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What Happens At The End Of A Van Lease?

At Auto Trader Leasing, the most popular type of van lease we help arrange is Contract Hire. This guide will explain what happens at the end of this type of lease agreement.

Tom Roberts

Words by: Tom Roberts

Published on 6 March 2024 | 0 min read

What happens at the end of your lease will depend on the type of agreement you pick at the beginning.
At Auto Trader leasing, the type of van lease we most frequently support with is called Contract Hire. This guide will explain the steps that will take place at the end of this type of lease. It is important to note that Contract Lease agreements can be arranged on vans used for business (Business Contract Hire) and personal use (Personal Contract Hire). What happens at the end of the lease is the same for both Business and Personal Contract Hire agreements.

What Happens At The End Of A Contract Hire Van Lease?

At the end of a Contract Hire Van Lease, you simply hand your van back when your lease ends and there is no final balloon payment to pay.
If you choose to, you can decide upgrade to your next van to upgrade by leasing again.

Will I Get A Reminder When My Lease Is Ending?

Absolutely. When you lease a van through Auto Trader, we will contact you well in advance, to remind you that you are approaching end of your lease.
We will provide clear instructions on the steps to take when returning your van and guide you on how to upgrade to a new one.

Is It Possible To Renew My Van Lease?

You cannot renew the exact lease you have taken out. Whilst renewing the exact lease is not possible, you do have the option to choose a new van and start a new lease.
Look through the latest models we have available and once you decide which one you want, contact us so we can help you arrange a new lease, so you are always driving a brand-new van!

Will My Van Be Picked Up?

When your van lease is over, your van will be picked up by a logistics driver and taken back to the funder. They will inspect the vehicle for any damage and check that the pre-arranged mileage limit has not been exceeded. As long as you have been using it as you would any vehicle and looking after it, you will be fine.
You will need some information to hand when booking a collection, including:
  • Your lease van's registration number.
  • Your preferred collection address.
  • A preferred date and time.
If you choose to take out a new van lease, we can also coordinate a pre-arranged key swap. This will ensure that your new van is delivered at the same time your old one is collected, minimising any downtime between vehicles. This is a handy option if you are reliant on your vehicle day to day.

What Do I Need To Prepare My Van For Its Return?

It is advisable to return your van as close to its original condition as possible.
A thorough cleaning inside and out is recommended, and while minor dents and scratches are expected due to regular use, the damage will be judged against Fair Wear & Tear Guidelines. For example, if you have been using the van for 2-5 years, this will be considered, and any damage will be judged fairly.  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. Here is a list of what you will need on the day, you will need to hand these over to the logistics driver. You will need:
  • All the sets of keys that came with the vehicle.
  • The vehicle's service history.
  • The owner’s manual (usually kept in the glovebox – although most manuals are digital these days and you only need to return a manual if it was present on delivery).
  • A valid MOT certificate (if your lease was longer than 3 years).
  • The locking wheel nuts (usually kept in the glovebox or the van’s integrated toolbox).

What Happens On Collection Day?

On the scheduled collection day, a driver will arrive to collect the van, they will assess your van briefly. An inspector will look over the van to note any damages that may not be considered fair wear and tear. You will be informed after the inspection of anything that you will need to be aware of.
The inspector will also ensure that all documents are up to date, and check if the van has gone over the mileage agreed in your lease contract. If at the end of your van lease the vehicle has done excess mileage to what was agreed, you may be charged. You will need to hand over all the items listed above and fill out some documentation to confirm that you are no longer responsible for the van. Once this has been done the process is complete. If you have chosen to lease another vehicle and upgrade, we can help you arrange the delivery of your new vehicle on the same day.

What Happens If I Exceed My Mileage Limit?

If you exceed your mileage limit, the funder will charge you. This is typically calculated on a pence-per-mile basis. If you anticipate exceeding your mileage limit, it is advisable to contact the finance company before you do so.

What Is Considered Fair Wear And Tear?

Fair wear and tear checklists are a list of guidelines that shows a lease funder understands a vehicle will have been used as a vehicle for work or personal journeys over the course of the lease agreement, and that some damage to it is acceptable.
Here are some simple definitions from the BVRLA about what constitutes acceptable wear and tear on your lease van:

Examples Of Acceptable Fair Wear & Tear:

  • Small scratches on the windscreen which are outside of the driver's line of sight.
  • Worn tyre tread depth, but no more than the legal minimum requirement of 1.6mm.
  • Light scuffs on the bodywork no larger than 25mm.
  • Slight wear on upholstery from normal use.

Examples Of Unacceptable Fair Wear & Tear:

  • Deep chips in the windscreen glass.
  • Tyres with a tread depth less than 1.6mm.
  • Multiple deep dents on a single panel of the exterior.
  • A permanent stain to the upholstery.

Can I Return A Lease Van Before The Contract Expires?

Ending your lease before the contract expires is known as early or voluntary termination. If you want to end your van lease before the agreed contract date, you will be asked to pay a termination fee to the lease provider or finance company.
This amount will vary but is normally around 50% of the total remaining rental payments left on your agreement. Sometimes cancellation may not be the best way to end your van lease. If you are worried about not being able to make your monthly payments, contact your lease provider to see the best option is for you and your financial position.

Will I Get My Deposit Back?

With leasing you do not pay a deposit. The initial rental made at the beginning of your lease covers the first few months and serves as your upfront commitment. There is no separate deposit to be returned.

Where Can I Find More Leasing Information?

For more detailed information and assistance, explore our van leasing explained hub of articles or check out our latest van leasing deals.

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