Can You Add Running Boards to a Leased Truck?

You might consider comfort when you want to add modifications to your leased truck. For example, adding running boards to your leased truck is one way to make getting in and out of your vehicle more manageable, but are you allowed to do it?

You can add running boards to your leased truck if you remove them when you return the car to the dealer. However, it is always best to ask permission from the vehicle provider before adding any modifications because you risk infringing policies and the vehicle warranty.

This article will explain what warranty considerations you need before adding running boards to a leased truck, how to safely install them to ensure you don’t risk any penalties, and in what cases you can keep the running boards on the vehicle.

Driver talking by mobile phone while sitting in cabin of big modern truck

What To Consider When Adding Running Boards to A Leased Truck

If you want to add running boards to your leased truck, you need to reverse it back to its stock form when you return it or trade it in for another vehicle. 

Still, again, I advise you to check your leasing contract for any particular policies regarding modifications, even if most companies do not care about you adding anything to the car as long as you return it intact.

In the case of running boards, most trucks come with factory holes on both sides where you can mount your accessory boards. Beware of trucks that don’t have built-in factory holes for running boards! 

If adding the items requires welding or drilling, you will run into trouble with the car dealer you leased your truck from. Also, since your vehicle must be returned intact, permanent modifications will make you risk penalties.

How To Safely Install Running Boards to Your Leased Truck

So, if the company you are leasing your truck from gave you the green light on your running boards, what next? 

Let’s look at the best way to install running boards to a leased truck, minimizing the chances of damage or a warranty waiver. 

Inspect Your Leased Truck

Before you order running boards for your leased truck, it is essential to check whether you are legally allowed to do it. 

The first place you should look is under your vehicle, where the factory holes for running boards should be. If they are present, you can proceed with your order. 

However, if your truck does not have these factory holes, you can only drill holes and install running boards if you purchase the vehicle. Even so, you risk invalidating the truck warranty.

Collect Your Equipment

As soon as you unbox your running board package, check if all the parts are there. If anything is missing, call the company you ordered it from to get the missing parts. 

Before you move on to check if you have the necessary tools for installation, you should read the manual thoroughly. Do not proceed to the next step before you read the manual at least once.

Next, you should check if you have the necessary tools to install the running boards. The usual tools needed for this procedure are:

  • A padded mat or a mechanic creeper
  • Safety gloves
  • Safety goggles
  • Box end wrench set (check the required wrench dimensions in the manual)
  • Socket set
  • Ratchet

If the manual recommends you use any additional tools, you should head to your local hardware and tools store and get them. Do not attempt to use other improvised tools for installing the running boards because you risk damaging the boards or the factory holes.

Install the Bolt Plates

Now, it’s time for the installation! 

The first things you need to install are the bolt plates. Bolt plates hold the running board brackets in place and make a place where you can attach everything without scratching your vehicle. 

If the factory holes have rubber plugs, remove them and store them in a ziplock container – you might need them later if you want to take the running boards off. 

Then, install the bolt plates by following the instructions provided in the manual. 

Add the Brackets to the Bolt Plates

After the bolt plates are secure, you can add the brackets. 

To install the brackets, start with the front one. Attach each bracket to the bolt plates using the required nuts and bolts. Do not screw them in too tight. You may need to adjust them later to install the brackets. 

Add the Running Boards to the Brackets

The final step is adding the running boards to the brackets you just installed. Before fully tightening them, make sure all items are aligned. In most cases, you will need to adjust things slightly to have everything leveled up.

You can check out the following video if you want a visual presentation of the steps you need to take when installing running boards to your leased truck: 

What To Do if You Want To Keep the Running Boards on Your Truck

Let’s say you liked the running boards on your truck so much that you want to keep them there permanently. Maybe you need to drill holes yourself to add the running boards or the boards that came with lights or other accessories that you can only install if you modify your truck permanently. 

The only thing you can do to make that possible is to buy the vehicle. If you want to return your truck at the end of the lease, you cannot add any permanent modifications. 

So, don’t install those boards until you’re sure you want to keep your truck! Otherwise, you’ll likely have to pay the penalty. 

If you have a leased truck, you may want to put a plow on it. Read my guide on adding a plow to a leased truck to see how you can accomplish the task. [Can You Put a Plow on a Leased Truck?]

Woman gets out of truck to unload at storage location

Final Thoughts

While adding running boards to a leased truck sounds easy to make it more comfortable, you should only consider doing this if your vehicle has factory holes and you are sure you can remove them before returning the truck.

If you want to buy the truck, you can add any modifications you like, but if you don’t, you should consider limiting yourself to only reversible changes. You risk penalties and invalidating the truck warranty if you make any permanent modifications before your lease is up.