Lease Turn In: Car has a expensive scratch. What to do?

Pick the lesser of cost to Fix or pay what inspection says

Last year, I scraped by fender. Had to be completely removed, fixed, parts installed, repainted etc. Cost $1400.
And this, $700 for a scratch. A scratch!

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I had a similar thing (someone scratched my hood very deep) on a BMW. I did the lease end inspection and was charged about $600 as they charge by the panel. Less than my deductible and saved an insurance claim.

Pro tip (especially if you stay loyal to the brand)- call the lease end department after the turn in and billing for the repair and see if they will cut you a break. I’ve done this a few times and gotten random things like a missing key fee waived or 50% off the wear and tear charges.


Did you lease another bimmer after? unfortunately, I won’t be doing that this time

I did for that one, but I would still call. A few min and you get a yes or no quickly. Just make sure you are speaking to a lease end person and not a general customer service agent. Remember they do want you to come back to BMW. So anything that makes the experience better is a good thing.

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My leased BMW was keyed by a homeless years ago. I was quoted $1.5k from the dealership for repair since it was on a glass panel. I was as anxious as you are and came here for help. In the end, the same dealership did the lease end inspection and the person who inspected my car didn’t bat an eye on the scratch. I was able to walk away scotch free.


Try to keep insurance out of it. Try not to sweat it until the inspection. You may be worrying for nothing. Even if BMW wants to charge you, keep insurance out of it.

P.S. What is up with the swirl marks? That is very noticeable.

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That’s about $500 on a Kia, but this is a BMW. Probably cheaper than going through insurance.


Man 2 weeks ago I had one BMW dealer willing to give me a check for $700 instead of turning it in. I should go back to himm…

Driver side mirror cap on my M550 (part, labor, tax).


The cap itself was fine, but the plastic clips that hold it in place broke.

Apparently I either need a 1/4" wider garage door opening, or better eye-hand coordination.

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I did the same with my wife’s previous car, a 2015 Hyundai Elantra. Had to replace the whole mirror since it cracked the mirror glass. Since I was reversing, the mirror cap was fine (it popped off and went flying, 1 of the tabs broke, but the paint was fine), so I replaced the whole unit and reused the old mirror cap (to avoid getting paint work done). Total cost under $60 (OEM fit aftermarket) and some elbow grease.

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Cheers to that!:champagne:

Would rather walk away with free scotch



Say you will be coming back to bmw in a few months or something.
I called Infiniti once and they gave a 50% discount on the end of lease damages.

Ditto. I found BMWFS to be pretty reasonable on their lease return charges for defects. I think they have a maximum charge per panel of like $400. This was in 2018 though so may have gone up. So since that scratch seems to be just on that panel, it’ll just be the max charge for a single panel.


$850 would buy a lot of glue, epoxy, etc…

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Agree. I also lost a key and BMW charged me $200 or $250, which was cheaper than getting a replacement key. In my experience, BMWFS is super lenient/reasonable towards lease return damages. Even if they charge you, its probably cheaper than what it would cost you to get it fixed yourself.

You won’t get charged $700 for this. Don’t bother with the respray and return as is. Or sell the car as you mentioned.

A good buffing would likely make that much less noticeable. As the shops had said, it won’t disappear completely though.

Should we make guesses?

I’m guessing you get charged $400 at inspection for the scratches. That’s the fee I ate for the deep scratches when I turned in 2 months ago.

Them swirls though… not sure about those.