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Van Leasing Fair Wear And Tear

‘Fair wear and tear’ guidelines dictate what damage to your leased van that you do and do not have to worry about when the contract ends. In this handy guide we explain what ‘fair wear and tear’ means and how the guidelines can protect you.

Tom Roberts

Words by: Tom Roberts

Published on 6 March 2024 | 0 min read

Leasing customers often express their concern that they will be charged for damage to the vehicle at the end of their lease. This is why ‘fair wear and tear’ guidelines exist. They explain the exact types of wear and tear a leased van can have (and not have) when you give it back at the end of your contract.

What Does ‘Fair Wear And Tear’ Mean?

A lease usually runs for 2-5 years, and by the end of that time your leased van will be showing some signs of its age and the fact that you were using it. The funder of your lease understands your leased van will not be in the same condition as when you first took delivery of it.
For example, if you are using your van for work every day, it will have deteriorated from looking new to looking used. Fair wear and tear guidelines exist to acknowledge this fact at the end of your contract. Typically, ‘fair wear and tear’ is defined as reasonable use over time, but it will not include specific large-scale damage from neglect, a crash or similar events.

Who Created The Fair Wear And Tear Guidelines?

The British Vehicle Rental & Leasing Association (BVRLA) – the professional body for the leasing industry in the UK – created and maintains the industry standard guidelines for fair wear and tear. Each finance company uses them as a baseline for their own guidelines, this way customers are safe in the knowledge that end-of-contract damage will always be evaluated fairly.

Who Checks Lease Vans For Fair Wear And Tear?

The finance company that owns the vehicle and supplied you with it will carry out the checks at the end of the contract. They will run through a list of unbiased checks, according to the guidelines, to determine if any of the damage on your vehicle is not fair wear and tear. The inspector will either be a member of their own in-house inspection team or an independent inspection service.

Can I Check My Vehicle For Fair Wear And Tear Before It Is Collected?

Of course, you can – it is a very proactive thing to do. Here are some tips to carrying out your own fair wear and tear inspection ahead of collection:
  • Inspect the van in daylight: Check for any scratches, dents or chips on all panels and glass on the outside of the vehicle. Checking when the sun is out will make it much easier to spot any imperfections.
  • Inspect the van when it is dry outside: Water on the vehicle’s surfaces will often hide any scratches or dents. Wait for a dry day to check the vehicle over.
  • Clean your van: Take the van to a valet service for a good clean inside and out. It is hard to spot damage on a dirty van and you will want to make the vehicle look as good as it can when it is collected.
  • Remove signage or wraps: If you have any signage or vinyl wrapping on your vehicle, remove it before it is collected. Anything that was not on the van when it was delivered needs to be removed when it is collected.
  • Fix any damage you can: If you spot any bigger dents, scrapes, or bare metalwork that you feel will not be judged as fair wear and tear, fix it. It will often be less expensive to fix the damage with a home paint repair kit or by taking it to a body shop.

Where Can I Find The Fair Wear And Tear Guidelines?

You should ask your finance company for a copy of the BVRLA’s fair wear and tear guidelines when you start your lease. However, you can purchase a copy from the BVRLA directly on the body’s website if you wish.

Where Can I Find More Van Leasing Information?

Explore more about van leasing in our comprehensive guides covering various aspects of the leasing process, from understanding how van leasing works to comparisons between buying and leasing. And, if you are ready to discover your next vehicle, look through our latest van leasing deals. 

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