fair wear and tear

When your contract ends, its important that the vehicle meets the agreed returned condition – the vehicle will be assessed to determine whether it meets this condition when it is returned to the leashing company.

What is fair Wear & Tear?

It’s important to remember that fair wear and tear is different to damage. Fair wear and tear is taken in to account as this is normal usage that causes deterioration to a vehicle; however damage is something different – this is something that occurs as a result of a specific event or series of events such as impact, inappropriate stowing of items, harsh treatment or negligence.

To find out more about this, please contact us on 01274 77 00 82

Who collects and inspects my Vehicle?

The lease provider will arrange for your vehicle to be collected. This won’t be done by Smart Vehicle Options as we do not carry out an inspections or collections. The lease provider will advise you of what to expect, and whether the inspection will be carried out when the vehicle is collected, or if they will complete the full inspection later at one of their own sites; either way, we recommend you’re present at the inspection wherever possible.

If the vehicle cannot be inspected for any reason, for example due to poor weather or poor light, you will be asked to agree to abandon the inspection and sign the condition report to that effect. Similarly, if the vehicle is not sufficiently clean to allow a detailed inspection, the process may need to be abandoned and a charge may be applied. You will be asked to agree to abandon the inspection and sign the condition report to that effect.

If the leasing provider intends to charge you for damage or missing equipment when the vehicle has been inspected, you must be advised of those charges no later than four weeks after the vehicle was returned. They must provide you with a summary breakdown of the charges, an explanation of how the charges have been calculated and photographic/video or other documentary evidence supporting why the charges have been made. You will also be advised how you can query the damage charges made.

What to do before the Vehicle is returned

We recommend you appraise the condition of your vehicle 10-12 weeks prior to its return date, to allow you to identify any damage that does not constitute fair wear and tear and requires any repair.
To help you with your appraisal, we’ve put together some tips

Make sure the vehicle has been washed and is clean – but do remember to allow time for it to dry as water on the paintwork can mask faults.

Point out any unrepaired wear and/or damage when the vehicle is collected to avoid any problems from occurring later

Be objective, and as honest as you can when appraising the vehicle – maybe as a friend or colleague to help you as a second opinion

Make sure there is sufficient lighting when you appraise the vehicle

Walk all the way around the vehicle and examine each of the panels closely – make sure you include the roof, bonnet, doors, and body.

Check all the tyres (including the spare tyre) for damage – this includes making sure the tread on each tyre is even. Also inspect the wheels, wheel trims and wheel spokes for scratches and deterioration.

Clean and valet the interior; and check the upholstered areas for odours, tears, burns, stains and wear.

Inspect all the controls, including audio equipment and accessories. They should all be present and fully functional.

Kneel down at the front and rear of the vehicle to look along the bodyline on each side – this helps to spot any scratches and dents that might otherwise be difficult to spot.

Inspect the lamps, lenses, windows and mirrors for any chips, cracks and/or holes.

What can I do if I have a complaint?

If you feel you disagree with the condition report, or have any other dispute about the condition or damage to the vehicle, you have the right to pay for an examination of the evidence by an independent qualified engineer (ie an engineer who is unrelated to the original inspection and agreed by both parties).

I have a personal number plate – what happens with that

You should liaise with your lease provider 10 to 12 weeks before the end of the lease to make arrangements for the number plate to be transferred from your current vehicle to your new one.

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