Can You Lift A Leased Car? This Article Could Save You Thousands


Leased vehicles are a popular option for those that may not have a budget large enough to buy a car. Having a leased vehicle means you don’t fully own the car, and it comes with a contract outlining what you can and can’t do with it. When leasing a vehicle, you may wonder if you can make any modifications. Most lease agreements, however, won’t want you to make any type of modifications to their cars. 

Can you lift a leased car? Most car lease agreements do not allow lifts to be installed. Lease agreements often require the car to be returned with a small amount of wear and tear and no modifications. If you insist on installing a lift on your leased car, refer to your lease agreement to ensure you can.

Nothing is stopping you from installing a lift kit on your leased car. Lift kits can also be fun to drive with, and if you like off-roading, they can be a big help since it gives you a few more inches of clearance. The only problem is that you don’t own the car. When you have a leased car, you must respect the terms of the contract.

Why You Shouldn’t Lift A Leased Car

The contract that must be signed when you begin a lease outlines the do’s and don’ts of having a leased car. Some companies with leased vehicles may be more lenient with what you can do with their leased car. Other companies are going to have strict regulations that you follow if you want to continue to lease their vehicles. A well-known rule is that you shouldn’t modify a leased vehicle. 

If you end up making modifications such as adding a lift kit, and your contract says you can’t, there will be some repercussions. For one, if the lease company finds out that you made modifications, they can end your lease early and require you to return the car immediately. On top of this, they may instruct you to pay fees which include the cost of removing the modifications. These fees will cost more than they would if you removed the modifications yourself. 

Most lease agreements require you to return the leased car in its original condition. On average, lease agreements last between two and three years. This means any modifications, including lifts, must be removed before you return the car. Even if you end up putting a lift on your leased car, you will have to remove it within two to three years, which is a pain. Not only are you buying a new lift kit and having to pay to have it installed, but you will have to pay to remove it. That’s just a lot of time and money, but for some, it may be worth it.

Instances Where You Can Lift A Leased Car

There may be very few instances where you can lift a leased car. First and foremost, you need a lease contract that allows you to modify the vehicle. Secondly, you will have to install the lift and then remove it before your lease is up.  Since the job is expected to be done by a professional rather than DIY, it can be costly

In special cases, you may be able to work something out with the owner of the vehicle. This can be nearly impossible when leasing from a big company, but if you are leasing from a smaller business, you may be able to talk with owners and come up with an agreement. In some cases, owners may see it as profitable to have a lift put on the vehicle. This will apply to more off-road vehicles such as Jeeps, 4Runners, and Broncos.

Can You Lift A Leased Car If You Plan To Buy It?

In the case that you plan on buying the car that you are leasing, you may have more leeway on lifting it. If you have set forth that you want to buy the vehicle and especially if you have put into writing that you are going to buy the car, you should be able to install a lift. Once you have established that you are going to buy the car, the possibilities of what you can do with it will become much more considerable. 

There may be some things that the lessee of the vehicle still doesn’t want you to do because ownership hasn’t yet been transferred. Most of the time, lessees only really care about one thing: selling the car after the lease. Once they know they will be able to sell the car, they may care much less about what you do with it because they know you will buy the vehicle in the end.

Are There Any Other Off-roading Modifications You Can Legally Do To A Leased Car?

Any modification that follows the same rules as we have discussed before will be fair game. In other words, any temporary modification may be legal with leased cars. Though there are a lot of permanent modifications that can be done with off-roading vehicles, there are still some temporary possibilities. A good amount of exterior modifications are going to be temporary. Doing things like replacing major car components or giving the car a new paint job are much harder to reverse. 

There are a good amount of off-roading modifications that can be added to leased cars. One of these modifications is light bars. Light bars are popular off-roading because not only do they make driving at night on trails much easier, but they can also make your car look good. Light bars can be easily installed and easily removed. That being said, some light bars require drilling holes in the vehicle.  Make sure to do this in a way that does not require drilling holes anywhere on the car because this is not a good idea for a leased vehicle.

 Another accessory that can go along with light bars is a winch. Depending on how you attach a winch, they can be easily added and removed (again, do so in a way that doesn’t require drilling holes anywhere). 

This is great news for off-roaders because a winch is arguably one of the most useful off-roading modifications out there. They may have a mount that you have to install and remove with them, but it shouldn’t be a crazy endeavor. Winches can be installed with only a few bolts, which means they are easy to remove. 

We don’t want to forget one of the most impactful off-roading modifications: tires! You can change the tires on a leased vehicle all you want because you can put the original tires back on the vehicle before your lease ends. Having a good set of mud or all-terrain tires can make a big difference when off-roading. These types of tires are created to help you get traction on the ground and give you advantages that street tires cannot. 

The ease of changing out tires allows you to modify your tires as much as you want. I would avoid driving long distances on a road with off-road tires because they decrease the fuel economy of a car, and they wear down faster on the road than on dirt. If you want to keep the tires the vehicle came with for the road and get a new set of tires for off-roading, there is nothing wrong with that (in fact, I would highly suggest it!). 

If you want to change the paint job of your leased car, you can always do a vinyl wrap. These types of wraps are temporary and can be removed easily. Wraps also won’t completely break the bank and will provide some protection for your car against scratches. This could be an easy modification that your leasing company won’t have any issues with.

Related Questions

Will a lift void my Jeep warranty? Installing an aftermarket lift on a Jeep will not void the factory warranty. For a claim or warranty to be denied on a Jeep, a dealership must be able to prove that the lift itself caused damage or was in some way responsible for damage caused to the vehicle. Many times it is up to the dealer’s discretion. Click here to view the full article.

Does a lift kit hurt resale value? In general, lift kits hurt resale value. Most people looking to buy a used vehicle do not want lift kits and if they do want a lift kit they’ll likely want it to be done in their own, specific way. Lift kits will especially hurt the trade-in value of a vehicle. Click here to view the full article.

Do lift kits require maintenance? Lift kits do require regular maintenance. Monthly inspections to ensure that there are no broken or damaged parts are recommended. Also, cleaning lift kits after any type of off-road activity can help protect lift kits from rust and wear. Lubricating posts and locking latch shafts can also help keep the lift kit in good condition. Click here to view the full article.

Kyle Cannon

Kyle currently works as a mechanical engineer and graduated with a minor in automotive engineering. His passion for cars is his daily motivator and is constantly working on his projects such as restoring his 1966 Bronco, 1968 Firebird, or modifying his 2022 Bronco.

Recent Posts