End of Contract Recharges
At the end of a lease, the last thing you want to be confronted with is an invoice for damage to the car you’ve been driving for the last three or four years. This, unforseen charge can make the cost of leasing the vehicle a lot more than you originally thought.
What is Fair Wear and Tear?
Fair Wear and Tear occurs when normal usage causes deterioration to a vehicle, and is not to be confused with damage occuring as a result of a specific event or series of events such as; impact, innapropriate stowing of items, harsh-treatment, negligent acts or omissions.
Every lease comes with different end of contract damage recharges, at Prospectus Vehicle Solutions we would always advise any prospective customer to check out the Returns Standards/ Fair Wear and Tear Policy before taking out any lease.Â Adding unforseen recharges to the cost of your lease, can make the cheap lease you thought you had, more expensive than you thought, and more expensive than a lease with higher monthly rentals but less harsh end of contract terms.
There are well documented instances of end of contract recharges from non BVRLA member companies charging their customers over £6,000. If you split this cost over the lease, the cheap monthly payments are not so cheap anymore. For example, if you are recharged £1,000 for a 3-year lease, this typically equates to an additional £26.31 per month onto your rentals.
Your leasing company will be able to provide you, if requested, a copy of the Fair Wear and Tear guidelines before commencement of any lease.
The BVRLA have published a list of things you can do to protect yourself against end of Contract Recharges, which is to be used in conjunction with your guidelines:
- Carry out an appraisal of your vehicle 10 – 12 weeks before it is due for return. This will allow you time to arrange to have any unacceptable wear and tear rectified.
- Appraise the vehicle as honestly as you can, and be objective. Ask a friend or colleague to help you.
- Choose a time and place with good light, as appraisals carried out in poor light will probably miss some faults. This is how the company will examine your vehicle, and if the weather is wet or dark, or your vehicle is dirty they will reserve the right to re-appraise the car in the light.
- Before appraising the vehicle, make sure that it has been washed and is thoroughly clean, but remember to allow time for it to dry. Water on the paintwork can mask faults.
- Walk all the way around the vehicle and examine closely each panel including the roof, bonnet, doors and body for any damage. Observe where the light is reflected differently from dents and scratches.
- Crouch or kneel down at the front and rear of the vehicle, and look along the bodyline on each side. This will help you see any scratches and dents that may otherwise be difficult to spot.
- Inspect lamps, lenses, windows and mirrors for chips, cracks and holes.
- Check the tyres (including spare) for damage. Check that the wear on the tread across each tyre is even. Inspect wheels, wheel trims and wheel spokes for scratches and deterioration.
- Clean the interior.
- Check upholstered areas for tears, burns, stains and wear.
- Inspect all controls, including audio equipment and accessories – they should be present and fully functional.
- Check the owner handbook is present and that the service book is up to date.
- Ensure that all keys are available.
When the vehicle is collected, a representative from the leasing company must check and agree on the vehicle condition. All readily apparent damage to the vehicle will be noted on the vehicle collection sheet or hand-held device. You as the consumer need to ensure you are happy with the inspection and ask for clarity where necessary.
If you have a dispute over recharges with a BVRLA Member Company
In the event of a dispute about the condition or damage to the vehicle, customers have the right to pay for an examination of the evidence by an independent qualified engineer, e.g. an engineer who is unrelated to the original inspection and agreed on by both parties.Â The engineer’s decision will be binding on both the customer and the BVRLA member.Â If the engineer finds in the customer’s favour, the BVRLA member will refund the reasonable cost of the examination to the customer.
On occasion, disagreements will arise between customers and BVRLA members that cannot be settled directly. Unresolved disputes can be referred to the Association by the customer and/or the member involved. More information on the BVRLA’s conciliation service is available, contact us and we will be happy to assist you.
For Non-BVRLA Companies
The issue of recharges is a little more difficult to resolve, there is no body that can mediate between the two parties.
All prices for vehicles shown throughout our website are for funders registered with the BVRLA, meaning they adhere to the end of contract returns standards.
At Prospectus Vehicle Solutions we are able to help you with Manufacturer Finance, but excel where we are able to give all our customers the peace of mind associated with BVRLA regulated contracts.
Back to Blog