Lease return question. Please assist

I’m returning my Nissan Leaf during lease end in 3 months. My friend says I should change out my bald tires or the inspector is going to charge me unrealistically. So I’m going to change the tires this weekend but my question is- since the car came with Bridgestone tires, do I have to buy back/replace with the same exact brand (Bridgestone)? Thank you.

Are you getting another car in place of this? Normally if you do that the dealer shall let you return even in an OK condition so you can even do it without changing tires. I don’t have any experience with Nissan so cannot comment how they handle it but you don’t have to return with same tires. Actually they never have a record of what brand of tires your car came with, unless you have it documented in one of the service records.

No I am not getting another car from Nissan.

Actually the inspector gives you a price that is about 50% less since it doesn’t really include labor.

Inspectors are very reasonable, most people usually wait for last day inspections (they are available 30 days before) and then they are so surprised.

Have the inspector come in 30 days before, if he points out the tires in his inspection you can buy some used tires for about $30 a piece and change them.

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I’m relieved to hear your comment. However, upon googling other people’s experience on returning their lease- it doesn’t seem too promising.

You have to return the car in the “original” condition with normal wear/tear. So if your tires have normal wear based on the lease mileage, then you don’t have to replace them. Otherwise - you’ll technically need to replace with the same OEM tires.

there’s a minimum thread tires need to have at lease return.

Based on a quick google search, it says tires need to have greater than 1/8". See here:

If you are unsure call Nissan financial to find out exactly. Then go to a tire place like tire kingdom and have them measure your tires and see if you pass. If not, go buy some used tires (same size and speed rating of original tires, does not have to be exact brand match according to nissan’s link above but all 4 need to match, can’t be diff brands/sizes) with enough tread on them and return the car. I wouldn’t go through the expense of buyinga set of 4 NEW tires just to return the car so that Nissan can save $ putting new tires on when they resell the car. Let them pay.

Thanks for the advice! I’m planning on buying a set of 4 new from pep boys at $190 grand total and spending $60 at costco for labor/to get them installed. So the grand total will be $250. I don’t know where I can get tires in passable condition less than $190 for a set of 4. Would you kindly advise? Thank you!

@alex - not sure where you live, but on craigslist you have all these little mom & pop tire places advertise used tires for $20 ea. If you go there and give them another $20 to put them on you should be good to go.

Thank you! I’m in the OC area.

So Cal should have plenty of places with cheap used tires, check craigslist.

I wouldn’t buy anything before the inspection. You may get away without replacing tires or paying less.

I agree… Used tires, all the same brand and size that have at least 2/16" tread on them - IF the inspector dings you for it. Have the car inspected as soon as you can that way there are no surprises about other things. However, I have heard of the leasing company coming back after a pre-inspection with other issues. But of course those can be fought if the accepting dealer doesn’t note anything. So keep all of your paperwork until you get the final all clear from the leasing company.

IMHO I would wait for the inspection and go from there. you might get lucky. if not, you can check your options from there.

This was the inspection report I received. The car had a couple of small hail dents and a couple of scratches on the roof that I could not buff off. I replaced the windshield and the three tires. I still got a bill from USBank
I had to send them a receipt for the windshield replacement and the tires before they would credit those items. This was my first and only lease return.


Thanks for sharing your lease-end experience!

Generally, a captive lender like MBFS or Honda Financial Services will be less of a stickler at lease return. When my mother returned her E-Class, the client advisor walked around the car for 30 seconds and said it was fine – no questions asked (granted, she was getting another E-Class).

I’m not looking forward to the return of my father’s Volt, which was leased through US Bank. From what I’ve gathered, they send out a third-party inspector and everything.

If US Bank still goes by these guidelines, then we should be OK. Hope it’s not out of date, though:

Ouch, did you get a 2nd inspection at termination? They offer that.
Wow tire gouges are a LOT.

And if you notice they didn’t charge you for Roof damage.

i’m 27 months into a 36 month lease on a Toyota Rav 4. I am allowed 36k miles and just hit the 30k mark. The service light went on so I took it in, they told me the air conditioning filters need replacing and i need four new tires. The work estimate was just over 2k. I’m really annoyed as I had it serviced 4 months ago and none of these issues came up.

Any advice? I wont go over the 36k miles, the car inside and outside is very clean.




Get the "stealer"ship to buy your lease end car. Do not “turn it in.”

Here is what to do:

Go to CarMax and get a “car appraisal” from them. It takes less than 30 minutes and is good for 7 days. If their “car appraisal” is more than the lease buyout, they pay off the leasing bank (and then write you a check for the balance).

This represents the worst case scenario…

Because here is what to do next:

Go to the “stealership” - anyone in the world… and ask if they can beat your offer. Many will as they make gobs of money reselling lease-end cars.

I have helped NUMEROUS lease holders go from underwater to check in hand - some for thousands of dollars.

I helped one guy erase a $7,000.00 difference overnight.

Traditional lease-endings are scams. It is just a way for us to “baby” our cars so when we turn them in, the "stealer"ship buys it from the leasing company and resells it for gobs of more money.

Just get your car appraised and sell it back to the highest bidder.

Let me know if this works out for you here.

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30 k for tires is par for the course. IF you thought you would drive 36k without new tires, you were mistaken.

That being said, you can get tires from discount shop, no need for dealer tires