Your End Of Contract Guide
Towards the end of your car lease contract, we recommend you check over your vehicle to ensure it is returned in the best condition possible.
The car needs to be returned in line with the BVRLA and your finance company’s fair wear and tear guidelines for a lease car. Below, we detail the process that we recommend car leasing drivers follow.
'Fair Wear and Tear'
As part of your contract, your vehicle will need to be returned in a state that complies with 'fair wear and tear' guidelines.
'Fair wear and tear' is any acceptable deterioration to your lease car that occurs during normal usage over the period of the contract, this includes damage to the tyres, bumpers, windows glass and interior. You will not be charged for fair wear and tear damage.
Fair wear and tear does not include damage that occurs due to a specific event or series of events such as impact, inappropriate stowing of items, harsh-treatment, negligent acts or omissions.
The fair wear and tear guide above is produced by the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) and offers an industry-standard description of acceptable levels of fair wear and tear. We recommend that you read this information both at the start and again towards the end of your car lease.
Each finance company (the ‘funder’) however, also produces its own set of fair wear and tear guidelines which we also recommend you read, as whilst these will be similar to and based on the BVRLA guidelines, there may be some slight nuances and it is these that you will need to comply with.
You can obtain a copy of your finance company’s fair wear and tear guidelines either from your Select Sales Consultant or direct from your finance company.
Things to look out for
Most of our customers do not incur end of lease penalties. When we do see penalties however, they tend to relate to (but are not restricted to) a list of usual types of damage, so we recommend you pay particular attention to these when conducting your own personal inspection of your vehicle:
- Stains, rips, tears and burns on seats
- Scratched or scuffed paintwork
- Chips and dents on the bodywork
- Damage to wheels and trims
- Scratches over 25mm (relative to the vehicle's age and mileage)
- Scratches under 25mm (where the primer and bare metal is showing)
- Accident damage and dents
- Missing sets of keys
For peace of mind and to help avoid any unnecessary charges at the end of your lease, we've partnered up with Inspect Any Car. As a specialist inspection company they will be able to highlight any areas that may need addressing before returning your vehicle.
End of Lease Process
In the lead-up to your end of lease, we recommend you take the following steps to ensure that your vehicle is in excellent condition for when it is returned to your finance company.
- Re-read the BVRLA’s Fair Wear and Tear Guidelines along with those of your finance company
- Give yourself enough time to act on and repair anything that requires attention
- Choose a good time and location to personally appraise your vehicle (appraisals carried out in poor light invariably miss faults)
- Before appraising, make sure the vehicle has been washed and is thoroughly clean but remember to allow time for it to dry (water on the paintwork can mask faults)
- Walk all the way around the vehicle and closely examine each panel including the roof, bonnet, doors, and body for significant damage. Observe where the light is reflected differently, indicating dents and scratches
- Crouch or kneel at the front and rear of the vehicle and look along the bodyline on each side. This will help you see scratches and dents that may otherwise be difficult to spot
- Inspect lamps, lenses, windows and mirrors for chips, cracks and holes.
- Check the tyres (including spare) for damage. Check that the wear on the tread across each tyre is even. Inspect wheels, wheel trims and wheel spokes for scratches and deterioration
- For vans, we also recommend you inspect the following: bumpers (especially the lower-half of both the front and rear bumpers), wheel arches, side-loading door, loading floor and its lining
- Clean and valet the interior
- Check upholstered areas for odours, tears, burns, stains and wear
- Inspect all controls, including audio equipment and accessories – they should be present and fully functional
- Arrange for any non-Fair and Wear Tear damage to be repaired
- Gather together any necessary documentation required for hand-back, these could include:
- All sets of keys
- The service book
- A valid MOT certificate (if applicable)
- The operation manual
- Ensure the car is clean and smelling fresh
- Remove all personal affects
- Have documentation pack ready in the vehicle
Return Day Procedure
When you return your vehicle to the finance company it will undergo an assessment to determine whether it meets their fair wear and tear guidelines. The assessor will note the condition of the car and the mileage and you will be asked to sign a returns form and a copy will be given to you to keep.
If there is damage beyond what is considered reasonable, you may be liable to pay some degree of fine.
If you have exceeded the mileage allowance for your lease, you will need to pay an additional fee based on how much more you have driven.