A vehicle leasing specialist has released comments outlining the avoidable fines that Brits may not know about when returning their hire vehicle.
Leasing has become an increasingly popular option for those who want to lower the upfront and monthly costs of owning a vehicle. However, failure to take proper care of your vehicle can result in some hefty charges upon returning it at the end of your lease.
Nigel King, Group Operations Director at All Car Leasing, has released comments advising Brits of the end-of-lease charges and fines that they could receive and how they can be easily avoided.
- Steer clear of fines and tickets
“You may not permanently own the vehicle, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t be expected to pay any fines or tickets that you could be charged with due to traffic or parking violations. These include exceeding the speed limit, driving in a Clean Air, Ultra Low Emission or Congestion Zone in a non-eligible vehicle, and inappropriate or illegal parking.”
“If these fines are charged after the vehicle has been returned, the rental company will have procedures in place to determine which of their customers is responsible and who needs to be charged the appropriate amount to settle any outstanding payments.”
- Be aware of your contracted mileage
“When leasing a vehicle, a mileage allowance will be agreed upon between you and the finance company which will ultimately be used to determine the value of your vehicle by the time you return it.”
“Many are tempted to go for a lower mileage allowance as this will reduce monthly payments. However, it can actually be more economical to pay that little extra for a higher mileage allowance, as this will prevent the likelihood of being faced with excess charges once the contract has concluded.”
“Mileage charges are calculated per pence per mile and can end up being quite expensive, so it always saves to take time before and during leasing your vehicle to decide just how much mileage you’re likely to need and stick to this as closely as possible.”
- Avoid causing substantial damage to your vehicle
“This may seem fairly straightforward, but there are many misconceptions about what substantial damage actually constitutes when returning your hire car. Your rental or lease company will typically follow an industry-established policy of ‘Fair Wear and Tear’ which protects its customers from any basic deterioration that may occur to a vehicle over time. This could include minor scratches scuffs, wear and staining that naturally arise from extensive everyday use.”
“However, significant damage to your vehicle will go towards any end-of-lease charges, so extra care should be taken if you don’t want to rack up any extra costs when handing back the keys.”
“Both the age of the vehicle and the contracted mileage can have an impact on its condition by the time of return. It’s always best to consult your vehicle’s documents and your contract with the rental company so that you know exactly where you stand.”
Please see our guide detailing what is and is not acceptable when returning your car. This guide was created by the BVRLA
- Regularly service your vehicle
“Regularly servicing your vehicle ensures that all of its components are working as they should, from the breaks to the suspension. This allows it to run more safely and reliably and reduces the likelihood of breakdowns. Should your vehicle be found to have received a lack of or improper service throughout the leasing process, this can result in a weighty payment as it has the potential to lower its value.”
“General guidance is to service your vehicle once a year or every 12,000 miles, however, high-performance vehicles may require more regular maintenance.”