Can You Paint a Leased Car?

June 20, 2020
Thinking about painting a leased car?

The short answer to this question is…it depends. Although dealerships generally don’t accept a different paint color as falling under the definition of normal "wear and tear," that doesn’t mean you’re stuck driving your dream car in the wrong color. Many sources list “no customizing” as one of the drawbacks of leasing a vehicle, but it doesn’t mean you can’t change the appearance of the car you’re leasing to express your personality.You have three options when it comes changing the color of a leased car: You can either paint the car to match your dream color and pay a penalty at the time you return the vehicle to the dealership, pay to have the car painted twice (the second time being to restore the car back to its original color), or you can install a color change wrap and remove it prior to the end of the lease.Take some time to consider each option before changing the color of your leased vehicle. You’ve waited this long to lease your dream car, so it makes sense to weigh all of the options before driving over to the auto body shop for that new paint job.

Pay the Penalty

Every lease is different, but all leases have an excessive wear and tear clause. Don’t rely solely on what the salesperson says at the time of signing; verbal agreements have no legal standing in a lease contract. If the agreement doesn’t specifically mention painting a leased car, ask the salesperson to highlight the section of the contract that identifies the penalty or cost of turning in a vehicle with a custom paint job.If the contract doesn’t identify the penalty or cost involved in painting, look at other sections of the lease agreement that deal with the security deposit, disposition/disposal fee, or other sections that outline penalties. This guide of lease terms identifies all major sections of the lease which can help you calculate the risk involved in turning in the car with a paint job different from the factory color.

Paint the Car Twice

Researching paint job costs will allow you to do a cost comparison with the other leased car painting options. While the cost of custom paint jobs can vary, high-end specialty paint jobs can cost between $1,000 and $5,000. In order to get an accurate estimate, you should give the body shop the exact name or brand of paint, along with the make/model of the vehicle, and get the estimate in writing. Now, keep in mind that you’ll need to pay this amount twice to restore the car’s original paint job prior to returning the vehicle to avoid dealership penalties and fees.

Install a Vehicle Wrap

No longer used solely for placing graphics or advertisements on vehicles, vehicle wraps are now available in a wide range of colors and finishes for entire vehicles. Advancements in paint wrapping materials and technologies have enabled luxury car enthusiasts to wrap their vehicles in amazing chrome, stealth matte black, or a truly unique finish or color that isn’t available through an automotive paint manufacturer, such as 3D animal skin prints and even glow-in-the-dark wraps.The best part about changing the color of the vehicle back to factory color after a vehicle wrap has been applied? Vinyl wraps are designed to be removed easily and without causing damage to the original paint job. Even better? The vehicle wrap is made of materials that will protect the original paint job from scratches and stains that dealerships will charge for at the end of the lease.To recap, here are some of the biggest advantages of changing the color of your leased car with a vehicle wrap as opposed to springing for a new paint job (or two):

  • A vinyl car wrap costs less than a high-quality paint job and in some cases even less than the penalties and costs added on at the end of the lease agreement for turning in a vehicle with a new paint job
  • There are more cosmetic enhancement options available with luxury vehicle wraps than are possible through an auto body paint shop, including many options that will give your leased vehicle a totally custom and one-of-a-kind look
  • In addition to changing the color and appearance of your vehicle, a car wrap will also protect the original paint job underneath from chips, scratches, fading, stains, and other cosmetic damage that dealerships charge for at the end of a lease agreement

The Final Verdict

If a lease offers you the best option of driving the car of your dreams but you want to imprint some of your own personality on the car, wrapping is the easiest and most affordable way to change the look of a leased vehicle. Thanks to the latest technology in full vehicle car wraps, transforming a leased car into an extension of your personality is now a possibility.The luxury vehicle wrap experts here at Auto Super Shield can help you take the next step toward building the perfect luxury or sports car experience. Contact us online or call us at (561) 367-0101 to learn more about our custom vinyl car wrap solutions.


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