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What happens at the end of your lease?

The process of handing back your vehicle at the end of the contract

You’ve leased your car, accepted delivery and have thoroughly enjoyed driving it around for a few hassle free years. But what happens now? When does your contract end? How does the process of handing back your vehicle work? Will you owe thousands of pounds for a tiny scratch on the wheel arch? Read on for the answers...

1. Weigh Up Your Options

If you currently lease your vehicle with Rivervale, we’ll automatically send you email alerts six, three and one month before the contact expiry date.

Feel free to call us when you receive these emails and you can talk to your Account Manager to discuss your options.

You may already have your next car in mind, in which case we can start reviewing the best deals available and make recommendations based on budget, size or manufacturer.

For business leasing customers, you may have the option to extend your current leasing contract. You can discuss this and any other options available to you.

2. Consider Fair Wear and Tear

As part of your contract agreement, your car must be returned in a fair condition or you may be charged.  

Your Account Manager will advise you to compare the condition of your vehicle against the BVRLA fair wear and tear guidelines. The BVRLA is the trade body for the vehicle rental and leasing sector and guidelines provide the standard that our finance companies adhere to.

In the event that there is any damage to your car that falls outside of the fair wear and tear guidelines, your Account Manager will generally advise you to repair the damage before your vehicle is returned. This allows you more control over the cost of repair, as you can choose where the work is done rather than the finance company.

3. Mileage Check

Your Account Manager will request that you check your mileage against the mileage allowance set at the start of the car leasing contract.

If you have exceeded the agreed limit you will be charged for the extra miles. The price of this charge ranges between vehicles but the cost will have been outlined in your contract and your Account Manager will be able to check the amount should you need to.

4. Vehicle Collection

Your Account Manager will then arrange collection of your vehicle.  Collection will be arranged for a time and location most convenient to you (including at work). To help them do this let them know your preferred date as soon as possible.

5. Inspection

The driver assigned by the finance company will perform a thorough vehicle check on collection (in accordance with the BVRLA fair wear and tear guidelines).

It is always advisable that you clean your car both inside and out prior to collection. You will be present for this initial inspection and will be given the chance to read through the report before you sign and agree to it.

In the very rare event that you feel the initial report is unfair or inaccurate, it would be wise to take photos of any areas of concern and let your Account Manager know. Your Account Manager can request photographic evidence from the finance company and will help resolve any disputes.

Your vehicle will then be taken to a second inspection where the cost of any required repairs will be calculated. In the event that there is any damage that falls outside of the fair wear and tear guidelines, you will be sent an invoice for the repair costs.

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