When you lease a car, you’ll want to know who is responsible for repairs and maintenance on the vehicle during the lease term: you or the leasing company? What about tire replacement? Tires can be expensive. Most of the time, car leasing companies will not cover tire replacement for leased cars, so you’ll likely have to pay for this out of pocket. See the full explanation, as well as some tips for replacing tires on a leased car, below.

Who Is Responsible for Replacing Tires on a Leased Car?

Generally speaking, it is your responsibility to replace the tires on your leased vehicle during the term of your lease. Most lease agreements require the lessee to pay for routine maintenance on the car, including things like oil changes and tire rotation, as well as any repairs related to excess wear and tear.

Leasing companies may define “excess wear and tear” a little differently, but most leased vehicles are new and come with new tires. A typical car lease is for three years, so needing to replace the tires before then would likely be considered excess wear and tear. (Tires should last for about six years, according to the industry standard.) Keep in mind, if you need to replace the tires, many car leasing companies require you to return the car with matching tires. You’ll need to check your lease agreement for specifics. It’s also possible that your lease will require replacement tires to be from a certain brand, so make sure to check for this too before replacing any tires.

Here’s an example: If you lease a BMW from Valley BMW in Modesto, Calif., worn out tires are considered excess wear and tear, and you’ll be charged to replace them when you return the vehicle if you don’t do it yourself before turning the vehicle in. To be more specific, Valley BMW defines excess wear and tear for tires as “tires with tread depth of less than one-eighth (of an inch) remaining at the shallowest point, and/or tires that are not all of the same grade, quantity or quality as those delivered with your vehicle.” In other words, you’ll need to replace the tires if the tread is worn down — and you’ll need to replace them with tires that are all the same grade and quality as the tires that were on the vehicle when you leased it.

Lease Maintenance and Repair Packages

Worried about getting hit with wear-and-tear maintenance charges like tire replacement? One option is to buy a maintenance and repair package from your leasing company or a third party. For example, car sales company Cartelligent offers a product called Safe Lease that provides up to $5,000 in coverage for excess wear and tear charges at the end of the lease. The package price varies depending on the vehicle, but, it generally ranges from $595 to $995, a Cartelligent customer service representative said. While maintenance and repair packages are an added expense, they can provide greater peace of mind and fewer unexpected charges.

In Summary

When it comes to replacing tires on a leased car, you’ll likely need to pay out of pocket. Most leases do not cover tire replacement. In fact, if you return a leased vehicle with less than one-eighth of an inch of tread on the tires, you may be charged for new tires by the car leasing company. If the tread on your tires is low, you’ll likely get a better deal if you replace the tires yourself before returning the vehicle. To learn where to buy affordable tires, check out our comparison of discount tire retailers: Discount Tire vs. Costco, Tire Rack, NBT, etc: Competitors Compared. Let’s hope you don’t have to buy those expensive Michelin’s.