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Dear Patty, I am currently driving a 2003 leased Honda that is due to be returned in May. I plan to lease another Honda at that time. I have been very good about getting all of the service in the "little booklet" done at the dealer and date-stamped. Here's my question: Since it's a lease have I been foolish to take such good care of the car? A friend who leases the exact same car says I should just get regular oil changes and replace the tires when needed. Nothing else. Another friend who OWNS a Honda gets everything done at the dealer as I do. Is there a difference in how well you should maintain a car if you lease rather than buy? I look forward to hearing your opinion on this. Best regards, Debbie Zupcak

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Jenny Trostel, Partner at Anderson of Hunt Valley Continue to take good care of the car that you drive, whether you are leasing it or buying it. It is important to know that the vehicle is is good working order when you depend on it every day. I wouldn't want to get stranded because I was not taking proper care of my car. Also, read the fine print on the lease. You must maintain the vehicle properly or you could be charged for excessive wear and tear at the end of the lease. Sometimes those fees really add up. Keep doing what you have been doing when you lease the next car. Good Luck!

Lacy Schwab, Service and Parts Director at Porreco Nissan Debbie, Often when someone leases or rents a car they don't treat it as well because it's technically not theirs, but in my opinion if you opt to borrow something (essentially what you're doing with a lease) it's appropriate that you return it in the same condition that you borrowed it in, or as closely to that as possible. The next person that leases or buys that car will be thankful that you had it first. Have you ever been to the library and attempted to check out a book that had coffee stains all in it or highlights? Same difference.

Patty Streeter,  at Debbie, Check out our expert answers!

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