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What is Considered as Fair Wear & Tear When You Hand Back Your Lease car?

What is Considered as Fair Wear & Tear When You Hand Back Your Lease car?

By Swansway Motor Group 07-06-2018

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You’ve come to the end of your lease agreement and it’s time to hand the car back; when it comes to the leasing company inspecting your car for wear and tear, will you be in for a nasty surprise?

Car leasing fair wear & tear checklist

The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) have issued a checklist which should give you some guidance and confidence that you know what you’re looking for; the full checklist is detailed below, but at a minimum, the car should be:

  • safe and roadworthy
  • returned with all relevant documents, both sets of keys; locking wheelnut key for alloy wheels.
  • serviced in line with the manufacturer's schedule, with stamps in the service book.
  • the car should be clean, so it can be inspected inside and out.

What is leasing fair wear and tear?

You’ve come to the end of your lease agreement and it’s time to hand the car back; when it comes to the leasing company inspecting your car for wear and tear, will you be in for a nasty surprise?

Fair wear and tear can be a contentious issue, it's a rather woolly sounding phrase; so, when it comes to the end of the lease term, will the leasing company be pointing out marks, scuffs or other damage, which they say, you must pay for.

While it states quite clearly in your agreement that the vehicle must be handed back with no more than a reasonable amount of wear and tear, what does that really mean?

Beaten up and scuffed toy car photographed as if it were a real car


Leasing fair wear & tear checklist

What is allowed under fair wear & tear?

The checklist defines what’s allowed under fair wear and tear.

Windscreen - small scratches outside the driver's area of vision are acceptable. Holes, chips, any cracks and scratches inside the driver’s line of sight are not.

Beautiful view out of car windscreen

Wheels/Tyres – minor scuffs up to 25mm should be OK. Deeper, scoring damage to the wheel surface, damage to side walls or uneven tread wear will not.

Bumpers -  as with the mirrors, you should get away with minor scuffing up to 25mm, but deeper scuffs, a broken, dented or cracked panel will not pass the standard.

Wing mirrors – so long as the paintwork isn’t scratched or damaged, a minor scuff on the mirror housing ought to be acceptable. A missing, damaged or cracked wing mirror obviously would not be.

Wing mirror with cars in it

Bodywork - small areas of chipping, (usually at the front where grit gets thrown up), short and light scratches and little dents up to 10mm, providing the paint is not broken, are usually deemed acceptable. Stone chips or scratches longer than 25mm, any bare metal exposed, any impact damage or multiple dents on a single panel won’t get through.

Decals – if you’ve added decals these need to be removed, along with all glue residue, but on their own, they’re not a problem. What will cause a problem is if the bodywork or paint underneath is damaged by the removal.

Interior upholstery – so long as it’s clean and tidy, with only slight wear and soiling through normal use, that’s acceptable. Any burns, rips or permanent staining and any damage caused by fitting something like a mobile phone cradle, is not.

This should help you decide whether or not your car will pass the test at the end of your contract.

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