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Returning lease cars

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 Jamie Wakeham 16 Sep 2020

I'm just getting ready to return the car I've leased for four years - first time I've had to do this.  I've had a quick look through their 'Fair Wear and Tear' guide.  It seems surprisingly generous in what they will allow, which is good because this has been a climber's car for four years and has attracted a fair share of nicks and scratches!

Question: are they typically taking the attitude of trying to get it passed and not screw you over, or are they like car hire firms and desperate to find some excuse to charge?  Depending on how onerous they're going to be, I either need to give it a quick wash and get the T-Cut out, or possibly find someone to professionally hide the worst scratches!  Don't want to over-react, but also don't want to be stung.

They say the tyres need 2mm of tread - I am *right* on that limit.  So again not sure if I should hand it back and hope, or if it'll be cheaper in the long run to put new tyres on myself rather than pay inflated rates for them to do it.

Post edited at 14:15
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 deepsoup 16 Sep 2020
In reply to Jamie Wakeham:

>  put new tyres on myself rather than pay inflated rates..

I have no advice to offer I'm afraid, just wanted to say I like what you did there.

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 Jamie Wakeham 16 Sep 2020
In reply to deepsoup:

I'm here all week, folks...

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 Philip 16 Sep 2020
In reply to Jamie Wakeham:

I voluntarily terminated mine early because then you're not subject to those rules. You could do that 1 month early.

In my car I expected them to complain about the rims, they didn't. I reverse parked it so on start they didn't get the warning indicator for failed front sensors. Paintwork was pretty good. I had it cleaned inside and out for £15 before.

Make sure any spare parts (keys, tyre kits, etc) are there.

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 rj_townsend 16 Sep 2020
In reply to Jamie Wakeham:

I'm on my fourth lease car (through work rather than private), and my experience is that it depends on mileage and whether they expect to sell the car through the dealership network or via auction. Mine have all been high mileage (180k, 150k, 150k) and destined for auction so they haven't been too onerous on their inspections. However, others in our fleet have been returned on 50k and therefore destined for dealership, so they've been more rigorous on trim, stone chips etc.

As always being polite and pleasant to whoever is doing the inspection will be helpful in having them look less closely at whether the tyres are at 1.99mm or 2mm...

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 Philip 16 Sep 2020
In reply to Jamie Wakeham:

What are you having next? Another EV I assume?

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 Jamie Wakeham 16 Sep 2020
In reply to Jamie Wakeham:

I'm handing it back a few days early, to avoid having to do the 2nd MOT and 4th service, but I have to meet the rules about the paintwork/tyres etc regardless.

It's an Outlander PHEV with 42k on the clock, so I imagine they want to get decent resale for it!

Full EV this time, Phil: a Kia e-Niro 64kWh.  I suspect that I have just bought petrol for the last time in my life

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In reply to deepsoup:

> >  put new tyres on myself rather than pay inflated rates..

> I have no advice to offer I'm afraid, just wanted to say I like what you did there.

If it's bad news I'm sure they'll let you down gently.

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 Dr.S at work 16 Sep 2020
In reply to Kalna_kaza:

> If it's bad news I'm sure they'll let you down gently.


Bum Hisssshhhh

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In reply to Kalna_kaza:

> If it's bad news I'm sure they'll let you down gently.

Tread lightly 

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 alan moore 16 Sep 2020
In reply to Jamie Wakeham:

Just handed back my VW Up! Following a 3 year lease. I'd kept it mint for fear of such repercussions.

The collection process was pretty casual...just looking for dents and interior trim. I felt a fool for hoovering and polishing it just hand it back.

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 elliot.baker 16 Sep 2020
In reply to Jamie Wakeham:

I'm in a similar boat to your except we have two lease cars, one going back in Nov and one in March and they have both been absolutely hammered.

Both cars have had all 4 corners heavily scratched against walls at various points, and one of the cars has been keyed in two places (quote for fixing that was £300+ so I left it). One's got a dent in the bumper, scratched alloys etc.

I'm dreading the return tbh as I don't know how high they can go with the total bill!

I imagine it would cost a great deal to get all these things fixed to be perfect so I've just left them all at the moment.

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In reply to Jamie Wakeham:

I have never returned a lease myself but a few of my customers are garages that either lease cars or do the work on lease cars. 

The general consensus is some are okay and some take the piss. Personally I would give it a good wash and t cut or colour magic because that hides a multitude of sins, get a mobile valeting guy in to clean the inside. 

Giving it back clean and shiny will be better than grubby. 

The tyres, that's a tough one. Are you certain they are right on the limit or could they be slightly lower? Much as I think the selling of second hand tyres should be banned I would be tempted to put a set on. 

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 SCC Changed 16 Sep 2020
In reply to Jamie Wakeham:

I've never had a lease car, so no personal experience, but was speaking to someone in the wall who had a large Volvo on lease. He said he had exceeded the mileage allowance, but was still surprised to be presented with a bill for £18,000! 

