We’re confident in our ability to reduce your end of contract charges. However, we want you to avoid damage bills in the first place. That’s why we’ve pulled together some tips to help you appraise your vehicle against the fair wear and tear standard supplied by your leasing company or finance provider.
To minimise end of contract charges, repair any unacceptable areas of damage before the vehicle is returned – though always check the terms of your contract or contact the leasing company for advice. Always point out any unrepaired wear or damage when the vehicle is collected to avoid problems later.
Appraising your vehicle
Carry out an appraisal 10 to 12 weeks before it is due for return. This will allow you to have any unacceptable wear and tear rectified. It is important to appraise the vehicle as honestly as you can. Be objective, and ask a friend or colleague to help you.
Give your vehicle a thorough wash and clean, allowing time for it to dry; water on the paintwork can mask faults. Then, choose a time and place with good lighting to assess your vehicle. This is how the leasing company will examine it; appraisals carried out in poor light invariably miss some faults.
Top Tips to Avoid Recharges
Walk all the way around the vehicle and examine each panel closely for damage, including the roof, bonnet, doors and body. Observe where the light is reflected differently from any dents and scratches. Then, crouch or kneel down at the front and rear of the vehicle and look along each side, including wheel trims and hubs. This will help you see scratches and dents that may otherwise be difficult to spot.
Next, inspect lamps, lenses, windows and mirrors for chips, cracks and holes, before moving onto the wheels. Check the tyres for damage, including any spares. The wear on the tread should be even across each tyre.
The inside of your car will be inspected too, so 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. It’s wise to have the interior and load areas valeted before your end of contract inspection.
Still unsure? Why don't you download our help sheet of things to consider when looking after your vehicle. As an extra bonus our team of experts have pulled together their top ten tips of do's and don'ts for minimising car damage.