Can You Offroad A Leased Jeep? The Answer May Suprise You

Leasing can be a great option if you don’t want to spend a lot of money to purchase a Jeep. However, if you’re going to enjoy all of the activities one usually enjoys in a Jeep, you may want to think again. Leases come with particular contracts and even insurance or warranty guidelines that must be followed if you want coverage. You aren’t going to do anything in everyday life that hurts your lease, but what about off-roading? 

Can you off-road a leased Jeep? It is strongly advised that you do not off-road a leased Jeep. Leased Jeeps often have warranties, insurance, and contracts that outline what violates the lease contract and one of these activities is commonly off-roading. If you are offroading in a leased Jeep, refer to your lease agreement before doing so.

Off-roading can be a fun activity that can be hard to avoid when you have an incredible off-roading machine like a Jeep. But off-roading can be very hard on your vehicle. Not only is it tough on your shocks, transmission, and wheels, but it also potentially causes scratches, dents, and cracks. Individuals or companies that lease Jeeps know this and usually like those who lease their Jeeps to avoid off-roading. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check your lease statement to see if off-roading can violate your agreement. 

The Legality Of Off-roading In A Leased Jeep

Most leases state that a vehicle must be returned near its original condition with only standard wear and tear. Some leasing companies may have different definitions of what this means, but generally, you need to return the Jeep in like new condition. If there is damage then the person who leased the Jeep is responsible for paying for the damage. Generally, any scratch longer than three inches or any dent larger than a quarter must be repaired and paid for. Read our article “How Do I Protect My Jeep From Scratches” for helpful tips.

When you begin a lease, you are going to have to sign a contract that lays out any activities that you can or can’t do. If the contract states that you can’t go off-roading and you end up going, then you have a risk of losing your lease. Pay specific attention to what any warranties and insurance agreements cover and what may void those warranties. Once you break those agreements then you have no protection legally. 

That being said, you can go off-roading in a Jeep if the lease declares it possible but the most important part of lease agreements is that you are completely responsible to fix any damage done to the vehicle. Maybe you smack a mirror or, heaven forbid, crack an axle both of which are completely possible while off-roading. You can still return your lease but you are going to have to have repairs done before you can do so. Realize that all the money for these repairs is going to have to come out of pocket. 

The biggest risk with off-roading in leased Jeeps is that most likely your insurance isn’t going to cover it. It is possible to have insurance that is separate from the entity which you leased the Jeep from. If this is the case then you may be lucky enough to have some help but it isn’t guaranteed. If you are leasing a Jeep because you are on a strict budget, then taking it off-roading is not going to be the best choice. You might end up paying a lot of money for repairs if something goes wrong. 

Tips For Off-roading In A Leased Jeep

Perhaps you do decide to take a leased Jeep off-roading because well, you’ve got a Jeep! There are some things that I would and wouldn’t do to give you less chance of breaking the bank on repairs. For one, don’t go above your ability. If you are faced with certain terrain you have never dealt with, don’t push yourself with a leased Jeep. For example, If you have never worked your way up a 20-degree incline with 3-foot boulders don’t do it for the first time in a leased Jeep. Play it safe. 

Many off-roading terrains require very technical and specific approaches that must be practiced before they can be done correctly. If you have to go off-roading then stick to very simple and low-risk trails. Go drive through as many mud puddles and bumpy dirt roads as you want. These types of courses are less likely to have terrain that is going to cause damage to the vehicle. The most maintenance you are going to do will likely be giving your Jeep a good power wash afterward. 

There is still plenty of opportunity for having fun when off-roading on safer trails. Riding around in the dirt and mud can still give you the rush of off-roading without having to risk damaging your vehicle. Driving in difficult terrain can cause stress that is going to completely take away the fun of it. Use common sense when off-roading with a leased vehicle. Practice safe driving habits as you would with any other vehicle and you are going to have a much better chance of not damaging the leased Jeep. 

What To Do If Something Breaks While Off-roading In A Leased Jeep

Breaking something when off-roading is never fun, especially when it is a leased vehicle. First and foremost, make sure you are prepared. Getting stranded while off-roading can make a bad situation worse. Having basic tools, spare tires, tow straps, and car jacks can all be very helpful when you break something. 

When something breaks, assess the damage and see if you can make it out to somewhere that can easily repair it or if you need, perform basic repairs to make it out. Taking the time to stop any damage from getting worse is going to greatly pay off in the end. Once you have gotten yourself out of a dangerous situation or have made basic repairs you must get back to your home or a shop so you can evaluate the full extent of the damage. 

With a leased vehicle, you are going to have to make all of the repairs before you can return it; alternatively, you’ll lose your lease and cause the leaser to do the repairs. The latter situation will most likely cost you more than a mechanics shop would. When performing repairs, make sure that all original parts are used, or else the leasing company will have reason to charge you more money. Take the time to make sure that the repair is well done because a poorly done repair can lead to more things breaking in the future. 

Original parts must be used because anything else added to the vehicle is going to be considered modifications and is going to breach the lease agreement. Non-original parts can also be above or under the quality of the original parts. 

When using parts that are lower than the quality of the original part, the leasing company can charge you for lowering the value of their vehicle. Parts that are higher quality than the originals are going to cost you more money. The best piece of advice I could give would be to just avoid adding new parts onto a leased vehicle. Replace the parts you damaged and leave the rest of the modifications alone. 

Can You Modify A Leased Jeep For Off-roading?

I would strongly suggest not modifying a leased Jeep for off-roading because it will most likely be against the lease contract. As I brought up earlier, leasing companies demand the Jeep be returned in almost the same condition as when they gave it to you. That means that they don’t want any modifications. In many cases, modifications can hurt the trade-in and resale value of cars. This means companies that lease Jeeps will not want any modifications done since there is a good chance of losing money on their vehicles. 

Technically if you wanted, you could add modifications to a leased Jeep and then remove them once your lease is up. For example, if you wanted to put a lift kit on your Jeep and then just remove it there shouldn’t be any problems with that because the company is still getting their Jeep back in the way that they gave it to you. This process, however, is going to be costly and time consuming so I wouldn’t suggest it. 

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.

Can you offroad in an automatic Jeep? It is completely possible to offroad in an automatic Jeep as it is just as capable of off-roading as a manual Jeep. Automatic Jeeps make off-roading more simple and more relaxed because you can focus on driving and getting through terrain instead of having to worry about shifting. Jeeps with automatic transmissions are also preferred among beginner off-roaders. 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.

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