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Fair Wear and Tear Policy

 The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association is the trade body for companies engaged in the
 leasing,rental and fleet management of cars and commercial vehicles for both corporate and consumer users.

 BVRLA membership assures the customer that they should expect the highest levels of professionalism
 andintegrity when renting or leasing vehicles from a BVRLA member. The BVRLA promotes ethical trading,
 clearpricing, transparent terms and conditions and high-quality vehicles and customer service standards
 through theauditing of its members.

 The association also operates a conciliation service for its members and their customers to help resolve
 disputes.For more details, go to : BVRLA FEBRUARY 2012

The aim of this guide

This fair wear and tear guide for the vehicle leasing industry isproduced by the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association withthe assistance of a specialist working group drawn from BVRLAmembers and independent market experts. The BVRLA particularlywishes to acknowledge the contribution of the Vehicle RemarketingAssociation (VRA) for its input to this latest edition.

The aim of the BVRLA Fair Wear and Tear Guide is to provide anindustry-wide, accepted standard that defines fair wear and tear onpassenger cars when they are returned to a BVRLA member at the end of alease or finance agreement. This guide covers passenger vehicles with upto eight seats.

Fair wear and tear occurs when normal usage causes acceptabledeterioration to a vehicle. It is not to be confused with damage, whichoccurs as a result of a specific event or series of events such as impact,inappropriate stowing of items, harsh treatment, negligent acts or omissions.

The Fair Wear and Tear Standard

This guide defines the industry standard at return for every aspect of thevehicle’s condition. For ease of reference, the condition of the vehicle isconsidered under the following headings:

  • General appearance, road safety, documentation, keys
  • Paintwork, vehicle body, bumpers and trim
  • Windows, glass, door mirrors and lamps
  • Tyres and wheels
  • Mechanical condition
  • Vehicle interior
  • Equipment and controls

The vehicle must be used, maintained and looked after according to thevehicle manufacturer’s guidelines.

If a company car, your employer may outline preventative vehiclemaintenance and road safety measures that you need to undertake on a dailyor weekly basis. If you are personally leasing the vehicle, you should consultthe leasing company or your service provider. Following that advice will keepthe vehicle in good condition and minimise any charges at end of lease.

Customers should also follow the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendationsregarding fuel and fuel blends, lubricants and battery recharging (if an electricor hybrid vehicle), because the vehicle’s warranty may be invalidated andlong-term damage caused through inappropriate fuels, lubricants and usage.

If you discover what you believe to be a manufacturer’s fault on the vehicle,you should alert the leasing company/service provider/dealership as soon aspossible to get the issue resolved.

Personal numberplates

You should liaise with your leasing company/service provider/dealership10 to 12 weeks before the end of lease to ensure your personal numberplateis transferred from your current vehicle to your new one.

  End-of-lease charges

Why do we have end-of-lease charges?

All leasing companies in membership are obliged under the BVRLA Code ofConduct to trade fairly and responsibly in all dealings with their customers. Endof-lease charges reflect the loss of value in the vehicle to the leasing companywhen it is returned in a poorer condition than originally contracted and/orachieves a decrease in value as a result of a failure to use, maintain and lookafter the vehicle and its equipment. The leasing company will not necessarilycarry out any damage repair or refurbishment prior to selling the vehicle.

What BVRLA members must do

Before the end of the lease, BVRLA members must explain clearly tocustomers their policy on the end-of-lease return standard that they expect,detailing vehicle condition, service and maintenance, vehicle accessoriesand MOT (if appropriate). They must also clearly explain the vehicle collectionprocess, inspection procedure and your customer rights relating to any dispute.

What customers should expect at vehicle return

At the end of the lease, when the vehicle is to be collected, the customerand the representative from the leasing company must check and agree onthe vehicle’s condition. All readily apparent damage to the vehicle will benoted on the vehicle collection sheet or hand-held device. In the event thatan inspection cannot take place, the customer will be informed of the reason.Possible reasons include the customer’s inability to attend, poor weatheror a dirty vehicle. If the vehicle is not sufficiently clean to allow a detailedinspection, the collection process may need to be abandoned and a chargemay be applied. Customers should be advised that the vehicle will alsoundergo a full inspection at the leasing company’s nominated site in line withthe agreed fair wear and tear policy.

