Car Leasing Myth Busters #5: Excess Damage Charges
Car leasing has become a popular option for individuals and businesses alike who want the benefits of driving a new vehicle without the financial commitment of purchasing one. However, when leasing a vehicle, there is a risk of excess damage charges at the end of the lease term. These charges can add up quickly and may result in a significant unexpected expense. In this blog post, we will discuss how to avoid excess damage charges on a lease vehicle by understanding fair wear and tear, and properly maintaining your lease vehicle.
Understanding Fair Wear and Tear
The first step to avoiding excess damage charges on a lease vehicle is to understand what constitutes fair wear and tear. Fair wear and tear is defined as the expected deterioration of a vehicle due to normal use and age. Examples of fair wear and tear include minor scratches and dings, as well as worn tires and brakes. However, any damage that exceeds this normal level of wear and tear will likely result in excess damage charges.
It is important to carefully read and understand the terms of the lease agreement regarding fair wear and tear. Most lease agreements will provide guidelines for what is considered fair wear and tear and what is considered excess damage. Additionally, some lease agreements may require the lessee to repair certain types of damage, regardless of whether it is considered fair wear and tear or not. Pendle Lease are members of the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) who provided customers with protections afforded through the Fair Wear and Tear guide. Essentially, the BVRLA prevent unfair and excessive charges being passed on to the customer. Our website includes a very helpful page fully explaining Fair Wear and Tear, including the BVRLA guidelines with what is and is not acceptable.
Properly Maintaining the Lease Vehicle
Another key factor in avoiding excess damage charges on a lease vehicle is properly maintaining the vehicle throughout the lease term. Regular maintenance, such as oil changes and tire rotations, can help prevent excessive wear and tear on the vehicle and keep it running smoothly. Additionally, promptly addressing any issues with the vehicle, such as warning lights or unusual noises, can prevent further damage and potential excess damage charges.
It is important to keep detailed records of all maintenance and repairs performed on the vehicle, as this may be required by the lease agreement. Failure to properly maintain the vehicle can result in excess damage charges at the end of the lease term.
Checking the Vehicle Over Yourself Before Returning It
Another important step in avoiding excess damage charges on a lease vehicle is to thoroughly inspect the vehicle before returning it at the end of the lease term. It is recommended to inspect the vehicle several weeks before the end of the lease term to allow time for any necessary repairs to be made.
During the inspection, it is important to check for any scratches, dents, or other damage that exceeds fair wear and tear. Additionally, the interior of the vehicle should be cleaned and any personal belongings should be removed.
If any damage is found, it is recommended to have it repaired by a reputable repair shop before returning the vehicle. This can help avoid excess damage charges and ensure a smooth return process.
In conclusion, while there is a risk of excess damage charges when leasing a vehicle, this risk can be minimised by understanding fair wear and tear, properly maintaining the vehicle, and thoroughly inspecting the vehicle before returning it at the end of the lease term. Additionally, the advantages of leasing, such as lower monthly payments, access to newer vehicles, and reduced maintenance costs, should not be overlooked. By following these guidelines and considering the benefits of leasing, individuals and businesses can enjoy the benefits of driving a new vehicle without the financial commitment of purchasing one.