Vehicle Leasing: A Practical Wear and Tear Guide - Vanzone
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Vehicle Leasing: A Practical Wear and Tear Guide

Van Inspections

Van leasing is an easy way to acquire a vehicle and keep some cash flow for your business at the same time, and second-hand leasing makes it even easier. But as with all things preloved, it comes with its own little history – a bed may have a scuff on the legs, or a mirror could have a small chip, but is otherwise unused. Little marks here and there are typically not a big deal and are perfectly acceptable, so long as the damage does not outweigh the profit. This is known as wear and tear and applies perfectly to van leasing. 

Return the Favour 

When it comes to vehicle rental or leasing there are a multitude of things to consider, and one of them is returning the vehicle at the end of the agreed upon contract. Your van will be inspected, and anything that falls under ‘fair wear and tear’ is understood, but anything excessive – like scratches on the paintwork that expose any primer and/or bare metal showing – will incur what is known as a lease-end penalty charge. 

It Is What It Is 

Determining what wear and tear is and isn’t can be a little complex, which is why the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) have put together a handy guideline which defines fair wear and tear as ‘normal usage that causes deterioration to a vehicle’ and is not to be confused with damage that can be prevented. The BVRLA ‘are the UK trade body for companies engaged with vehicle rental, leasing and fleet management,’ and their guide covers a wide array of areas making it much easier to keep an eye on over time: 

  1. General appearance, documentation, keys 
  1. Paintwork, vehicle body, bumpers, and trim 
  1. Windows and glass 
  1. Tyres and wheels 
  1. Mechanical condition 
  1. Vehicle interior 
  1. Equipment and controls 

Remember, while the BVRLA fair wear and tear guides are very useful for drivers when it comes to examining the damage, always refer to your lease contract to find what your provider qualifies as acceptable and unacceptable wear and tear.  

Vehicle Inspection

Tips and Tricks 

Before going into further specifics, here is some friendly advice on what to look for when carrying out an appraisal yourself and make sure your van is in good condition before handing your van back to your leasing or finance company: 

  1. Inspect your vehicle in good light, away from shadows – natural daylight is advised. 
  1. Check everything over when your van is dry. Any water could hide any amount of damage. 
  1. Clean the inside and the outside of your vehicle. You can only get a van so clean, so it would be worth paying for a full valet service. 
  1. Have a look side-on. You will notice any damage hiding there. 
  1. In fact, triple check everywhere. Mirrors, lamps, front and back windows, the lot. Walk all the way around the vehicle and note as you go. 
  1. When in doubt, call a friend over and ask them to look with fresh eyes. They may see – or smell – something that you do not want to. 
  1. Make sure you take out all your own items. 
  1. And make sure you give everything back that came with the vehicle. All sets of keys, documents, equipment, spare wheels, the works. If it came with the van, it goes back with the van.  
  1. Control check. Every switch does something, so make sure it still does something when it is returned.  
  1. Check your wheels. Not just the tyre tread, but the walls and wheel trims too, especially if they are alloy wheels, and replace anything that may need it. All tyres must meet the UK minimum legal requirements. 

As the driver, you are responsible for any damage that comes to your vehicle, so it is always best to make sure you take as good a care of your van as you can to avoid those unpleasant penalty costs. 

Fair Enough 

The following table shows a general breakdown of what is considered wear and tear in accordance with BVRLA guidelines, and what is not, however the official document is far more specific. It is always recommended you go by the comprehensive BVRLA guidelines, but just to give you a rough idea, here is Vanzone’s leasing wear and tear quick guide: 

Acceptable Unacceptable 
Small surface scratches up to 25mm (no primer or bare metal present) Chips or dents on the body work, or any scratches over 25mm on paintwork 
Slight damage to light lens (no cracks or water ingress) Adhesive residue  
Scratches to the windscreen out of the driver’s vision Any chips in the windscreen, or scratches that impair the driver’s vision 
Light tyre wear (so long as they still meet the UK’s minimum legal requirements) Unrepaired impact damage 
Light staining to the driver’s seat (no rips, tears, or holes) Any rips, burns, holes, or tears to any of the vehicle’s seats 
Scuffs of 25mm or less to alloy wheels  Damage to wheels and trims 

So, now that you know what to keep an eye out for, you will be better prepared for the return of your van to the finance or leasing company. Even better, you can start shopping around right now. Just check out our website or give our incredible sales team a call at 02922 678 010 to discuss all your options! 

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