In the event of a dispute about the condition or damage to the vehicle,customers have the right to pay for an examination of the evidence by anindependent qualified engineer, eg an engineer who is unrelated to the originalinspection and agreed by both parties. The engineer’s decision will be bindingon both the customer and the BVRLA member. If the engineer finds in thecustomer’s favour, the BVRLA member will refund the reasonable cost of theexamination to the customer.

The BVRLA Fair Wear and Tear Standard

 General appearance, road safety, documentation, keys

 All electronic safety features and devices to help the driver, eg parkingsensors, adaptive cruise
 controls, etc, must be in working order.

 There should be no rust or corrosion on any part of the bodywork ortrim of the vehicle.

 The vehicle must be roadworthy and no warning lights should beilluminated.

 There should be sufficient fuel (or residual charge in the battery if anelectric vehicle) to effect the
 vehicle collection.

Maintenance, servicing and repairs

The vehicle must have been inspected and serviced according to themanufacturer’s servicing/maintenance schedule. The service book supplied withthe vehicle must be present and date-stamped by the service agent/repairerapproved by the leasing company as evidence that the service has taken place.

All necessary maintenance and repairs must be carried out by a serviceagent/repairer approved by the leasing company. If the leasing company isnot responsible for service, maintenance and repairs, a proper record must bekept and be available for inspection on the vehicle’s return.

If the service record is kept electronically, drivers should ensure the serviceagent/repairer approved by the leasing company has re-set the serviceinterval display in the vehicle’s on-board service history unit.

Any repairs made to the vehicle before its return must be to a professionalstandard by repairers who can provide full transferable warranty on their work.

Unauthorised odometer changes are not acceptable. Any odometer alterationsmust have been reported to, and approved by, the leasing company.


All vehicle documentation, including the V5C vehicle registration document(where appropriate), MOT receipt, operation manual, service book and anyother documents relating to vehicle equipment, must be intact and available.All documents must be in the vehicle on its return – including details of allaudio equipment security codes.


The vehicle’s exterior should be sufficiently clean to allow a detailedinspection. The inside should have been valeted, cleared of rubbish and theashtrays emptied.

Vehicle keys

A full set of keys, including the master key, sparesand locking wheel-nut keys, should be returnedif originally supplied. If a remote locking systemis fitted, the appropriate remote controls should beavailable and functioning.

 Paintwork, body, bumpers and trim
 There should be no rust, corrosion or discolouration on any paintedarea, including painted bumpers, body
 moulding and mirrors.

 Repaired chips, scratches and dents are acceptable provided thework is completed to a professional standard
 by repairers who canprovide full warranty on their work.

 Obvious evidence of poor repair, such as flaking paint, preparationmarks, paint contamination, rippled finish
 and poorly matched paint,is not acceptable.


Small areas of chipping, including door edge chipping are acceptable.If the areas of chipping require the entire panel, bumper or trim to berepaired or repainted, the damage is not acceptable.


Dents (up to 10mm) are acceptable provided there are no more than two (2)per panel and the paint surface is not broken.

Dents on the roof or swage line on any panels are not acceptable.


Scratches and abrasions up to 25mm are acceptable, relative to thevehicle’s age and mileage, and provided the primer or bare metal is notshowing.

Moulding, wheel arch trims

Scuffs and scratches up to 25mm are acceptable provided the moulding ortrim is not broken, cracked or deformed.

Badges and labels

Badges, emblems, labels, logos and any advertising livery applied by thecustomer to the bodywork or glass of the vehicle should be removed beforereturning the vehicle. Removing badges, emblems, logos and livery must be doneprofessionally and the vehicle returned to its original colour and condition unlessotherwise agreed in writing by the customer with the vehicle leasing company.

Any damage caused by fitting or removing badges, emblems, labels, logos andadvertising livery, including faded paintwork, is not acceptable.

Soft and hard top convertibles

Convertible roofs must be fully operative and free from damage, rips and tears.

The rear window must not be cracked or creased.

Accessories originally supplied, eg tonneau cover, must be present and ingood condition.

Tow bars

Tow bars must only be fitted with approval from the leasing company. If fitted,a tow bar must be in good, rust-free condition, with electrical connections thatwork properly. A ball cover must be in place.

