2010 BMW 5 series

BMW Leasing Becomes a Little More Worry Free

Leasing a BMW or Mini has become a little more worry free thanks to a new offering from the German automaker.

BMW's leasing arm, called BMW Financial Services, has introduced the BMW Lease Protection Program. The BMW Lease Protection Program, which must be purchased at time of new-vehicle delivery, covers up to $3,750 in billed excess wear and use charges at turn in (not during the life of the lease).

In effect, it's an insurance program against getting whacked by BMW when turning in a vehicle after the lease has expired. Now, in fairness to BMW, all manufacturers come down hard on lessees who return vehicles with damage, especially when the damage drops the vehicle's residual value.

“Our new BMW Lease Protection product, which some might refer to as extended-wear-and-tear coverage, virtually eliminates the potential out-of-pocket costs of common repairs at lease-end , thus making the leasing experience that much more pleasurable,” explained Lisa McPherson, BMW Financial Services general manager of insurance, in a release made available to Torque News. “This is our latest program to make leasing a BMW (or a MINI) a pleasurable experience and minimizing issues surrounding wear and tear, tire and wheel problems and minor dings and dents which may become apparent when the vehicle is returned at the end of the lease.”

BMW Lease Protection joins BMW Tire & Wheel Protection, BMW Paintless Dent Repair and BMW Windshield Protection to provide coverage for everyday mishaps. These same programs are offered to Mini customers.

“One of the reasons people lease cars is for a virtually worry-free driving experience, one which enables them to enjoy their vehicles for the life of the lease and then either walk away or move into their next BMW or Mini,” explained McPherson. “We understand this and are continually upgrading the BMW Ultimate Lease to make the experience that much more pleasurable and rewarding for the BMW Financial Services customer. Taking the costly surprises out of the lease experience by providing BMW-level protection is the obvious way to do just that.”

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Items covered by the program include:

- Dents and dings
- Tires
- Wheels
- Upholstery, rips, tears
- Glass
- Headlamps (including Xenon), fog lamps, tail-lamp assemblies
- Bumpers, step bumpers, surrounding trim
- Navigation/display screen
- Factory entertainment system
- Convertible tops
- Carpets
- Mufflers and tail pipes
- Rubber door seals
- Mirrors, mirror covers and housing
- Nameplate badges and hood ornaments
- Moldings, trim, metal and chrome
- Missing parts (up to $300 per occurrence)

The process for determining excess wear and use occurs at the lease-end inspection, generally performed at the BMW Center. There an inspector reviews the vehicle, noting if there are any items in need of attention. If so, the information is presented to the customer (who will receive a comprehensive lease-end inspection report) and the claim is submitted to BMW Financial Services directly by the dealer – the customer does not have to do anything.

This is a worthwhile program for those BMW lessees who drive somewhat carelessly, live in an urban setting where dings and dents are a rite of passage, or don't have the financial discipline to set aside $100 a month in a vehicle repair fund. The latter does avoid potentially costly insurance plans and reward the owner if no claims need to be settled.