Lease Return Vehicles: What To Repair, What Constitutes Wear & Tear?

Lease Return Vehicles: What To Repair, What Constitutes Wear & Tear?

When leasing a car, you agree to a mutual financial agreement with a company and you are paying money to drive a vehicle, rather than owning it. It is basically the equivalent of paying rent but, for a car instead of a house, in which monthly lease payments will be exchanged for driving the vehicle. The lease agreement will last for a fixed period of time, for example, 3-4 years, often with the option to purchase the vehicle once the lease has expired. This is normally through the car dealer or through a finance company.

Once the term is completed, the vehicle obviously needs to go back to the original owners, whether a car dealer or a leasing company. When returning the vehicle, there is an agreed contract stipulating the condition the vehicle needs to be in. This will obviously depend on the length and usage of the vehicle but, it will be expected to be presentable and in good driving condition, ready for selling on.

The embodiment of ‘wear and tear’ relating to the leasing of cars comes down to a couple of conditions generally:

Firstly, if you have leased a vehicle, then you will be held responsible for the items traditionally associated with mechanical wear and tear, such as the tyres, wiper blades, light bulbs and the brakes, etc. Part of the agreement will be to ensure the vehicle is serviced annually. If it is not, you will be charged for this by the leasing company.

The second stipulation you will need to adhere to is the condition of the vehicle’s exterior bodywork and its interior. Upon return, the vehicle should be in an almost pristine condition so the leasing company does not have to spend money on repairs. As a general rule, dents and scratches under 1cm are considered normal wear and tear and it is unlikely you will be charged for stone chips or car park dents if they are less than 1cm in diameter. The same allowance is also applied to alloy wheels. If they have been scraped over 1cm, it is best to have these repaired prior to returning the vehicle.

Here at, we will happily look around your vehicle with you and advise you what should be repaired and what you are probably safe to leave. We advise that you look at the wear and tear area of your contract prior to visiting us so you are familiar with the allowances your lease company has set.


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