, they know what to expect at vehicle turn-in. They have the option of having repairs taken care of prior to turn-in or understanding the associated charges when they turn the vehicle in.
  2. The third-party vendor acts as a liaison between the dealer and lessee. This takes the weight off the dealer, who wants the turn-in process to be as amicable as possible.
  3. Less pressure. Collecting for damages after a leased car has been turned in presents challenges to lenders. Third-party vehicle inspections help take some of this pressure off the lending company.

These third-party inspections are in place to protect the lessor, the lessee, and the dealer, eliminating the blame game that often occurs when leased vehicles are grounded.

Potential Problems Without Pre-Inspections

Forgoing these pre-inspections leaves lenders open to risky liabilities, including:

  • Low collectability. Lessees who are surprised by additional charges after vehicle turn-in are less likely to be compliant in paying.
  • Customer dissatisfaction. An unhappy lessee has a lower probability of giving the dealer and lender repeat business.
  • Dealer frustration. No dealer wants to be the one giving bad news to a customer when a vehicle is grounded.

Third-party vendors follow lender protocols to accurately label what’s excessive and what’s not. This both takes pressure off dealers and provides lessees with early knowledge, resulting in a win-win for lenders.

Integrating third-party vehicle inspections removes burden from both lender and dealer. It also leads to more efficiency for the lessor and lessee: Their conversations are enhanced, because inspection data is stored in a servicing system that allows quick and easy access when discussing end-of-term options. What results is a streamlined end-of-lease process for everyone involved, paving the way for repeat business from satisfied customers.

Jeff Hanna is the product manager at Fiserv. Disclosure: This is a personal blog and does not necessarily reflect official views or opinions of my employer, Fiserv, Inc.

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