 Windows, glass, door mirrors and lamps


Light scratching is acceptable provided it does not interfere with thedriver’s line of sight and any heating elements still work properly.

Chips, cracks or holes are not acceptable.

Repaired chips within the driver’s line of sight are not acceptable.

Repaired chips outside the driver’s line of sight are acceptable provided theyare repaired to a professional standard and the work is warrantied.

Door mirrors

Missing, cracked or damaged door mirrors are not acceptable.

If adjustable and/or heated door mirrors, they must work correctly.

Lamps and lenses

All lamps must work.

Minor scuff marks or scratches up to 25mm are acceptable.

Holes or cracks in the glass or plastic coversof lamp units are not acceptable.

 Tyres and wheels

Tyre wear and damage

All tyres, including any spare, must meet minimum UK legal requirementsand comply with the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations of tyre type,class*, size and speed rating for the vehicle.

There must be no damage to sidewalls or tread.

Evidence of uneven wear due to under- orover-inflation is not acceptable.

Wheels and wheel trims

Dents and holes on wheel rims and wheel trimsare not acceptable.Scuffs totalling up to 50mm on the totalcircumference of the wheel trim and on alloy wheels are acceptable.

Any damage to the wheel spokes and the hub of the alloy wheel is notacceptable.

The spare wheel (including ‘spacesaver’), jack and other tools must beintact, stowed properly and in good working order.

The emergency tyre inflation canister, if supplied when new, should be infull working order, serviceable and ready for use. A canister that has beenpartially or fully discharged should be replaced.

 *EU Tyre Labelling Regulations effective 1 November 2012 describe the performance of a vehicle’s tyres
 according to three factors: fuel efficiency (the tyre’s rolling resistance), vehicle safety (the tyre’s wet grip) and
 external rolling noise (expressed in decibels). Replacement tyres should be in the same class as those whichare
 sold on the new vehicle.

 Mechanical condition
 The vehicle should be returned in a safe, legal and reliable mechanical
 condition, capable of passing an MOT test.

The vehicle’s engine management system should not be displaying anywarning light, eg diesel particulate filter (DPF), tyre pressure system (TPS),or oil pressure. If a warning light is illuminated, the vehicle may not bedriveable and the collection process abandoned, in which case a fee maybe charged. Advisory illuminated alerts are acceptable, eg countdowns tothe vehicle’s next service.

The following items are not acceptable fair wear and tear, because thedriver has neglected to service the vehicle and/or failed to action warningsfrom the vehicle management system:

  • brakes: eg grooved brake discs or drums caused by excessive wearor metal to metal contact from worn out disc pads.
  • engine: eg seized or damaged due to running vehicle with insufficientcoolant, oil or with broken internal components.
  • manual transmission: eg clutch slipping, noisy clutch or gearbox,excessively worn or ineffective synchromesh.
  • automatic transmission: eg noisy gearbox or torque converter,abrupt gear changes, loose gear linkage.

 Vehicle underside

Any impact damage to the vehicle’s underside is not acceptable.

Catalytic converters not working because of obvious abuse or damage arenot acceptable.

 Vehicle interior

Passenger area, seats, headrests and trim

The interior upholstery and trim must be clean and odourless with no burns,scratches, tears or staining.

Carpets should not have holes.

All seats originally supplied must be present.Wear and soiling through normal use is acceptable.Interior fittings such as seat belts, rear view mirrors, courtesy lights, sunvisors, door bins, etc, must be present, intact and free of damage.

Door aperture, boot, boot liner and luggage area

Scratches on treads, sills and seals that reflect normal use are acceptable.

Torn or split floor coverings and damaged surrounding trim panels are notacceptable.

Accessories such as parcel shelves, load covers, restraining straps andnets must be returned with the vehicle.

 Equipment and controls
 In-car entertainment equipment, telephones and navigation systems

All original equipment, accessories and controls must be present andoperate correctly (including satellite navigation discs, Secure Digital (SD)cards and remote units, headphones, electric vehicle charging leads,Bluetooth and other integrated systems).

If accessories such as car telephones and other non-standard equipmenthave been wired-in or mounted on the dashboard, any holes or otherdamage must be neatly repaired when they are removed.

