Last month, I had my scheduled turn-in inspection with a company called SGS Automotive Services. They sent an inspector out to my office (I pre-scheduled this in late March) and he did a very thorough inspection of my wife’s 2007 Acura TSX, which we returned last night.
As I watched the inspector do his thing, I noticed he inspected many things, including (but not limited to) tire threading, paint thickness, interior/exterior damage, engine, under carriage, rims, air conditioning and electronics, etc… He spent a good 30+ minutes looking through everything, taking pictures, testing equipment and so on.
At the end of the inspection, he printed out a report that details the damages. Our bill came out to $472.50. There were a lot of chips on the front bumper, fenders and hood that were very noticeable. This was attributed to my wife’s three-year commute on the 710 freeway in Southern California. For those who aren’t familiar with the 710, this freeway begins at Port of Long Beach which is where every other vehicle is truck carrying cargo from the port. This means flying debris hitting you at 70+ mph at any given time.
As for the damages, AHFC waived those charges because the lease covers up to $1500 in damages. That is great news because there aren’t many banks that offer such a high damage waiver. Honda/Acura is, by far, one of the best (if not the best) lease programs around. Not only are the cars well made, they also do not cost too much to maintain. The overall cost of leasing the TSX for three years involved bi-annual oil changes of $25 per oil change, tire rotations, wiper changes, air filters and one major brake repair that involved resurfacing rotors and replacement of brake pads (around $700 over three years). I rotated the tires every oil change, which wore the tires evenly over the 36,000 mile lease. This proved invaluable since I didn’t have to replace them at lease end. To top things off, all maintenance and repairs were done at Firestone and/or Midas, not at the dealers, which saved me money.
Overall, the return and inspection process was painless. A few phone calls here and there, then take your car to any Acura/Honda dealer (although the Honda guys may question why you are turning in your Acura into a Honda dealer, rest assured that you can, if you finance through AHFC). Having a large network of dealers is a HUGE bonus since Honda dealers are all over the place. Just make sure you call the bank and let them know when and where you dropped off the car. Then call your insurance to take that vehicle off the next day and you are done.