Top tips for an easier vehicle handover
If you’re nearing the end of your lease contract, a little preparation can make the vehicle collection process easier and avoid unpleasant surprises with your lease provider. Here’s what you need to know.
From hard-working family cars to business-critical vans, returning your leased car or van at the end of its current contract is more straightforward than it looks. At LeasePlan UK, we’ve developed a convenient and transparent process to take the fuss out of collections, but it’s also worth planning ahead to ensure everything goes smoothly at the end of the lease period.
What can I do to avoid unexpected damage charges?
No matter how well you look after your leased car or van, it’s inevitable that it’ll reach the end of its lease contract showing some signs of usage.
For full transparency, we assess vehicles according to the BVRLA’s Fair Wear and Tear Guide, which is an industry-standard used across rental, leasing and auction companies. This differentiates between what is considered fair wear versus excessive wear or harsh treatment – damage which would incur additional end-of-lease charges to cover the cost of repairs. Find out more about the Fair Wear and Tear guidelines here: https://www.bvrla.co.uk/guidance/fair-wear-tear.html
With that in mind, it’s worth having a look around your current car or van two or three months before it’s due to be collected to ensure it’s safe, meets UK legal requirements and is in good working order for the lease provider. This offers plenty of time to rectify faults or significant damage before that final inspection and (as long as you’re within your annual mileage in the lease agreement) helps to avoid penalty charges later on.
Here's what you need to look out for:
- Dents and scratches on the bodywork
- Tears, stains and odours inside the cabin
- Chips, cracks and holes in windows, lights and mirrors
- Tyres with less than 1.6mm tread and any large scratches on the wheels
- Overdue maintenance and warning lights such as servicing, software updates and MOTs
Importantly, don’t cut corners with necessary repairs. We’ll expect any work to be carried out to a professional standard by an approved garage and include a transferrable warranty for the next owner.
How does the inspection process work?
It’s easy. Collections can usually be booked 3 working days in advance, and our collection agent will come and pick up the vehicle from your home or workplace.
LeasePlan uses professional third-party inspectors to carry out a thorough check and test drive to assess whether the leased car or van is in an acceptable condition, which you can observe, and you’ll be able to see the report before it’s submitted. The process takes between 30-60 minutes, and they’ll leave with the leased vehicle when they’re done.
To make the handover as efficient as possible, we'd advise:
- Clean inside and out: It’s easier to assess damage when the vehicle is clean, inside and out and this also gives you one last opportunity to check all of your personal items have been removed.
- Clearing your data: From sat nav destinations to call lists, modern vehicles store lots of private data. Resetting the factory settings clears all of them in seconds.
- Check kit: SD cards, load covers, vehicle keys, spare wheel and anything else that came with the vehicle – including electric vehicle charging cables supplied with the leased car must all be handy, with no missing items on the day of collection.
- Charge it up: The latest BVRLA Fair Wear and Tear guidelines state when returning a lease car that is electric, it must be fully charged before it is collected.
To report damage, discuss annual mileage or get answers to any questions you have about returning a leased vehicle, contact our customer services team at 0345 250 0000 who will be happy to help.