Fair Wear & Tear Guide

If you're ready to hand your car back at the end of your contract, you may be worried about what tiny scratches or minor damage is acceptable or will need fixing.

So, you’re ready to hand your lease car back at the end of your contract and you’re wondering what you need to do with the small stone chips or minor damage caused by daily use. In this guide, we’ll tell you what’s expected of you as the hirer.

It is your responsibility as the hirer to ensure the vehicle is serviced at the manufacturer’s recommended intervals. It's possible that you haven't reached one of those intervals (especially if you've done low mileage in the car, or if you've had it over a shorter contract length). It is also your responsibility to make sure the vehicle has a current MOT certificate.

You are also responsible for ensuring that the vehicle is in good repair and condition when you hand it back. Any damage caused to, or deterioration of, the vehicle other than through reasonable fair wear and tear is your responsibility to get fixed. You may need to get some minor repair work done on the car before handing it back, otherwise, you may find that the finance company will send you a bill.

To help take care of your vehicle, you should regularly:

  • Check the engine/oil level and coolant labels and refill as necessary between services
  • Check tyre pressures, depth of tread and general condition of the tyres
  • Check all lights and indicators

Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines on oil refills and the quality of oil to use. If you don’t follow the guidelines, could significantly impact the performance of your vehicle which could increase wear or cause overheating (leading to engine damage), the oil might block the exhaust catalyst causing the vehicle to fail emissions and control tests, increase your fuel consumption and more.