Returning your leased vehicle

At the end of the contract your vehicle will be returned to the leasing company and assessed to determine whether the vehicle meets the agreed returned condition.

What is fair wear and tear?

Fair wear and tear occurs when normal usage causes deterioration to a vehicle. It is not to be confused with damage, which occurs as a result of a specific event or series of events such as impact, inappropriate stowing of items, harsh-treatment, negligent acts or omissions.

Who will collect and inspect my vehicle?

Your vehicle will be collected and inspected by an independent company. For more information, contact your leasing company directly. Please note that the BVRLA does not carry out any vehicle collections or inspections.

Why do BVRLA members have end of lease charges?

End-of lease charges occur when the vehicle, its equipment or accessories are not used, maintained or looked after as originally agreed at the start of the lease. The charges compensate the leasing company for the cost of rectifying damage or missing items such as keys or service history.

They can still be applied at the end of lease in cases where the leasing company decides (for commercial reasons) not to repair damage or replace missing equipment before the vehicle is sold.

Customers are not charged at end of lease for any refurbishment that arises from normal wear and tear.

Customers can arrange to repair any damage that's outside the agreed returned standard before returning the vehicle, provided the repairs are carried out to a professional standard by a reputable repairer who can provide a fully transferable warranty on the work.

Before your vehicle is due back to the leasing company consider the following:

Understand the standard

You should request a copy of the BVRLA industry fair wear and tear standard from your leasing company. 

Appraising your vehicle

This will identify any damage that does not constitute fair wear and tear and requires repair. Use the BVRLA Fair Wear and Tear Guide and these key tips when appraising your vehicle:

  • Carry out the appraisal of the vehicle 10 – 12 weeks before the vehicle is due for return. This will allow you to arrange to have any unacceptable wear and tear rectified.
  • Appraise the vehicle as honestly as you can – be objective. Ask a friend or colleague to help you.
  • Choose a time and place with good light. This is how the leasing company will examine your vehicle. Appraisals carried out in poor light invariably miss some faults.
  • Before appraising the vehicle, make sure that it 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 examine closely each panel including the roof, bonnet, doors, and body for significant damage. Observe where the light is reflected differently from dents and scratches.
  • Crouch or kneel down 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.
  • 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.

Gain an understanding of the collection procedures

You must be advised what to expect when the vehicle is collected. Some leasing companies may arrange a full vehicle inspection and condition report when the vehicle is collected. Other leasing companies will collect the vehicle and complete the full inspection later at the leasing company's nominated site. It is recommended that you are present when the vehicle is collected.

At collection, you and the representative from the leasing company must check and agree on the vehicle's condition. All readily apparent damage to the vehicle will be noted on the vehicle collection sheet and both parties should sign the documentation or hand-held device.


What can I do if I have a complaint? 

In the event of a dispute about the condition or damage to the vehicle, customers have the right to pay for an examination of the evidence by an independent qualified engineer, eg an engineer who is unrelated to the original inspection and agreed by both parties. The engineer's decision will be binding on both the customer and the BVRLA member. If the engineer finds in the customer's favour, the BVRLA member will refund the reasonable cost of the examination to the customer.

On occasion, disagreements will arise between customers and BVRLA members which cannot be settled directly. Unresolved disputes can be referred to the BVRLA by the customer and/or the member involved. More information on the BVRLA's Alternative Dispute Resolution Service is available online.

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