What I did when the mileage is maxed out and still months away from lease end

In my previous post, I discussed my situation, where I signed on 3 years lease contract  for 2015 Nissan Leaf, change job, and used all of the 36,000 miles allowed in the lease contract within 30 months.

After many weeks contemplating, and approaching 37,500 miles on the odometer, I decided to do option #3: Turn in the car, pay the remainder monthly fees in lump sum, and get a new vehicle.  If you are not sure what I’m talking about, you can read the previous post( Maxed out alloted miles on lease vehicle).

What are the costs breakdown associated with turning the 2015 Nissan Leaf early?

Below is what I calculated to be the breakdown to payoff  Nissan Leaf lease 4 months early with 1,500 excess miles:

$ 808 – 4 months remaining x $202 lease charge
$1,000 – Estimated cost to fix rear quarter panel
$ 395 – Disposition fee
$ 300 – $0.20/mile * 1500 miles overage
——–
$2,500 – estimated total out of pocket expense

I saved enough money, and decided to walk into the dealership to return the leased Nissan Leaf.

My final payment will surprise you! What I actually paid on my Nissan Leaf?

Maxed out alloted miles on lease vehicle

What happen when you maxed out the mileage on the lease vehicle?

In 2015, I signed a closed contract lease for Nissan Leaf (Electric Vehicle) for 3 years 36K miles.  Loved the car so much, and it became my commuter as well as my weekend car.  It was the go-to car for the weekend as well as the weekend.  Who does not love the convenient of electric car?  Plug the car at night, and it’s ready to go in the morning.  The term “gas station” became a foreign word.   It is also cheaper to operate, as the cost of electric is cheaper than the cost of gasoline.   At the time of the lease, Nissan also gave 2 years of free fast charging.  It allows 30 minute each day for fast charging.  This fast charge will fill the battery from zero to 85% in 30 minutes.  It was another way to save money, especially since there are few fast charging stations near my home.

2015 Nissan Leaf. Electric Vehicle.
2015 Nissan Leaf. Electric Vehicle.

As far as mainentance is concerned, the car practically had zero maintenance.  That is the beauty of electric vehicle (EV).  No oil change.  During the lease period, I spent about $300 to change 2 tires.  That’s about all I spent for maintenance.

Things changed in 2016.  The 35 miles commute turned into 60 miles commute.  All of the miles I used in the first year can’t be unwind.  By the end of 2017, I pretty much used all of the alloted miles.

What are the options when alloted miles in the lease vehicle are maxed out?

  • Continue using the car, and pay the excess milleage at the end.  I figured, at the rate I was driving the car, I would rack up another 4,000 miles by the end of the lease.  At $0.25/mile, that would means $1,000 out of pocket.  Since I was not going to pay-off the car and keep it for long term, this is not my top choice.
  • Let the car sit, pay the remainder monthly payments, and get a beater car in the meantime.  This option will minimize my excess milleage fees, however, it will also means more insurance cost to keep one more car.  Also with beater, there’s an element of gamble, assuming the beater car does not need additional maintenance.
  • Turn in the car, pay the remainder monthly fees in lump sum, and get a new vehicle.  While this option give a piece of mind in excess milleage and beater car gamble, it also forces for a big lump sum payment to payoff the remainder payments and down payment for a new car.

Which one is the best option?  What option did I choose?