In another post in our series of Leasing Myths, we take a look at the common misconception that cars that you lease from us, whether it's a personal lease or business lease, can't be modified in any way and must remain 'as is' when it gets returned. We're going to shed some light on the subject of vehicle modification with a lease car in general to help those who want to modify an existing contract car or for those looking to lease for the first time and just wanted to know what's in store.
Can you modify a lease vehicle?
We always recommend to our customers that if they are wanting to modify a future vehicle to ask one of our advisers ahead of time so that we can ask the supplier or the finance company of the vehicle for absolute clarification.
In general, most funders will allow modifications on a vehicle that do not leave any permanent marks or damage when the vehicle is returned. It's worth noting that your leased car must be fully insured so these modifications must also be reported to your insurance company.
Types of vehicle modifications
Below is a list of potential modifications if there's something specific you're looking for:
Custom alloy wheels
Custom alloy wheels are permitted as long as their dimensions match the existing alloy wheels and the drive is unchanged. Any alloy wheels larger than the original spec would need to be confirmed with the finance company and your insurance company before being put on.
A tow bar is something that needs to be arranged before delivery as installation can damage or leave marks.
A dash camera which is mounted on a windscreen will be fine as they do not cause any damage or marks. However, if you're intending to install the dash cam by hardwiring it then you will need to notify the finance company and insurance company first.
Remapping a vehicle can improve performance and economy. It's a relatively easy process to which in most cases can be reversed. Make sure to get this done by an official manufacturer or a reputable garage - do not attempt to do it yourself. Remapping an engine can be done to a leased vehicle but you will need to seek the permission of the funder and let your insurance company know. We can guarantee, though, that this process will need to be reversed before handing the car back and if it's permanent it will be a no go.
Vehicle wrapping is one of the most common requests we get, especially from those taking out a business lease and they want their vehicle to be branded. Although vehicle wrapping is generally fine provided it's done professionally with no permanent marks you just need to get the funder's permission first.
You can add privacy glass to a leased car if you want, with permission from the funder - this can be the privacy 'wrapping' or a completely new window. However, what we would recommend is order privacy glass as an option instead as it will likely be cheaper and you won't need any permission. Pretty much every vehicle has the option of privacy glass.
Roof boxes are completely fine to add to a car. We just recommend asking for roof racks in advance as opposed to installing them after the fact.
Many people may want to place a tracker because of fear of theft or perhaps they are a parent leasing a car on behalf of a child (yes, you can do that!). Whatever the reason, finance companies tend to have no problem with customers wanting to install a tracker on their leased vehicle provided they have got permission to do so.
Fair Wear and Tear
Every finance company has a 'fair wear and tear' policy which explains what kind of a state they would like the vehicle when it is returned. As such, we can not give one general fair wear and tear policy - instead, we have provided some links here for you to find out more from the funders themselves:
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