Returning a leased car
Three months before your car lease is set to end, you will be contacted by an account manager to discuss your options
When it comes to returning a lease car it is expected that you return it with ‘reasonable wear and tear.’ (There is an agreed BVRLA definition of what this looks like here)
Excessive damage that occurs outside of these guidelines means you will incur charges as outlined as part of your leasing agreement.
What happens at the end of my lease?
There are two main options:
- Select a new car and leasing deal
- Arrange for your old car to be collected
If you would like to swap your vehicle for a brand-new lease here's what to do:
- Start planning as early as possible
- Decide what type of vehicle you want for your next lease
- Decide your monthly budget
- Speak to the team at LeasingOptions to sort the deal
Once all this is done, the team at LeasingOptions will ensure that when you return your old lease vehicle, your new one will be ready to go, keeping you on the road without any wait time for a new car.
Organising your vehicle collection
You will be advised by your account manager how and when to contact the finance company to organise a date, time and location for the collection of your vehicle.
Normally your vehicle will be collected from your home address or place of work, whichever is easiest for you. Collection times are usually at some point between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday, whatever suits you best.
What happens when my car is collected?
When your car reaches the end of the lease and is ready to be returned, you will organise with the leasing company for someone to come and collect the car.
Once you have agreed on a date, time and place, you will receive an email confirmation.
On the agreed day, a collector will come to your house or place of work – whichever is easiest for you - and inspect the car.
They’ll have a look around to see any obvious damage, including scratches/marks on the car before they take it away for a more thorough inspection.
They will show you anything they find and give you a digital form to sign to agree to their notes. Once this has been done, they will take the car away.
10 tips when returning your lease car
Before collection, you must check your vehicle and ensure the following:
- The vehicle’s service history and MOT are up to date where applicable and that you have all the documentation to hand.
- The vehicle is clean inside and out so that a thorough inspection can be carried out.
- All keys and, where required, electric car charging cables and sat nav data card are present.
- Any personal data is removed from the onboard computers.
- The vehicle is in full working order and no warning lights are displaying on the dashboard.
- The vehicle has no damage to the bodywork and trim which are over acceptable levels of fair wear and tear.
- The tyres meet the minimum UK legal requirement for tread depth and there is no damage to the sidewalls.
- The vehicle interior is free from stains, odours and damage to the upholstery.
- All windows are free from cracks, chips or holes and any required repairs have been carried out to a professional standard.
- All personal belongings have been removed and car items are present and correct (e.g. parcel shelf, headrests, spare tyre, etc.).
What happens if I’m returning my lease car with damage?
During your collection, the car will be checked inside and out for any damage which is not in line with the BVRLA Fair Wear and Tear Guide. Roughly speaking, fair wear and tear is defined as small scratches or scuffs to the bodywork which would normally occur during that length of ownership but would not have a detrimental effect on the vehicle’s value.
If there is damage to your vehicle that does not fall under the description of fair wear and tear, then you will need to pay the repair costs.
Speak to your finance company if you’re worried about damage charges. It could work out cheaper to pay for repairs yourself before returning the car. However, any work carried out must be completed to a professional standard and include any transferable warranties.
What about if I’ve exceeded my mileage?
Your mileage is agreed at the beginning of your contract and any extras are costed up before your contract begins. If you exceed your mileage, you will be charged on a price per mile basis. This figure will be in your original agreement documentation.
If you are not sure about the cost per mile for your agreement, speak to your account manager.
How can I renew my lease?
At the end of your contract, you can replace your car with a brand-new one of your choice and a fresh contract – it’s called car lease renewal. Your account manager will discuss all your options and you will be able to choose a new vehicle based on your requirements.
Do I pay a down payment when renewing?
If you choose to renew your lease with a new agreement and new car, then your contract will begin just as the last one did – with an initial payment. Following the initial payment, you will make fixed monthly payments until the end of the contract.
What happens if I want to renew with bad credit?
When renewing and signing up to a new leasing agreement, your credit rating will be considered, as with all finance arrangements.
If you’re concerned about renewing your car lease with bad credit, we will discuss your circumstances and help you find an agreement with a funder that can work for you. If you think your credit rating may affect your eligibility for finance, then speak to your account manager and they will be able to explain your options.
Can I return a leased car early?
It may be possible to return your leased car early if required, subject to payment of an early termination charge. However, this payment could be as much as the entire amount payable on the rest of the contract, so early termination is not normally a recommended option.
Can I extend my car lease?
In some cases, it may be possible to extend your leasing agreement. This depends on your contract and should be discussed with your account manager.
Customers often ask if it’s a good idea to extend a car lease and the truth is that it depends on the vehicle and funder. However, in many cases, the most cost-effective deal, in the long run, will be to renew your lease by signing another contract with a brand-new vehicle.
If you have further questions about potentially extending your current lease, or would like to discuss a new leasing contract and any special offers available to you, then please do contact our team here.