What is the Fair Wear and Tear Guide?

The BVRLA Fair Wear and Tear Guide sets an industry-wide standard for a car's condition at the end of its lease. It covers every aspect of wear and tear that can occur under normal usage when considering natural deterioration for the car's age and mileage. It excludes damage as a result of misuse, neglect or road collisions.

Any customer of a lease car should request a copy of the BVRLA Fair Wear and Tear Guide and become accustom with it. But they should also be aware that it is just a guideline and the funder of their lease deal may have their own documentation outlining any other requirements specific to any lease cars returned to them.

The guidelines outline all aspects of the car's condition including windows, windscreens and lights, interior upholstery, exterior paintwork, wheels, tyres and trim. This is in addition to mechanical condition, documentation and equipment (including keys).

Please use the BVRLA Fair Wear and Tear guide for advice on how to best maintain your lease car. As well as learning what, if any, damage you will be charged for at the end of your lease if returned without repair.

The BVRLA Fair Wear and Tear Guide

There are multiple variants of the BVRLA Fair Wear and Tear Guide to reflect the different car lease types they regulate. Please see the BVRLA Fair Wear and Tear guides for cars and vans below.

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How to prepare for your car's return

The BVRLA guidelines advise that lease holders should assess the condition of their lease car at least 10 weeks before it is due to be returned. This timeframe will allow any necessary repairs to be diagnosed and repaired before the car is collected.

Our tips for the most effective assessment of your lease car's condition are as follows:

  • Be objective – When assessing the condition of your lease car it is important to remain objective: follow the guide and do not make subjective judgements. If in doubt, ask for the unbiased opinion of friends or family.
  • Ensure appropriate lighting – Choosing to assess your car in poor or too bright light could cause you to miss cosmetic issues. Your car will be inspected in natural light upon collection so this is the most effective way for you to make your own assessment.
  • Ensure the car is dry – Inspecting your car when it is dry will improve the likelihood that you will spot any issues. Dew and rain can make it much harder to spot dents and scratches so ensure the car is dry before making your assessment.
  • Clean the car – Dirt can cover marks on both the exterior and interior of the car. Thoroughly washing the car before assessing it will enable you to find and fix all issues, and not be charged more for it later.

Rectifying any damage on your lease car

Any damage that goes beyond the recommendations made within the BVRLA fair wear and tear guide is likely to incur penalty charges from the funder when they inspect the car. To avoid these penalty charges, you should arrange to repair the damage before collection takes place. Arranging to do so yourself is likely to be more cost effective than the fees charged by the funder to make the repairs for you after they have collected the car.

Before arranging such work, it is important to ensure that any work is completed to a professional standard by repairers that offer full warranty on their work. It is advised to check with your finance provider before arranging repairs of any sort in order to check and obtain approval from them, if it is required.

Keeping on top of your servicing schedule will not only keep your lease car running at its best, but will also mean you avoid additional charges when you hand the car back. This is because regular and prompt servicing minimises depreciation. Ensure all services are recorded and are carried out by an accredited servicing outlet.

Ensuring your car is kept clean throughout your lease term will not only maximise your own use of the car but it will also reduce the damage done by dirt, grime and contamination. We recommend doing a thorough clean every few months for optimum protection.

The collection process

The funder will contact you a number of weeks before the end of your lease to confirm a convenient day for collection. On arrival with you, a qualified inspector will note the findings of their visual inspection, recording any damage on a formal condition report along with any applicable charges. You will then be required to sign this report.

If you do not agree with the assessment provided, you are required to detail your concerns on the document in detail. This will lead to a review by an expert team to assess whether the costs will stand.