Fair Wear and Tear Guide

Car and Van Leasing - Fair Wear and Tear Guide

The aim of the guide is to provide an industry-wide, accepted standard that defines fair wear and tear on passenger vehicles and light commercial vehicles when they are returned at the end of a contract or finance agreement.

The definition of Fair Wear & Tear is "the deterioration of items attributed to normal usage". This will be varied according the age and mileage of a vehicle, but, does not include damage which occurs as a result of impact accidents, harsh treatment or neglect.

The reason for end of contract recharges is because the finance company will need to recover the loss of value in a vehicle when it is returned in a poorer condition than originally allowed for in the contract.


To minimise your exposure to end of contract charges, we suggest that you follow these guidelines.

On collection, the vehicle must be in a safe and roadworthy condition, with all of the appropriate keys, equipment and documentation available.

The vehicle must have a current MOT certificate. A charge will be levied for vehicles returned without a current MOT certificate as the finance company will have to arrange for the vehicle to be collected by trailer and then have the vehicle tested before sale.

Vehicles should be serviced to manufacturer’s serviced schedules and have stamped service books to document this. The stamped book must be available for inspection and returned with the vehicle. If the book has not been stamped or service invoices have not been provided as proof of servicing, the finance company will levy a charge for incomplete and missing service histories.

A charge will be levied for spare keys and missing standard items e.g. satellite navigation discs that are not returned with the vehicle.

The vehicle should be sufficiently clean to allow a detailed inspection upon handover, this inspection does not form the basis of a re-charge it merely describes the condition. The collection agent is not a qualified vehicle inspector and will not be able to tell you if damage falls outside the ‘Fair Wear and Tear’ conditions

It is in the interests of the customer to point out damage to the collection agent and retain a copy of the collection appraisal for their records.

Qualified assessors can only undertake a re-charge inspection in good light after the vehicle has been cleaned.

The finance company will charge for vehicles affected with unsatisfactory in-life body repairs that require re-painting to meet manufacturer’s standards.

The finance company may charge customers for damage not recorded on collection notes, when damage is obviously not new but has been missed by the collection agent.

Don't Forget!

  • Remember to return your spare key(s), key fobs and service book.
  • Check for any impact damage and get it repaired before returning the vehicle.
  • Clean and valet the interior.
  • Ensure all your personal belongings are removed from the vehicle – for example, CDs and sunglasses.
  • Delete any personal information from the satellite navigation system, such as your home postcode.