Leasing Lifecycle Overview

Select Your Vehicle

Select your vehicle. Think about your requirements, preferences and budget. Is the mileage offered enough? Is the vehicle fitted to your required specification, can the extras be added and at what cost?

Select & Secure Finance

Think about the type of finance you required - Do you want to to own, or have the option to own the vehicle at the end of the contract? Are you VAT registered?

Taking Delivery of Your New Vehicle

On receipt of the vehicle check out the bodywork, trims, mirrors, lights, controls and fittings to confirm their correctness. Any defects found should be raised with the leasing company for resolution.

Vehicle Maintenance

It is important that you keep the vehicle well maintained and adherence to the manufacturers recommendations with respect to service intervals, daily checks and such. This will help ensure compliance and operational safety as well lowering operating costs & the likelyhood of incurring vehicle return costs. Paperwork will be provided at the start of the contract to help you with this aspect.

If the vehicle/associated equipment is neglected or damaged during the lease term and this is not rectified before the Vehicle is sold, you will incur charges from the Leasing Company. However, you can rectify this by arranging to repair the damage, prior to return. This must be completed to a professional standard by a professional with a transferrable warranty.

Preparing to Return the Vehicle

Fair Wear & Tear

The following is a summary of the BVRLA Fair Wear & Tear guidlines. A complete version can be requested from your leasing company.

Acceptable Wear & Tear

Vehicle Exterior

  • Small scratches measuring up to 100mm that could be removed with polishing

  • Any dent measuring less than 20mm & only 2 dents per panel

  • Any scuff or scratch up to 100mm on any non-painted or textured bumpers

  • Discolouration that is due to normal external factors

Wheels, Trims & Tyres

  • One scratch, scuff on the border of the wheel rim that measuring under 100mm

  • Scuffs/Scratches on the face of the wheel trim measuring under 100mm

  • Tyres with a legal minimal tread of 1.6mm

External Mirrors, Lights and Windows

  • Any stone chip to the surface of the light casings that have not caused a break in the casing

  • Any abrasions, scratches or scuffing, or up to 50mm on mirror casing

  • Any windscreen stone chip, under 10mm, that is not in the driver’s line of sight


  • Phone fixings that have be added can be left provided they are fitted correctly

  • Deterioration of the seats caused by normal usage

  • Any stains that can be successfully removed by general cleaning

  • Discolouration caused by day to day usage

Loading area, sills and seals

  • Any scuff, scratch, deformation, dent or bump of the loading area sills and seals that will not be seen from the outside and does not interfere with the function of the doors

  • Any additional fittings can be left on the vehicle provided they have been fitted correctly

Unacceptable Wear and Tear

Vehicle Exterior

  • Stickers and/or any glue residue from stickers

  • Paint discolouration resulting from unnatural means (eg Chemicals)

  • Any detectable repair

  • Breaks or cracks in a bumper or grilles

  • Any corrosion - eg rust

  • Any abrasion, scratch or scuff over 100mm which cannot be polished out

  • Any dent over 20mm

Wheels, Trims & Tyres

  • Any abrasion, scratch or scuff measuring over 100mm

  • Any bulges, cracks or cuts on a tyre

  • Any deformity of the wheel: cap, tyre, rim, trim or alloy

  • Any tyre with a tread under the legal limit of 1.6mm

External Mirrors, Lights and Windows

  • Any chip or crack larger than 1cm regardless of where of location

  • Any deformation of the mirror/mirror case

  • Broken glass or non-operational lights


  • Unpleasant odours or soiling that is not likely to beremoved via general cleaning

  • Any abrasion, cut, tear or deformation of interior materials (e.g. carpets, seats and floor mats)

  • Any gaps, holes or spaces left from the removal of equipment

  • Any missing fixtures

Loading area, sills and seals

  • Any additional fittings may be left on the vehicle provided they have been fitted correctly

  • Any damage to the interior lining that impacts upon the use of windows, doors or any other fitting

  • Any deformation, scratch or scuff of the loading area sills and seals, that will not be seen from the outside, and does not interfere with the function of the doors

  • Any holes in the loading floor

  • Any corrosion

  • Any lining that is missing, ripped or torn

  • Any large abrasions or dents caused by improper loading or poorly secured goods

Vehicle Inspection

Check the vehicle prior to its return:

  • Arrange repair of any damage that is outside the the scope of wear & tear - ie large scratches, cracked glass etc

  • Check the vehicle in good light, after it has been cleaned and ensure that it is fully dry

  • Walk around the car examining the panels checking how the light reflects - this will hightlight dents, chips and scratches

  • Try to use different viewing angles - such as kneeling beside the car

  • Inspect the lights, windows, mirrors and trim for cracks, holes, chips & scuffs

  • Check the tyres for uneven wear & deteriotion

  • Inspect it in a timely fashion in order to allow time for repair of any damaged which is outside the scope of wear & tear

  • Clean & valet the interior & load areas, checking thhe upholstery for burns, tears and stains

  • Confirm that all controls are fully functional

  • Do the inspection in a timely fashion in order to give yourself time to repair any damage not covered by wear & tear

Returning the Vehicle

What to Return?

In summary - anything that was provided with the vehicle should be returned with the vehicle. eg - keys, manual, radio codes and spare wheel.

Return Process

The vehicle will be collected from your premises by the leasing company and an inspection will be completed either on location or at a nominated site. It is recommended that, if possible, you are available for the inspection. Finance companies appreciate that normal usaged a of vehicle will result in a few scratches and bumps and will allow for a certain amount of imperfections. This is known as ‘fair wear and tear’ and has been outlined previously. The BVRLA, who define the industry standards, have a document that outlines the minimum standard your vehicle should be returned in. A copy of this can be requested from from the leasing company.