What is ‘Fair Wear & Tear’ on a lease vehicle?

‘Fair Wear & Tear’ in vehicle leasing is an industry standard guide set out by the BVRLA (the trading body for companies engaging in vehicle rental, leasing and fleet management). This guide is used to determine if the condition of a lease vehicle being returned to the lease company is acceptable within the terms of normal daily usage.

All vehicles experience natural deterioration over time. It’s unavoidable unfortunately. That’s where the BVRLA guide comes in. Fair wear and tear covers any damage or deterioration that has occurred through normal use. However, it does not apply to any damage caused via abnormal or inappropriate use. This includes damaged caused by:

  • Impacts
  • Inappropriate stowing of items within the vehicle
  • Harsh treatment of the vehicle and/or its components
  • Negligent acts
  • Omissions

What does the fair wear and tear guide have to do with my lease?

The BVRLA fair wear and tear guide simply allows both the lease company and the customer/client to gain an understanding of an acceptable condition in which to return a lease vehicle without constituting additional charges at the end of a contract. There are different guides for different vehicle classes to accommodate the differing nature of ‘normal daily use’ for these categories (Cars, LCVs and Minibus, HGVs).

At the end of your lease contract, you’ll obviously have to return the vehicle. The guide allows the lease company to assess whether any damage caused to the vehicle during the lease period is natural deterioration from normal use, or caused by misuse. If any of the damage is deemed to be caused by misuse or negligence, additional charges may be payable by the contract holder when returning the vehicle.

To view a copy of the BVRLA Fair Wear and Tear Guide, please click here. 

What are some examples of damage that isn’t included in the fair wear and tear guide?

There are some common problems that often crop up during inspections at the end of a lease contract. These can occur across any aspect of the vehicle, and will often result in additional charges that must be paid by the contract holder if they are deemed to have been caused by abnormal or negligent use of the vehicle. These include but are not limited to:

  • Tears, holes or burns in the seats and upholstery
  • Chips and dents in the bodywork
  • Scratches and scuffs in the paintwork and panels
  • Damage to the vehicle’s wheels and trims

How can I make sure that my lease vehicle is prepared for a ‘fair wear and tear’ assessment?

Nobody wants to pay additional (and potentially avoidable) charges at the end of their lease. By ensuring that you have driven and used the vehicle responsibly, then any deterioration or marks will most likely be covered by the fair wear and tear guide. However, should any damage have occurred that falls outside of these guidelines, they can still be rectified prior to returning the vehicle. This will help to reduce or prevent any additional unwanted charges.

To prepare the vehicle for returning to the lease company, you should take the following into consideration:

  • Inspect your lease vehicle yourself well in advance to returning it to the lease company – there may be some marks or damage that you haven’t noticed that may not even be your fault. Inspecting the vehicle with plenty of time to rectify it means you’re not going to run into any unexpected charges when you do return it. Just make sure you inspect the vehicle in dry, well-lit conditions so that you don’t miss anything.
  • Take care of any required repairs prior to returning the vehicle – if the repairs are left to the responsibility of the finance/lease company, you run the risk of being charged for damages or repairs that fall outside of the fair wear and tear guide. A professional mechanic or repair technician will often be able to rectify the problem at a more affordable rate than the potential charges at the end of the lease.
  • Don’t attempt to fix problems yourself to save money – not only could this cause additional damage if things don’t quite go to plan, but all repairs and restorations must be carried out to a professional standard complete with a warranty that can be provided by the technician(s) who carried out the repairs. You may be required to contact the finance/lease provider before any repairs are carried out to ensure that they are completed by an accredited garage.
  • Keep on top of cleaning the lease vehicle both inside and out – by ensuring that the vehicle is well looked after throughout the lease period, it’s more likely that damage and wear will be kept to a minimum. We recommend regular valets, as well as occasional paintwork polishes to reduce the risk of dirt, grime and stone chips causing serious damage to the exterior. It’s also wise to ensure that this is carried out prior to returning the vehicle too.

Are there ways in which I can avoid charges at the end of my lease contract with Flexed?

Absolutely. Below, you’ll find a few steps you can take that make returning your lease vehicle smooth and hassle-free:

  • When your contract is coming to an end, the interior should be cleaned, valeted and cleared of all rubbish. All the fittings should be intact and the seats should be clean and odour free with no visible signs of stains, rips or burns.
  • Every panel should be inspected for damage. Don’t forget to check the roof! Crouch down at the front and rear of your lease car and look down each side for damage so nothing is missed.
  • Check all the windows, lamps and mirrors for any signs of damage such as chips or cracks. Inspect the wheels, trims and tyres for damage and don’t forget the spare wheel!
  • Make sure all the controls on the dashboard are fully functioning, as well as the audio equipment.
  • All your personal items must be removed from the vehicle, including mobile phone holders etc.
  • Your personal information should also be erased from the vehicle’s sat nav or media system.
  • All documentation related to your lease car must be in the vehicle and both sets of keys must be returned with the vehicle – please remember to remove any keys not related to the lease car beforehand.
  • The lease car must be roadworthy, with no warning lights illuminated on the dashboard and there should be around 50 miles of fuel left in the vehicle when returned.

If you’d like to find out more about our leasing offers, you can speak us directly. Give us a call today on 0800 311 8290 to speak to a member of our friendly team, or drop us an email to talk@flexed.co.uk.

Alternatively, why not use our convenient online ‘We Are Here!’ service – we’ll gladly answer any questions you may have.

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