Last month we looked at maximising the value of your part-exchange vehicle. However, if you lease your vehicle, you have a different issue to consider when the contract is up – the level of damage or wear incurred during the lease term, or ‘Fair Wear and Tear,’ as it’s known in the motor trade.
What is Fair Wear and Tear?
Your lease contract will stipulate the condition the lease company expect your vehicle to be returned in. Anything above and beyond this could be charged as an extra expense at the end of the contact.
No-one likes nasty surprises, particularly financial ones, so GWA have assembled a few tips to help you stay one step ahead and save yourself some unexpected costs.
- Carry out an appraisal of the vehicle 10–12 weeks before it’s due for return. This will allow you to arrange to have any unacceptable wear and tear rectified.
- Appraise the vehicle as honestly as you can – be objective. Ask a friend or colleague to help you.
- Choose a time and place with good light. This is how the leasing company will examine your vehicle. Appraisals carried out in poor light invariably miss some faults.
- Before appraising the vehicle, make sure that it has been washed and is thoroughly clean and dry. Dirt and water on the paintwork can mask faults.
- Walk all the way around the vehicle and examine closely each panel including the roof, bonnet, doors and body for any significant damage. Observe where the light is reflected differently from dents and scratches.
- Crouch or kneel down at the front and rear of the vehicle and look along the bodyline on each side. This will help you see scratches and dents that may otherwise be difficult to spot.
- Inspect lamps, lenses, windows and mirrors for chips, cracks and holes.
- Check the tyres (including spare) for damage. Check that the wear on the tread across each tyre is even. Inspect wheels, wheel trims and wheel spokes for scratches and deterioration.
- Clean and valet the interior.
- Check upholstered areas for odours, tears, burns, stains and wear.
- Inspect all controls, including audio equipment and accessories – they should be present and fully functional.
Do these checks regularly throughout the contract term to keep the vehicle in the best condition possible. Doing small repairs throughout the year is easier and cheaper than waiting and completing all the work at the end of the contact.
As ever, if you need any advice in this area please don’t hesitate to call us as GWA, we are more than happy help.