BVRLA Wear and Tear Guide

The BVRLA Fair Wear & Tear Guide has two goals: first, to educate drivers on how to properly care for a leased or financed vehicle in order to avoid incurring end-of-contract fees, and second, to establish an industry-wide, accepted standard for defining fair wear and tear on vehicles when they are returned at the end of a lease or finance agreement.

Who collects and inspects my vehicle?

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

What is fair wear and tear?

When a vehicle deteriorates due to normal use, this is known as fair wear and tear. It is not to be confused with damage, which occurs as a result of a single or series of events such as an impact, improper item storage, harsh treatment, or negligent acts or omissions.

What are end-of-lease charges?

When the vehicle, its equipment, or accessories are not used, maintained, or cared for as agreed at the commencement of the lease, end-of-lease charges apply. The fees cover the expense of repairing damage or replacing goods such as keys or service records that have gone missing.

They can still be applied at the end of the 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 for any refurbishment that occurs as a result of regular wear and tear at the conclusion of the lease.

Customers can arrange for any damage that is beyond the agreed-upon returned standard to be repaired before returning the vehicle, as long as the repairs are completed to a professional quality by a reputable repairer who can give a fully transferable warranty.

Tips for appraising your vehicle for wear and tear

A vehicle appraisal will identify any damage that does not constitute fair wear and tear and requires repair. The BVRLA Fair Wear and Tear Guide offers 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 the 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.

Understanding the collection process

You must be informed of 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 from the arranged location. Other leasing companies will collect the vehicle from the arranged location and complete the full inspection later at the leasing company's nominated site. It is advised that you are present when the vehicle is collected.

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

What happens if I disagree with damage and charges?

In the case 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 not linked to the original inspection and agreed by both parties.

The engineer's decision will be binding for both the customer and the BVRLA member. If the engineer finds it 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.

If you’re worried about wear and tear on your car, consider one of our insured car leasing deals which include car maintenance cover for both personal and business leasing.