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It is our hope in community, to be a knowledge base where our membership comes when they need clarification, have questions on military life topics, or if they have a question or a concern regarding a service USAA provides. Each month, in our “You Asked We Answered” series, we look at the trending topics driven by your questions and comments.


I asked Joe Rosales, a USAA auto and consumer lending specialist, to address some of the questions raised by you all in community. I hope this adds some clarity and detail to your auto leasing questions and concerns:


Member LaMosquita asks “My lease is up at the end of January. There is a lot of damage on my vehicle. I don't know what the most cost-effective decision for me is now that it is the end of lease?”


Joe: Most leasing companies will perform an independent vehicle inspection prior to the end of a lease. Following this inspection, you may be able to reduce costs by repairing identified damage beyond normal wear and tear. If you repair the damages prior to returning the vehicle, you may be able to schedule a follow-on inspection through your leasing company. If you choose not to perform your own repairs, you will pay the leasing company the final costs of damage (beyond normal wear and tear) to a vehicle.


If the costs incurred by damage becomes excessive, it may be more practical to purchase the leased vehicle. This is called a lease buy out. You can find out more about a financing a lease buy out here.


Lease Buy Out

If you like your leased vehicle, USAA can help you buy it. Learn More.



Member Shaka82 asks “How do I find the best leasing process and know what is a good deal?”   

Joe: It is recommended to approach leasing a vehicle like purchasing a car. Research fair market value and negotiate with the dealer on a final sales price. Your down payment and negotiated sales price will determine your monthly payment.


Here is a more in depth look comparing renting or buying a leased vehicle. You can also search for a vehicle through the USAA Car Buying Service.


Member FlySoHigh asks “What are my options to get out of a lease?”


Joe: Most options to terminate a lease prior to the end of its contract will lead to out-of-pocket expenses associated with penalties related to early termination fees, negative equity costs (the amount you owe vs the market value of the car), and preparing the vehicle for resale.  


The most common options to get out of a lease are:


  • Return the leased vehicle and pay the associated penalties
  • Trade in the lease for either a new lease or to buy a new vehicle. If you are upside down in your vehicle, the remaining balance will be rolled into the financing of your next vehicle.
  • Buy the leased vehicle and then sell it
  • Perform a lease buy out and assume ownership of the vehicle.
  • Transfer the lease through a lease-trading website 

Member cbpUSMC asks “Should I lease a vehicle with an upcoming PCS or potential overseas move?"


Joe: The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) provides military personnel with certain protection. We recommend you reference the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) website for additional information or contact your JAG representative.


We hope this clears up some questions regarding leasing your vehicle! What did we miss? Do you have a leasing question or concern? Let us know in the comments!



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USAA means United Services Automobile Association and its insurance, banking, investment and other companies. Banks Member FDIC. Investments provided by USAA Investment Management Company and USAA Financial Advisors, Inc., both registered broker dealers, and affiliates.


Use of the term "member" or "membership" refers to membership in USAA Membership Services and does not convey any legal or ownership rights in USAA. Restrictions apply and are subject to change.


USAA Car Buying Service provided by TrueCar, Inc. (“TrueCar”). USAA does not broker, sell or lease motor vehicles. This is an information publishing site operated by TrueCar, Inc., on behalf of USAA. TrueCar is not the seller of any of the vehicles listed. Unless otherwise noted, all vehicles shown on the USAA Car Buying Service are offered for sale by licensed motor vehicle dealers, which may not have the exact new vehicle you configured in inventory. Any changes to the new vehicle you configured, including the addition of options, accessories or services at the dealer, may change the vehicle price. Used vehicles are subject to prior sale.


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I wish to speak to the executive office.  Why is it so difficult??????

USAA Service
USAA Service

@gyndocal, I would be glad to forward along any concerns you may have. Can you share in a private message what is causing you to want to speak to Executive office? I am sorry I don't see a post from you that details your concerns.  ~Suzy