When leasing or financing a car, you need to be aware of the industry standard “Fair Wear & Tear” policy used by the major lenders to ensure the vehicles leased or financed are returned in the condition they have budgeted for.
The lease or finance costs are calculated based on the depreciation of the car which is calculated using the annual mileage and condition of the vehicle when it is collected or returned at the end of the agreement. The lender cannot predict the condition of the vehicle when they are returned so they base the lease and finance rentals on a fair wear and tear level.
Here we will guide you through what to consider when the vehicle is returned or collected…
Guide for passenger vehicles with up to eight seats
Natural usage of the vehicle caused fair wear and tear which is acceptable deterioration to a vehicle. When the vehicle is returned the age, mileage, and use of the vehicle is taken into account. However, damage is different and should not be confused with fair wear and tear. Damage is caused as a result of some sort of impact or neglect.
All drivers should always following the manufacturers recommendations regarding fuel and fuel blends, additives such as Adblue, lubricants and battery re-charging (if electric or hybrid vehicle). The warranty of each vehicle may be invalidated due to inappropriate choices.
End of lease charges
The reason charges may apply is simply to compensate the lender for the depreciation of the vehicle due to misuse or missing equipment.
Should you dispute the charges
All customers have the right to pay for an examination of the vehicle by a qualified engineers which is unrelated to the original inspection by both parties. The engineers decision will be final.
Maintenance, servicing and repairs
All customers are required to ensure the vehicle has been inspected, maintained and serviced according to the manufacturers servicing schedule and recommendations. The service book supplied with the vehicle must be present and date-stamped by the service agent/repairer approved by the lender as evidence that the service has taken place. If the service record is kept electronically the customer should always ensure the service agent/repairer approved by the lender has re-set the service interval display in the vehicles on-board service history unit. All repairs including chips, scratches and dents before the vehicle is returned must be a professional standard and carried out by a repairer who can provide full transferable warranty on their work. Unauthorised mileage / odometer changed are prohibited.
All documents received with the vehicle including V5C (where appropriate), MOT receipt, user manual, service book etc must be intact and available in the vehicle on its return including details of the audio equipment security codes. The vehicle is expected to have been valeted, cleared of rubbish and the ashtrays emptied before the vehicle is collected or returned. All keys received with the vehicle must be returned including any locking wheel-nut keys. Rust, corrosion or discolouration on any painted area including bumpers, body mouldings and mirrors are not acceptable.
Chips are acceptable but only in small areas. If chipping requires the entire panel, bumper or trim to be repaired or repainted, the damage is not acceptable.
Dents up to 10mm in diameter are acceptable provided there are no more than two per panel and the paint surface is not broken. Dents on the roof or swage line on any panels are not acceptable.
Scratches and abrasions up to 25mm are acceptable, dependant on the vehicles age and mileage and provided the primer or bare metal is not showing.
Moulding, wheel arch trims
Scuffs and scratches to the wheels up to 25mm are acceptable providing the moulding or trim is not broken cracked or deformed.
Badging, stickers and labels
All badging, stickers labels and logos and advertising livery applied by the customer to the bodywork of the glass of the vehicle should be removed before returning the vehicle. Removing these must be done professionally and the vehicle must be returned to the original colour and condition. Any damage caused by fitting or removing badges, stickers or labels included faded paintwork is not acceptable.
Soft and hard top convertibles
Convertible roofs must be fully operative and free from damage including rips and tears. The rear window must not be cracked, scratched, or creased. All accessories originally supplied must be present on the collection / return and all in good condition.
Tow bars must only be fitted with approval from 21st Century Motors. If fitted, a tow bar must be in good, rust-free condition with electrical connections that work properly. A ball cover must be in place.
Light scratching is acceptable provided in does not interfere with the drivers line of sight and any heating elements still work properly. Chips, cracks or holes are not acceptable. Repaired chips within the drivers line of sight are not acceptable. Repaired chips outside of the drivers line of sight are acceptable provided they are repaired to a professional standard and the work is warrantied.
Any missing, cracked or damaged door mirrors are not acceptable. If adjustable and/or heated door mirrors, they must work correctly when the vehicle is collected or returned.
Lamps and lenses
All lamps and lights must work. Minor scuff marks or scratches up to 25mm are acceptable. Holes or cracks in the glass or plastic covers of lamps are not acceptable.
All tyres including any spare, must meet the minimum UK legal requirement and comply with the vehicle manufacturers recommendations of tyre type, class, quality, size, and speed rating for the vehicle. There must be no damage to sidewalls or tread. Evidence of uneven wear due to under or over inflation is not acceptable. Replacement tyres should be in the same class as those which are sold on the new vehicle.
Wheels and wheel trims
Dents and holes on wheel trims and wheel rims are not acceptable. Scuffs totalling up to 50mm on the total circumference of the wheel trim and on alloy wheels are acceptable. Any damage to the wheel spokes and the hub of the alloy wheel is not acceptable. The spare wheel, including ‘spacesaver’ spare wheels, jack and other tools must be intact, stowed properly and in good working order. The emergency tyre inflation kit, if supplied when new, should be in full working order, serviceable and ready to use.
The vehicle should be returned or collected on a safe, legal and reliable mechanical condition, capable of passing an MOT test. The vehicles engine management system should not be displaying any warning light. If a warning light is illuminated, the vehicle may not be drivable and the collection process abandoned in which a fee may be charged. Advisory illuminated alerts such as countdowns to the vehicles next service are acceptable.
Brakes / Engine / Transmission
These items are not acceptable fair wear and tear, because the driver has neglected to maintain and/or service the vehicle or failed to action warning messages.
- Brakes – Must not have grooved disc or drums caused by excessing wear or metal to metal contact from worn out disc pads.
- Engine – Must not be seized or damaged due to running vehicle with insufficient coolant, oil or with broken internal components.
- Manual transmission – Must not have clutch slipping, noisy clutch or gearbox, excessively worn or ineffective synchromesh.
- Automatic transmission – Must not have a noisy gearbox or torque converter, abrupt gear changes or loose gear linkage.
Any impact damage to the vehicles underside is not acceptable. Catalytic converters not working because of obvious abuse or damage are not acceptable.
In the passenger area, seats, headrests, and trim the interior upholstery must be clean and odourless with no burns, scratches, dents or staining. The carpets must not have holes and all seats originally supplied must be present. Interior fittings such as seatbelts, rear view mirrors, courtesy lights, sun visors, door bins etc, must be present, intact and free of damage. Scratches on the door aperture, boot, boot liner, sills and luggage area are not acceptable. Torn or split floor coverings and damaged surrounding trim panels are not acceptable. Accessories such as parcel shelves, load covers, restraining straps and nets must be returned with the vehicle.
Equipment and controls
All original equipment, accessories and controls must be present and operate correctly. This includes satellite navigation discs, Secure Digital (SD) cars and remote units, headphones, electric vehicle charging leads, Bluetooth and other integrated systems. If accessories such as car telephones and other non-standard equipment’s have been wired-in or mounted on the dashboard, any holes or other damage must be neatly repaired when they are removed. Aerials must be left in place or the hole must be neatly repaired.
This is just a guide, Charges may apply if these guides are not met. The final charges (if any) are issued by the lender, not 21st Century Motors Limited. We are a credit broker and not a lender.