Preparing your vehicle for the end of the lease

August 10, 2018

If you’re reaching the end of your lease contract it is important that you take time to prepare your vehicle properly for inspection.

Preparing your vehicle for the end of the lease

If you’re reaching the end of your lease contract it is important that you take time to prepare your vehicle properly for inspection. The chances are that you will have lots of questions about returning your vehicle from arranging collection to excess mileage and damage charges.

Our dedicated Fleet Management Team will be in contact with you five months before the end of the lease to discuss your replacement options. One of the benefits of leasing your vehicle is the flexibility it offers at the end of the lease term, with options such as handing the vehicle back for a newer car, extending the contract, or purchasing the vehicle outright from the finance company depending on the type of contract that was taken out at the start of the leasing term.

Preparing Your Vehicle for Collection

It is important that you prepare your vehicle for the end of its lease. It will be evaluated by the lease company for any damage that falls outside of “fair wear and tear”. The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) provide an industry standard guide to wear and tear on a lease vehicle. Each finance company normally has a wear and tear guide of their own that can vary in terms so it is always advisable to check their individual guidelines.

It is advised that you inspect the vehicle for damage 3 months before it is due to be returned to give yourself enough time to arrange for any necessary repairs to be carried out. We would recommend starting by inspecting the outside of the vehicle by checking each panel to make sure that there is no damage.

Make sure to take a close look at the lamps, lenses, windows and mirrors to check for any chips or cracks and check the wheels, trims and tyres for any damage including the spare wheel (if applicable). All tyres, including any spare, must meet minimum UK legal requirements and comply with the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations for individual tyre type.

When inspecting the interior check for any odours, tears, burns, or stains in the upholstery. Also, make sure you inspect the dashboard and all other controls to ensure they are fully functional including any audio equipment or accessories.

Some of the most common problems that result in customers having to pay lease-end penalty charges include:

  • Scratches over 25mm (relative to the vehicle’s age and mileage)
  • Scratches under 25mm (where the primer and bare metal is showing)
  • Accident damage and dents
  • Missing sets of keys
  • Missed services
  • Missing documentation
  • Damaged or stained interior
  • Windscreen chips and scratching (Light scratching is acceptable provided it does not interfere with the driver’s line of sight)
  • Wheel damage due to kerbing

If your vehicle has a private registration plate it is your responsibility to have it put onto retention prior to the vehicle being collected. This is something out Customer Service team can assist you with, you can call them on 0345 299 0450.

Collection Day - What to Expect

On the day the vehicle is being collected at the end of the lease a collection agent will come to your nominated place. They will check the vehicle and record its condition and mileage on a Condition Form. You will be asked to check and sign this so please check that the information recorded is correct. A copy of the Vehicle Condition Form will also be left with you for your records. All leasing companies in membership are obliged under the BVRLA Code of Conduct to trade fairly and responsibly in all dealings with their customers.

When returning your vehicle, you must make sure to include the following:

  • All sets of keys, including master and spare keys.
  • All vehicle documentation, including the V5C vehicle registration document, MOT receipt, operation manual, service book.
  • All optional equipment fitted to the vehicle that is not a permanent fixture (tow bars, rear door sunshades etc.
  • All emergency equipment supplied with the vehicle (jack, wheel brace, warning triangle, first aid kit etc.)
  • If applicable, the spare wheel must be on-board and meet the legal requirements.
  • If supplied, the emergency tyre inflation canister should be in full working order, serviceable and ready for use.
  • Remove all personal items, remember to check all storage areas in your vehicle including the boot, glove box, door pockets and all other storage spaces.
  • All electronic safety features and devices to help the driver, e.g. parking sensors, adaptive cruise controls, etc. must be in working order.

Customers must also note that the vehicle will also undergo a full inspection at the leasing company’s nominated site in line with the agreed fair wear and tear policy.

Excess Mileage

An excess mileage charge may occur at the end of a contract if the vehicle is returned with more than the contracted mileage. Your signed contract will set out the Pence Per Mile for every mile you exceed your annual mileage allowance.

Should you have any questions when returning your leased vehicle or require assistance in preparing your vehicle for the end of lease Gofor Finance is here to help. Our experts are here to answer any of your questions and can offer free end of contract reviews through our partnership with the RAC, book your review today.

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