Charges when the car is handed back - Leasing Myths Debunked

Charges when the car is handed back - Leasing Myths Debunked
22 Aug 2018
By Ronnie Lawson-Jones
In another post in the Leasing Myths Debunked series we take a look at the claim that handing leasing cars back may be 'unfair' and that car leasing customers are treated harshly and should expect a big bill at the end for even the most slight of damage. Well, we're here today to obviously debunk the myth and to shed some light on how our finance company's fair wear and tear policy works at the end of the contact.

Will I get a big bill when I return the car?

If you take care of the car for the duration of the lease and the only damage the car has had is from normal wear and tear then you will not get any bill to repair the car when you hand it back. Leasing companies expect that any car will pickup some damage naturally over the years - this damage is called 'fair wear and tear'.

There is some truth in the myth that you can get billed at the end of the lease if the vehicle is in an unacceptable condition. The biggest contributor to the myth is people's misconception of 'unacceptable condition' and this is where the 'fair wear and tear' policy comes in.

If you were to hand your lease back and the alloys are kerbed all over, there's visible and deep scratches on the bodywork and other visible areas of damage inside and out then of course you can be billed for this as it would be totally unacceptable to hand the car back in that state.

Some examples of unacceptable and chargable damage include:

  • Cracked windscreen
  • Stained upholstery
  • Smoking burns in seats
  • Deep scratches
  • Tyres which are below legal tread
  • Cracked and damaged alloy wheels
  • Obvious parking scrape
  • Large dents

This is not an exhaustive list


If you've taken good care of the car and the only damage is the normal damage you'd expect on a 2,3 or 4 year car then you shouldn't expect any bill at all when you hand it back. Fair, wear and tear should not be confused with damage which is 'out of the ordinary' such as parking scrapes, a crash and harsh treatment. 

If the car has received damage because of recklessness or negligence then you may or may not be charged for it if the car hasn't been repairs before it's handed back.

A quote from the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA), of which we are a member, sums it up nicely:

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

So, why is there a myth about this?

As with the other myths we've covered it has usually been perpetuated by people who have never leased before or those who stand to gain if you didn't lease a car such as PCP providers or used car dealers. This myth could also be amplified by Chinese whispers from someone who may had a big bill from not taking care of the car.

Finance company fair wear and tear statements

For your convenience and in the event this article is not enough for you to quite commit to a new lease then we've listed our finance company's individual fair wear and tear policies. 

Arval

ALD

Hitachi

Alphabet

LeasePlan


If you're in the market for a new lease car or perhaps you may be new to leasing entirely, be sure to check out our latest special offers to see whats hot and best value for money at the moment!

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