Fair Wear and Tear Guide

Most companies use a fair wear and tear guide to evaluate your vehicle at the end of your lease. This guide explains what fair wear and tear is and what acceptable damages you may have.

When you lease a car or lease a van, your finance company will expect it to be returned to in a fair condition. They will charge you an additional fee if your vehicle is returned heavily damaged or broken. To regulate the standards that vehicles are returned in, your finance company will have a set of fair wear and tear guidelines that they stick to. Most finance companies use the BVRLA’s Fair Wear and Tear standards, but this isn’t a guarantee so be sure to check with your finance company. You can request their Fair Wear and Tear guide from them at any time.

What Does Fair Wear and Tear Mean?

‘Fair wear and tear’ is the term used to describe the typical or expected decline of your vehicle due to its age and normal day-to-day usage. It is not damage that happens because of a specific event like impact, harsh-treatment, negligent acts, inappropriate stowing of items or omissions.

Why Are There End-Of-Lease Charges?

When you lease a vehicle, you are borrowing it from the finance company for a certain period of time after which you will hand it back to them. You agree in your contract that the vehicle will be kept in good condition and looked after throughout the leasing period. If your car is returned in a state that is outside of fair wear and tear standards, then the leasing company will charge you to compensate for the cost of rectifying the damage or missing items like keys/service history.

What Kind of Damage Would Be Considered Fair Wear and Tear?

The kinds of damage that would be considered typically acceptable includes:

  • Light scratches up to 25mm in length (unless the bare metal or primer is showing)
  • Scratches to the windscreen (outside of the driver’s line of vision)
  • Any damage to the light lens (unless the glass has been cracked or water has leaked inside)
  • Light wear to the tyres (the tyres must still meet the legal UK requirements)
  • Scuffs up to 25mm on the alloy wheels
  • Light staining to the driver’s seat (no rips, holes or tears)

Please take note that these are a rough generalisation of the acceptable damages and should not be taken as a definite record. Please double check with your finance company for their guidelines.

What Kind of Damage Would Fail an End-Of-Lease Inspection?

The common types of damage that would flag up and cost you additional charges would be:

  • Excess damage to tyres and trims
  • Deep chips and dents on the bodywork
  • Rips/burns/holes in vehicle interior
  • Chips in the windscreen
  • Large scuffs, scrapes and scratches to the paintwork
  • Residue from stickers or decals

Please take note that these are a rough generalisation of the unacceptable damages and should not be taken as a definite record. Please double check with your finance company for their guidelines.

What Do I Do If My Lease Car Has Unacceptable Damage?

We recommend that any damage you think will be classed as unacceptable gets sorted as soon as possible. This is to prevent the damage from worsening over time and resulting in even more to fix. All repair work on your lease vehicle must be completed by a professional to a professional standard and with a warranty on their work. Some finance companies require that certain maintenance procedures such as services be completed by a main dealership with manufacturer parts. Be sure to check with your finance company that you are using the right business for your repairs and have their go ahead to do so.

Who Pays for the Damage?

If there is damage on your lease vehicle during your lease term, unless the damage is covered under manufacturer’s warranty, you will be responsible for paying for the repair. At the end of the lease, if the finance company think you have damage that isn’t fair wear and tear, they will charge you directly for the cost of any repairs that need to be done.

How Much Would I Be Charged For Repairs?

If the finance company charge you for repair costs at the end of your lease, it can be quite pricey. It is recommended to organise any repairs before handing the car over to save yourself some money.

Below is a list of the average cost in the UK for repairs – these range from budget repairs to premium repairs.

  • Chips in Windscreen - £48 to £142
  • Cracked Windscreen - £312 to £1,620
  • Paint Scratches/Scuffs - £35 to £240
  • Bumper Repairs - £60 to £1,320
  • Car Dents - £90 to £450
  • Car Alloy Wheels - £120 to £200 per wheel
  • Replacement Key - £160 to £600 (depending on key type)

Would a Maintenance Package Help?

Usually, a maintenance package covers you for the damage caused by normal use. Commonly, this is the replacement of parts like tyres, batteries, lightbulbs, wipers, belts or alternators. A maintenance package won’t cover you for any repairs (or replacements) that have been caused by driver error such as putting the wrong fuel in the car or a vehicle collision. 

So when it comes to saving on servicing and MOT, a maintenance package is a good idea but don’t rely on your maintenance package when it comes to fixing a repair that you caused.

Helpful Links:

See below for more helpful guides on looking after and maintaining your car:

Got a question? Feel free to get in touch to see how we can help.