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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 and integrity when renting or leasing vehicles from a BVRLA member. The BVRLA promotes ethical trading, clear pricing, 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

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 with the assistance of a specialist working group drawn from BVRLA members and independent market experts. The BVRLA particularly wishes to acknowledge the contribution of the Vehicle Remarketing Association (VRA) for its input to this latest edition.

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

Fair wear and tear occurs when normal usage causes acceptable deterioration to a vehicle. It is not to be confused with damage, which occurs 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 the vehicle’s condition.
For ease of reference, the condition of the vehicle is considered 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 the vehicle manufacturer’s guidelines.

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

Customers should also follow the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations regarding fuel and fuel blends, lubricants and battery recharging (if an electricor hybrid vehicle), because the vehicle’s warranty may be invalidated and long-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 as possible to get the issue resolved.

Personal numberplates

You should liaise with your leasing company/service provider/dealership 10 to 12 weeks before the end of lease to ensure your personal number plate is 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 of Conduct to trade fairly and responsibly in all dealings with their customers.
End of-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/or achieves 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 necessarily carry 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 to customers their policy on the end-of-lease return standard that they expect, detailing vehicle condition, service and maintenance, vehicle accessories and MOT (if appropriate). They must also clearly explain the vehicle collection process, 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 customer and the representative from the leasing company must check and agree onthe vehicle’s condition. All readily apparent damage to the vehicle will be noted 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 weather or a dirty vehicle. If the vehicle is not sufficiently clean to allow a detailed inspection, the collection process may need to be abandoned and a charge may be applied. Customers should be advised that the vehicle will also undergo a full inspection at the leasing company’s nominated site in line with the 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 an independent qualified engineer, eg an engineer who is unrelated to the original inspection and agreed by both parties. The engineer’s decision will be binding on both the customer and the BVRLA member. If the engineer finds in the customer’s favour, the BVRLA member will refund the reasonable cost of the examination 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 parking sensors, adaptive cruise
 controls, etc, must be in working order.

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

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

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

Maintenance, servicing and repairs

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

All necessary maintenance and repairs must be carried out by a service agent/repairer approved by the leasing company. If the leasing company is not responsible for service, maintenance and repairs, a proper record must be kept and be available for inspection on the vehicle’s return.

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

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

Unauthorised odometer changes are not acceptable. Any odometer alterations must 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 any other documents relating to vehicle equipment, must be intact and available. All documents must be in the vehicle on its return – including details of all audio equipment security codes.


The vehicle’s exterior should be sufficiently clean to allow a detailed inspection. The inside should have been valeted, cleared of rubbish and the ashtrays emptied.

Vehicle keys

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

 Paintwork, body, bumpers and trim
 There should be no rust, corrosion or discolouration on any painted area, 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 can provide full warranty on their work.

 Obvious evidence of poor repair, such as flaking paint, preparation marks, 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 be repaired 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 the vehicle’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 or trim is not broken, cracked or deformed.

Badges and labels

Badges, emblems, labels, logos and any advertising livery applied by the customer to the bodywork or glass of the vehicle should be removed before returning the vehicle. Removing badges, emblems, logos and livery must be done professionally and the vehicle returned to its original colour and condition unless otherwise agreed in writing by the customer with the vehicle leasing company.

Any damage caused by fitting or removing badges, emblems, labels, logos and advertising 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 that work properly. A ball cover must be in place.

 Windows, glass, door mirrors and lamps


Light scratching is acceptable provided it does not interfere with the driver’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 covers of 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- or over-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 total circumference of the wheel trim and on alloy wheels are acceptable.

Any damage to the wheel spokes and the hub of the alloy wheel is not acceptable.

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

The emergency tyre inflation canister, if supplied when new, should be in full working order, serviceable and ready for use. A canister that has been partially 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 which are
 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 any warning light, eg diesel particulate filter (DPF), tyre pressure system (TPS), or oil pressure. If a warning light is illuminated, the vehicle may not be driveable and the collection process abandoned, in which case a fee maybe charged. Advisory illuminated alerts are acceptable, eg countdowns to the vehicle’s next service.

The following items are not acceptable fair wear and tear, because the driver 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 wear or metal to metal contact from worn out disc pads.
  • engine: eg seized or damaged due to running vehicle with insufficient coolant, 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 not acceptable.

Accessories such as parcel shelves, load covers, restraining straps and nets 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 and operate 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 equipment have 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 BVRLA fair 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 unacceptable areas of damage before the vehicle is returned.

Check the terms of your contract.

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

  • Carry out an appraisal of the vehicle 10 to 12 weeks before the vehicle is due for return. This will allow you to arrange to have any unacceptable 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 leasing company will examine your vehicle. Appraisals carried out in poor light invariably miss some faults.
  • Before appraising the vehicle, make sure that it has been washed and 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 each panel, including the roof, bonnet, doors and body, for significant damage. Observe where the light is reflected differently from any dents and scratches.
  • Crouch or kneel down at the front and rear of the vehicle and look along the bodyline on each side. This will help you see scratches and 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, cracks and holes.
  • Check the tyres (including spare) for damage. Check that the wear on the tread across each tyre is even. Inspect wheels, wheel trims and 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 this vehicle, 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 if other conditions, eg poor weather, prevent the vehicle from being inspected, your leasing company will issue you with a written condition report of the vehicle and advise you of any charges thatmay subsequently become due, together with summary details of how 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 forget to 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 personal contact and address information from the vehicle’s on-board communication system.
  • Discs and cards for satellite navigation systems should be left in the vehicle and, for security reasons, you should delete any personal information from the navigation database, eg home address,postcode, etc.
  • The vehicle’s number plate should be intact and the characters makingup the registration mark must be of the specified size and font set out in Road Vehicles (Display of Registration Marks) Regulations 2001.

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


Abrasion Multiple surface scratches

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

Dent Deformation of the surface structure, usually caused by impact damage

Light scratch A scratch with no raised edges

Scratch A single line mark or score in the surface material

Scuff Light scraping of top surface not penetrating base material

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

Swage line Folded 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 under the BVRLA Code of
 Conduct to trade fairly and responsibly in all dealings with their customers.
 A copy can be downloaded from the BVRLA’s website:

 BVRLA conciliation process
 On occasion, disagreements will arise between customers and BVRLA members which
 cannot be settled directly. Unresolved disputes may be referred 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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