Mercedes lease end damage


I still have a little under a year remaining on my wife’s Mercedes E300 lease. It has a few issues at the moment (hopefully no more until the end of the lease).

  • cracked side rocker panel close to the rear passenger wheel (took a sharp turn and hit the curb)
  • cracked plastic molding under the front hood
  • broken headlight mounting tab (currently the headlight is slightly sagging out of place). Bought a genuine MB kit to repair but not sure if that is acceptable at lease turn in.
  • scuffed tire rims

Trying to see if anyone has any previous experience/knowledge and can share how much approximately will the bill from MB be. I had a BMW before and there’s a per panel maximum charge (but I think it doesn’t apply to cracks). Wonder if MB has something similar?

Thanks in advance.

I lease two previous MBZ E350 Sports (2013 and 2015) and when I turned in after lease they were very understandable and forgiving. To that end, this is what I wouldn’t worry about:

  • Rims
  • Any cracks less than three inches do not worry.
  • Headlight fixed then do not worry.

There was a guy before me when I turned in my 2013 and it was in very bad shape and the it had 3K miles over. However, he starting arguing with the person (I guess he has leased multiple MBZ) and they forgave him.

However, I would find a cheap body shop ( bumper dudes or something like that) and have them inspect the damage and tell them it is a lease and ask for a lease turn in quote (minimum work)…
I did the same thing on my Lexus GS350 Fsport. The front bumper had large scratches and I took it to the local ( not the best neighborhood) body shop and they quoted me $200 for entire bumper. I’m sure a lot cheaper than what the dealership wanted. Also, got the windshield replaced because of small scratch. Lease inspection (prior to turning in) quoted $950 but it cost me $180 for replacement. When I turned the car in after lease the dealership reported the car looked in great condition.

If you lease another MBZ the dealer will most likely forgive you just to get you into another one.

One of the head lights was replaced from another silly accident (paid by the building management at work) and that costed $2000+ for a piece of plastic. MB dealer initially said they will cover this other headlight as warranty but then when they were about to replace it, the tech said there’s damage to the underside molding and blamed the headlight damage to be related to that. So I am really not looking forward to pay another 2k for to fix that. What I’m afraid of is MB will come back and ding me after it’s returned. I read somewhere that they have the final inspection done after it’s returned? Not sure if that’s accurate. We are also leaning not leasing another MB but we’ll see.

I think they also started using AutoVIN for inspections and people say they are pretty strict. Any recent lease return experience?

On our C300 we had three tires that are completely worn out, one of the rear break pad that had to be changed, a large fender scratch on one side of the rear passenger door, a large dent on the other side of the passenger door and 1k miles over the the allocated limit. It came down to $2500 with taxes.

I was so careless that i didn’t even schedule a pre-inspection. We did a 2 month pull ahead and returned the car as is and took a C43. All MBFS did was they applied the $500 excess wear and tear since we signed another lease. Once i got the complete invoice, i called MBFS and told them that i like MB and would like to be with them as a loyal member for the next few years. The agent was able to reduce that down to $1000 ($2500 - $500 excess wear/ tear - $1000 from the agent). I didn’t pay the invoice amount for a few days and just two days before the due date, i called MBFS again and requested another agent if he could do anything regarding the payment and he did deduct $300 from the $1k payment. I paid a total of $700 including taxes.

So i believe they are forgiving if you take a new lease after your lease ends.

Did you get the final inspection/estimated bill on the spot when you return the old one? But at least it’s good that they are negotiable.

I also have lots of MSD payments in the account. I believe they will just deduct and return the remaining money at the lease end.

AutoVin inspected my Forester and didn’t seem too strict.

Mine had a about a 10" scrape in the black plastic part of the black bumper and they didn’t even note or take pictures of it…

The final inspection was not done on the spot since i left the car at the dealer location and took the new car. I asked the dealer if it’s done on the spot and they informed me its a third party from MBFS that does that. I was also told that in the past, dealers use to do that but that led to bad rep since customers wouldn’t be inclined if they the inspection amount is too hight.

They will do that at a later time and then send the invoice to you and i believe, that is primary reason for the pre-inspection, so you have a chance to rectify the damages found in the pre-inspection.

If you have MSD’s and are not taking another lease from MBFS, they could take advantage of you.

It is different now. Prior to 2016, the dealers did all the inspection and bypassed a lot of stuff that needed to get called out and din’t. Mercedes automatically gives a $500 credit toward any incidental damage above and beyond normal wear and tear, but often items like cracked windshields, glaring body damage, hail damage would not be called out. The manufacture now uses to do all inspections. A customer can contact them for a free inspection prior to lease turn-in and they will come out to your home to do it. Tires cannot be less than 4/32 which sucks in some states because their own state inspection is sometimes as low as 2/32. Also, Mercedes will always dock you for keys, books, or service missing. If you have a decent relation with your salesperson they can reset the service light for you so you don’t get docked.

Yeah is pretty extensive with their inspections. They did it on the Lexus (GS) and I have them scheduled for next week on my Mini. Not looking forward to results on Mini since the original leaseer (Kid) didn’t know how to park, drive and carry stuff inside the car. It took me about 8-10 hours just to detail after I swapped (helped my broker friend take it over). I think the kid used brillo pads to wash too. Luckily I know how to get that stuff out.

Hi Mark, can you share what’s the experience with your Mini inspection? Just curious if they popped the hood during the inspection as well?


Pretty easy but mini does a secondary inspection upon drop off. I suggest you go at night and totally detail car prior. And they did not spend anytime in engine compartment. When I dropped off the dealership said car looks so shinny and rims so clean. That first impression went a long way.

Cool thanks!

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