Published on Wednesday 28 August 2019 in Van News
It can strike fear in the heart of any van driver – that moment you hand over your van at the end of the lease period to a person appointed by the finance provider. Their job it is to examine your vehicle for fair wear and tear. The worry is – will you be confronted with additional charges? Fear not! With our simple guide you can swerve these expenses.
Fair Wear & Tear – What Does It ACTUALLY Mean?
When returning your lease van at the end of the contract, it will be evaluated for any damage that falls outside the standard fair wear and tear guidelines.
But, what people often forget is that the finance companies expect there to be what they call 'fair wear and tear' on a vehicle after it has been used for a number of years. They certainly don't expect it to come back in tip-top condition – after all, they know that commercial vehicles are used to haul heavy tools and equipment, so there's bound to be some damage.
Take a look at our comprehensive van wear and tear guide.
What's It Worth NOW, Not NEW
Remember, the residual value of your vehicle is based on the years you're driving it for, and the fair wear and tear that's to be expected from its usage. So, sometimes you'll earn points with the finance company if the vehicle is in better condition than expected!
However, if they find any serious damage you will be charged for it. The best thing you can do is fix any damage that arises along the way – don't leave it until the last minute.
There's no way to tell exactly how much you will get charged for damage, so the only way to avoid costly repairs on your lease vehicle is to take good care of it right from the start – and here's some top tips to help you do just that!
Top 10 Tips When Handing Your Van Back
- Clean Your Vehicle Inside & Out
Do this on the day of collection. A dirty vehicle is difficult to inspect, and this could mean the inspection might have to be rescheduled.
Inspect your vehicle for any scratches/dents in natural daylight away from any shadows.
- Dry Not Wet
It's hard to see damage, such as scratches on a wet vehicle.
- Side On
You're more likely to see damage if you look down your vehicle panels side on.
- Nooks And Crannies
Inspect EVERYTHING: mirrors, windows, lamps and less obvious panels such as the roof for chips and cracks.
- Phone A Friend
Always ask for a 2nd opinion. A friend with a keen eye might spot something that you missed.
- Give EVERYTHING Back
This includes ALL sets of keys, original documents, the full signed and stamped service history, optional equipment fitted, valid MOT certificate if applicable, all emergency equipment supplies.
- Remove Personal Touches
Check that you've taken everything that belongs to you out of the vehicle before you return it.
- Remove Vehicle Graphics
Remove any paintwork that you added to the vehicle yourself. Use a professional to avoid being charged for additional removal costs – DIY efforts can damage the paintwork even more!
- No Bad Smells
The resale value of the vehicle will be affected if there are stains on the upholstery causing unpleasant smells. A professional valet prior to returning your vehicle will save you more than it costs!