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What is Fair Wear and Tear on my Lease Car?

What is Fair Wear and Tear on my Lease Car?

When you have finished leasing your car and return it, it will be inspected. The BVLRA provide an industry wide accepted standard for the condition of a vehicle that constitutes deterioration due to normal usage. If you return a vehicle which is not within the fair wear and tear guidelines you will receive end of contract charges.

Here is theRivervale Car Leasingguide to which scuffs and bumps can stay and which scratches and dents will ensure you get a bill!

General Advice

  • Have a good look around your car about 10-12 weeks before your lease is due to end. This means if you identify any problems that need fixing you will have enough time to sort repairs out before your vehicle is collected.
  • Always make sure your vehicle is clean on the outside before an inspection as a clean car will ensure the most accurate report on condition.
  • Leave all documents relating to the vehicle in it! Make sure your service book has been date stamped by an authorised repairer. Ensure any guides and handbook originally supplied are left inside when you return your vehicle.
  • If you were supplied with a main key and a spare key make sure both are returned and you’ve removed your house key! If your keys use a battery make sure they are functional and you are not returning a key with a flat battery.
  • Make sure you have removed all your personal items from the vehicle. If you have enjoyed sat nav in your vehicle make sure you remove any personal data such as postcodes you have visited etc from the memory.
  • Your vehicle must be of current MOT standard – so if the clutch is slipping or the brake disks are worn you will definitely be charged! This also means the tread on your tyres must be at least the minimum UK standard which is a tread depth of 1.6 mm.

Read more: What Happens at the End of My Lease?

What you should return

The golden rule here is – if it was in the car on delivery then send it back on collection! This includes but may not be limited to:

  • Keys - include the spare and both must be functional so replace flat batteries
  • The owner’s manual
  • Service history record
  • Any supplied radio code cards
  • All emergency equipment (e.g. warning triangle)
  • Spare wheel and/or the tyre mobility/inflation set
  • Valid MOT (if this applies to your vehicle)
  • Any optional equipment ordered that is not fixed (e.g. tow bars, roof rails etc.)


Accepted Wear and Tear

  • Small chips, if there is no correction present
  • Any scratches up to 25mm, as long as there is no primer or bare metal showing
  • Dents up to 10mm, as long as there are no more than 2 per panel and the paint surface is not broken
  • Small areas of chipping on door edges

Unacceptable Wear and Tear

  • Any damage resulting from a collision or impact
  • Areas of chipping sufficiently large that the panel must be re-painted
  • Any stickers or residue from the removal of stickers


Accepted Wear and Tear

  • Any stains that will be successfully removed by general cleaning
  • Seats that show deterioration due to normal usage
  • Discolouration due to day to day usage
  • Any added phone fixings can be left so long as they are properly fitted

Unacceptable Wear and Tear

  • Any unpleasant odour or soiling that is unlikely to be removed by general cleaning
  • Any abrasion, cut, tear or deformation of interior materials (e.g. seats, carpets and floor mats)
  • Any holes, spaces or gaps left from the removal of equipment
  • Any missing seats or mirrors

Tyres and Wheels

Accepted Wear and Tear

  • Surface deterioration on alloy wheels
  • Scuffs of up to 25mm on alloys
  • Tyres with 1.6mm tread depth or more

Unacceptable Wear and Tear

  • Any damage to the side wall of tyres
  • Damage to wheels/alloys caused by kerbing
  • Any holes or cracks in wheel trims
  • Tyres with a tread of less than 1.6mm depth

Windows, Lights and External Mirrors

Accepted Wear and Tear

  • Any light scratches on the windscreen or passenger windows that do not interfere with the drivers line of sight
  • Surface damage to light casings

Unacceptable Wear and Tear

  • Windscreen chips
  • Damaged or missing door mirrors
  • Any holes in light casings that could allow water through, all lights must be working

If you lease your car with us and would like a full copy of the BVLRA fair wear and tear guide all you need to do is ask and we will happily supply you with a copy.

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The comments above do not necessarily reflect Rivervale's views unless clearly stated.

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