Customizing Your Leased Subaru: Can You Paint Your Vehicle?

Are you a proud lessee of a Subaru vehicle? Do you want to customize your vehicle to make it stand out from the crowd? Painting your car might be one idea that’s come to mind. But can you paint a leased Subaru car? In this article, we’ll explore the possibilities and limitations of painting a leased vehicle and everything you should consider before making a decision.

Car Leasing Basics

Before we delve into the subject of customization, let’s start with the basics of car leasing. When you lease a car, you are essentially renting it for a set period, usually two to three years. Unlike buying a car, you are not responsible for the entire cost of the vehicle, only the depreciation that occurs while you’re using it. As a lessee, you have to abide by certain terms and conditions, including the mileage limit and vehicle modifications.

Leasing Rules and Regulations

Most leasing agreements come with rules and regulations that limit the lessee’s ability to modify the car. These stipulations often forbid permanent or structural changes that would affect the car’s resale value, including repainting the car. However, some leasing companies may allow certain cosmetic modifications, such as adding a spoiler or tinting the windows. So, it’s essential to check your lease agreement or contact your leasing company before making any modifications.

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Painting a Leased Vehicle

As we mentioned earlier, repainting a leased car is not usually allowed under most leasing agreements. The reason for this is straightforward, as it could affect the overall value of the car. When changing the color, it’s important for car manufacturers, including Subaru, to maintain the paint quality and integrity for the lifetime of the vehicle. If the paint is not done correctly, it may lead to more long-term damage from daily activities like weather and sunlight exposure. For this reason, lessors often prohibit painting the car.

Pros and Cons of Painting a Leased Car

Painting a leased car may sound appealing, but it comes with its own pros and cons. On the upside, customizing your car in a unique way is a fun and exciting way to showcase your personality. However, on the downside, changing the car’s color can significantly reduce its resale value. In addition, painting a car involves additional expenses that are not necessary when you are leasing it.

The Residual Value of a Leased Car

Residual value is an essential concept to consider when leasing a car. This value is the amount the vehicle is worth at the end of the leasing period. Since you are only responsible for the depreciation, the lessor often has to estimate the residual value of the car before the lease begins. When you paint a leased vehicle, it may lead to significant devaluation of the car, leading to a lower residual value.


Is there a way to get around the rules of modifying a leased car?

The leasing company’s rules and regulations are legally binding agreements, meaning you have to abide by them. If painting the car is a priority, you may need to opt for a different type of car financing, such as buying a car or lease-buyout.

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Can I paint the leased car with a wrap or vinyl cover?

Yes, in most cases, covering the car with a wrap or vinyl cover is allowed. Car wraps are similar to stickers that can be placed over the existing paint without harming it. The wrap can be removed when you return the lease, and the original paint will look untouched.


Customizing your car is one way to show off your style and personality. However, leasing a car comes with its own set of rules and regulations that limit certain customizations. Unfortunately, painting a leased Subaru vehicle is not usually allowed and may even reduce the car’s resale value. Always check your lease agreement or contact your leasing company before making any modifications to your leased vehicle.

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Alton Brobst

As a longtime Subaru enthusiast, Alton brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our blog. From his early days of tinkering with engines to his current role as a certified Subaru technician, Alton has seen it all when it comes to Subarus. When he's not working on cars, he enjoys hiking and exploring the great outdoors.

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