The term mileage allowance in a car lease refers to the number of miles allowed annually before extra per-mile fees are charged at lease-end.
Although it is expressed as an annual allowance or limit, it doesn’t mean it applies each year of the lease. It’s the total number of miles at the end of the lease that matters.
For example, let’s assume a 36 month (3 year) lease that has a 12,000 miles/year allowance. This means that at lease-end, there should be no more than 36,000 miles (3 times 12,000) registered on the car, regardless of how many of those miles were driven each year. Lease companies don’t check to see how many miles are driven each year; they only check the total miles at lease-end when the car is returned.
If you are currently in a lease and are concerned about exceeding you mileage allowance, you might find our Lease Mileage Calculator handy as a way of know how much you might have to pay at lease-end for exceeding your allowance.