10 Things to Check when Returning a Lease Car
10 Things to Check when Returning a Lease Car
10 Things to consider when returning your Lease Car
When its time to return your lease car you want to ensure that you do so with minimal hassle. Avoiding unnecessary costs is key to making sure you get the best value from your contract and the last thing anyone wants is a bill at the end. Wondering what to check before returning your lease car? Check out out handy guide below
1) Vehicle Mileage
Your lease car or lease van will have come with a set amount of annual mileage. This mileage is spread over the total length of the contract, so you don't have to worry about when you use the miles, just that you don't exceed them. You should always note the mileage on the vehicle when it gets delivered, this will normally be deducted from your total allowance but check with your finance provider if you are unsure.
If you have gone over your mileage, check your paperwork for the excess mileage rate, this is normally between 5 and 25 pence per mile, depending on the value of your vehicle and the maintenance. If you can see you are going to go well over the allowance, start planning in advance by putting some money to one side to cover the bill. If you have more than 6 months left on your contract, you can also contact your lender to see if they will amend your contract to reflect the increased mileage requirement.
2) Service history
You must service your vehicle in line with the manufacturers recommendation and some finance providers insist it is done at the manufacturer authorised dealer, although most will be satisfied with the service taking place at a VAT registered garage, so long as they use genuine manufacturer parts. Failing to have the vehicle serviced, irrelevant of if you have a maintenance plan included will lead to an end of contract charge for the missed service. If you have a service or MOT due before the vehicle is returned, don't skip it.
The legal limit in the UK is 1.6mm but we really advise changing them before then for safety reasons. When you return your vehicle it is advisable to check your tyres and be sure that none are on or below the legal limit. Failing to do so may result in your collection being refused, which will likely lead to additional cost for both the re-booking of collection, replacement of tyres and extended lease period.
4) Vehicle Equipment
Most lease agreements run for 2-5 years, so you might have forgotten that you took something out at the start. Returning your vehicle with equipment missing is almost certainly going to result in a charge. Here are some things to check: Parcel Shelf, Locking Wheel Nut, Spare Key, Charging cables (Electric or PHEV only) service book, Spare wheel or Tyre inflation kit.
This really is the big one. Returning a lease car with significant damage can lead to significant cost, and once the vehicle has been collected your option to pay privately for repairs has gone. Be sure to inspect the vehicle for damage and if you find anything that falls outside of the BVRLA Fair Wear And Tear Guide, consider if its worth having it repaired before the return.
6) Fuel / Electric Charge
This can be bit of a grey area, as you are not expected to return a car with £50 of petrol still within it. However you should consider that it will likely be collected by a single driver, so bear in mind that they will need to get to a petrol station if they have a long journey and you wouldn't want them breaking down 2 miles from your home. We recommend having at least 50 miles of range available, be it electric or Petrol / Diesel. If you live somewhere remote, consider having slightly more as to not put your driver through a tough time.
7) Return Date
Your return date is the annual birthday of when you took the lease, depending on how many years you took it for. Some lenders will allow 24 grace period if its a Sunday but always check if that's the case. Normally if you return your vehicle after the expiry date, you will be billed pro-rata for the number of days you have used (this is not always a bad thing if you need to hang onto it for a little longer)
8) Replacement Lease
As per the above point on return dates, we recommend you do not book your collection until you have a date for delivery for your new lease. This stops you going without a car which can be problematic for some. Speak with us or with your lease company to try and have your dates align.
9) Direct Debit
In almost all circumstances you lease will be paid by direct debit. Once you are sure the last payment has been made, the car returned and no charges are reported, you should cancel your direct debit. Your Lender will almost definitely do it anyway, but cancelling at your end can stop any accidental charges which may be hassle to recover. We do no recommend cancelling your payments until the car is returned and you are sure the account is settled.
10) Personal belongings
We cant stress this one enough. Many times customers have called to say their Sun glasses are in the glove box. You will find it very hard to recover personal items after the car has been collected, this is because most cars are taken straight to an auction house and can be sold within a matter of days, at which point it could be anywhere in the country and almost impossible to locate. Check for : Sunglasses, parking permits, cash, wallets, phones, items in the boot, umbrellas, car seats, CD's, USB Sticks. The list is endless, double check every compartment!
Returning a lease car - Conclusion
Check the car thoroughly, ensure you have followed the guidelines and reach out if you need help. Returning a Lease car should be fairly straightforward but if its your first time, double check everything. Need help? Give us a call, we will do our best to answer your questions (whether your car is from Ready2Lease or not :)