Aerials must be left in place or the hole must be neatly repaired.

Please use this summary to appraise your vehicle against the BVRLAfair wear and tear standard prior to its return to the leasing company/service provider/dealership.

To avoid end-of-lease charges, you should arrange to repair unacceptableareas of damage before the vehicle is returned.

Check the terms of your contract.

Always point out any unrepaired wear or damage when the vehicle iscollected to avoid problems later.

  • Carry out an appraisal of the vehicle 10 to 12 weeks before thevehicle is due for return. This will allow you to arrange to have anyunacceptable wear and tear rectified.
  • It is important to 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 leasingcompany will examine your vehicle. Appraisals carried out in poorlight invariably miss some faults.
  • Before appraising the vehicle, make sure that it has been washedand is thoroughly clean but remember to allow time for it to dry.Water on the paintwork can mask faults.
  • Walk all the way around the vehicle and examine closely eachpanel, including the roof, bonnet, doors and body, for significantdamage. Observe where the light is reflected differently from anydents and scratches.
  • Crouch or kneel down at the front and rear of the vehicle and lookalong the bodyline on each side. This will help you see scratchesand dents that may otherwise be difficult to spot.Inspect lamps, lenses, windows and mirrors for chips, cracks
    and holes.
  • Inspect lamps, lenses, windows and mirrors for chips, cracksand holes.
  • Check the tyres (including spare) for damage. Check that the wearon the tread across each tyre is even. Inspect wheels, wheel trimsand 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.

Of course, you may decide you want to keep the vehicle because youknow its history. Contact your leasing company – it may offer thisvehicle, or others like it, at very attractive prices.

On collection, the vehicle must be in a safe and roadworthy condition withall appropriate keys, equipment, accessories and documentation available.

Your leasing company/service provider will arrange collection of the vehicle at the end of your lease. All readily apparent damage and wear, irrespective of liability, will be documented when the vehicle is collected. You will be given the opportunity to agree with the condition of the vehicle at the point of collection. Your leasing company will then be able to carry out a full assessment of your vehicle to calculate what end-of-lease charges, if any, are payable.

  • If you cannot be present during the collection of the vehicle, or ifother conditions, eg poor weather, prevent the vehicle from beinginspected, your leasing company will issue you with a writtencondition report of the vehicle and advise you of any charges thatmay subsequently become due, together with summary details ofhow any charges are calculated.
  • Ensure all your personal effects are removed from the vehicle,eg sunglasses, music CDs from the player/multi-stacker, etc. Don’t forgetto remove any item, including paperwork and other correspondence,that could reveal personal data about you, your family or friends.
  • Remove your house key from the vehicle fob. Delete any personalcontact and address information from the vehicle’s on-boardcommunication system.
  • Discs and cards for satellite navigation systems should be left in thevehicle and, for security reasons, you should delete any personalinformation from the navigation database, eg home address,postcode, etc.
  • The vehicle’s numberplate should be intact and the characters makingup the registration mark must be of the specified size and font set out inRoad Vehicles (Display of Registration Marks) Regulations 2001.

Use the vehicle appraisal form on pages 20-21 to ensure you addressall relevant issues.


AbrasionMultiple surface scratches

ChipRemoval of the surface material (glass or paintwork) in a concise area

DentDeformation of the surface structure, usually caused by impact damage

Light scratchA scratch with no raised edges

ScratchA single line mark or score in the surface material

ScuffLight scraping of top surface not penetrating base material

Smart repairSmall and medium area repair technique– a cost-effective way of repairing chips, dents and scratches

Swage lineFolded edge on a panel of the vehicle

 Dispute handling & conciliation process

 BVRLA Code of Conduct
 All contract hire and leasing companies in membership are obliged underthe BVRLA Code of
 Conduct to trade fairly and responsibly in all dealingswith their customers.
 A copy can be downloaded from the BVRLA’s

 BVRLA conciliation process
 On occasion, disagreements will arise between customers and BVRLAmembers which
 cannot be settled directly. Unresolved disputes may bereferred to the association by the
 customer and/or the member involved.

 Details should be submitted in writing to:
  Chief Executive
  British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association
  River Lodge
  Badminton Court
  HP7 0DD

Alternatively, a complaint form can be downloaded from the BVRLA’s

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