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 kaiser 16 Sep 2020
In reply to SCC Changed:

> I've never had a lease car, so no personal experience, but was speaking to someone in the wall who had a large Volvo on lease. He said he had exceeded the mileage allowance, but was still surprised to be presented with a bill for £18,000! 

I think he was pulling your leg...  it's normally about 10p per mile for overage charges so he'd have had to do 180,000 over his allowance which is roughly going to the moon and back.

OP, I've had lease cars for ages and they're generally fair on their appraisal but quite thorough.   Scuffed alloys are a favourite for them and they'll try to charge c. £60 each, although last one I handed back with one small scuff I just didn't sign his form (which means you dispute the charge) and never heard anything more about it.   Cancel your DD to the finance company to prevent them helping themselves to any charges...

I'd leave the tyres and dispute it if they try to charge you.

Dents - get repaired by chipsaway or similar,

Scratches T-cut if they're outside the FW&T guidelines

Good Luck!

Post edited at 16:52
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 SCC Changed 16 Sep 2020
In reply to kaiser:

I am certain that he was genuine- £15,000+ VAT, and he was telling me how he would have to trim his spending accordingly. As he is a barrister, at least he could get a discount on any legal services. I haven't seen him since lockdown, so haven't heard the outcome.

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In reply to SCC Changed:

At that price I would be considering the purchase price following the lease, at least then you'd get something for your £18000 rather than a big bill and no car.

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 elliot.baker 16 Sep 2020
In reply to SCC Changed:

Neither of my leases are worth that much for the whole car so fingers crossed I don’t get charged that much haha

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 abr1966 16 Sep 2020
In reply to Jamie Wakeham:

I had leas cars for about 10 years until about 8 years ago....I found that on the last 2 occasions they were looking to find tiny flaws....the last one cost me £500 at the end and that was reduced from £750 after I argued a lot. There were 2 slight indentations on the panels....you would have to look really hard to spot them.....I thought it was well over the top...its why I have my own car now! I wouldn't trust the fair ware/tear policy!!

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In reply to Jamie Wakeham:

> a Kia e-Niro 64kWh

I've heard that the previous version, the d-Niro was a bit of a Raging Bull ;)

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 kaiser 16 Sep 2020
In reply to SCC Changed:

> I am certain that he was genuine- £15,000+ VAT, and he was telling me how he would have to trim his spending accordingly. As he is a barrister...

ah I see, just a week's wages for him then  ;-)

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 Pbob 16 Sep 2020
In reply to Jamie Wakeham:

When I had one picked up, I lead the guy around the whole car pointing out all the little dents and scratches. They noted a few and even said that the minor ones weren't worth bothering with. They completely missed the fact that I'd totally knackered the rear suspension until they were a few miles down the road.

I still remember the phone call :

"Erm Mr Pbob, this this the guy who just took your lease car"

"Yes"

"I'm afraid I've misplaced my copy of the handover form. Would you mind if I came back and we do the handover again?"

"I'll email a copy"

"Oh"

"Yep"

One over on the man   

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In reply to Niall_H:

He’s been waiting for you! 

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 Jamie Wakeham 16 Sep 2020
In reply to Jamie Wakeham:

Cheers, all.  Sounds like it very much depends on my particular lease company.  I will give it a good wash and a going over with T-Cut; with any luck that will do the job.  The only dent is in the plastic bumper, which they say they are more forgiving about, and the alloys are in reasonable nick.

I'll have a really good look at the tyres... part worns might be the way forward here.  I shouldn't complain; with careful rotation, I've got 42k miles out of the original set plus one new pair.

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 Mike-W-99 16 Sep 2020
In reply to Jamie Wakeham:

When I handed mine back last year its worth noting that the person who drives it away isn't the person doing the inspection that matters.

I got a nice video back a few days later highlighting the dent on the roof some scrote made trying to nick our bikes.

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 Jamie Wakeham 16 Sep 2020
In reply to Mike-W-99:

Thanks - yes, it does seem the driver who collects it isn't necessarily the one who'll carry out the inspection.

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In reply to Blue Straggler:

> Tread lightly 

That joke was a bit tyred.

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 ScraggyGoat 17 Sep 2020
In reply to Jamie Wakeham:

Sounds like you be as well to video all the car in detail the morning of the  handover, with a copy of that days paper in shot to prove the date. Thus if anything comes to light later that isn't shown in your footage you have some form of counter evidence....just in case.

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 Fredt 17 Sep 2020
In reply to Jamie Wakeham:

I’m about to finish a lease, and am seriously considering buying the car outright at the contract agreed price (the balance). I did much less than expected mileage, it’s in great nick, I love it and can’t be arsed searching for a new one. 

Any pitfalls or downsides to doing this?

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