What happens at the end of your lease?

At the end of a vehicle leasing contract, there is an 'End of Lease' process. Here we explain the process and some additional things you might want to consider.

What happens at the end of leasing a car?

Outline the steps listed below in an introductory paragraph, from reviewing your options to inspection.

1. Review Your Options

If you currently lease your vehicle with Rivervale, we'll automatically send you an email alert six, three and one month before your contract expiry date.

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

You could already have your next car in mind - in this case, we can start reviewing the best deals for you. We can also make recommendations based on your preferences, such as budget, size, and manufacturer.

You may also have the option to extend your current leasing contract, though this is subject to approval from the finance company and there is no guarantee. If this is something you are interested in, it is always worth talking to your Account Manager at Rivervale, and we will try our best to arrange this for you.

2. fair wear and tear

As part of your contract agreement, your vehicle 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.

If there is any damage that falls outside the guidelines, your Account Manager will generally advise repairing damage before the 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.

If you would like more information, read our Car Leasing Fair Wear and Tear guide, or Van Leasing Fair Wear and Tear guide for commercial vehicles.

3. Mileage Check

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

If you have gone over the agreed limit, you will be charged for the additional miles; called an 'excess mileage charge'. The price of this charge differs between vehicles, but the cost will be outlined in your contract. Your Account Manager can also check the amount for you if you'd like.

4. Vehicle Collection

Next, your Account Manager will have a conversation with you regarding the collection of your vehicle. For your convenience, the collection can be arranged at a time and location most suitable for you. This can include the collection of the vehicle from your place of work.

To help them organise this, let your Account Manager know your preferred date, time and location as soon as possible.

Vehicle Inspection

5. Inspection

The driver assigned by the finance company will perform a thorough check of the vehicle on collection. This is following the BVRLA fair wear and tear guidelines highlighted above.

It is always advisable that you clean the interior and exterior of your vehicle before collection. You will be present for this initial inspection and will be able to read the driver's report before you sign and agree to it.

In the very rare event that you feel the initial report is unfair or inaccurate, we suggest you 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 repairs if any, will be calculated. If there is damage that falls outside of the guidelines, you will be sent an invoice for the repair costs.

After that, you are free of your leasing contract.

When leasing a car, can you return early?

Explain what the stipulations and potential consequences of returning a lease car early are, if it’s possible at all, and if not, why it’s not possible to return early.

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