Returning Your Lease Car

Find out what to expect when it comes to returning your car.

What happens at the end of a car lease?

The exact procedure will vary depending on the finance company, but generally, the lender will contact you a few months before the contract is due to end to discuss what happens at the end of the lease.

It’s more than likely that they’ll give you the option of signing up to a one, but you can just arrange to hand the car back and leave it at that. Either way, the leasing company will arrange to inspect and collect the car at the very end of the contract. Organising collection of your lease vehicle

Coordinating the collection of your lease vehicle

NewCarsOnline will reach out to you a few months before your agreement concludes to explore your options and assist you in securing a new lease deal.

Your assigned Account Manager will also organize the inspection of the vehicle and appoint a representative to retrieve it at a time and location convenient for you.

When scheduling your vehicle's collection, please have the following information ready:

1. Car's registration number.
2. Collection address.
3. Preferred date and time.
4. Contact name and number.

Moreover, if you opt for another lease deal, you can have your new car delivered simultaneously, eliminating any extended waiting periods.

Continue reading to discover how to prepare your vehicle for collection using our convenient checklist below. To directly arrange the collection of your vehicle with us, feel free to call us at 01472 563600.

What you'll need when it's collected

On the scheduled collection day, the Collection Agent will conduct a thorough examination of the vehicle and document its condition and mileage on a Vehicle Condition Form. It is imperative that you carefully review and sign this form, verifying the accuracy of the recorded information. A duplicate of the Vehicle Condition Form will also be provided to you for your records.

For a successful return, the vehicle must be in a safe and roadworthy condition, as well as thoroughly clean and prepared for inspection.

On the collection day, please ensure the surrender of the following documentation to the Collection Agent:

1. A fully stamped service book.
2. A valid MOT certificate (if applicable).
3. The operation manual (if applicable).
4. A complete set of vehicle keys, including any master keys.
5. The Vehicle V5 Document (if applicable).

I.e if you have a cherished plate please contact us at 01472 563600.

What happens during the inspection?

The car will be inspected before the leasing company takes it away to check for any damage and note its general condition. Vehicle inspectors use the Fair Wear and Tear Guide issued by the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA), which clearly describes what is and isn’t considered a reasonable amount of damage on a vehicle leased for a certain period of time.

Can I expect any charges?

If the car is in good condition and has nothing more than very minor wear and tear – the type of which you’d expect for a vehicle of its age – then you shouldn’t receive any charges at all. You will be charged if it’s damaged or if you’ve exceeded the agreed mileage limit.

What happens if I've gone over the mileage?

Additional mileage charges may apply at the conclusion of a contract if the vehicle is returned with a mileage surpassing the contracted limit. In the event that you exceed your annual mileage allocation, you will be obligated to make an additional payment, determined by the number of extra miles covered commonly referred to as an excess mileage charge.

For example; 4 year deal 15,000 per annum means you can drive a total 60,000 miles across the contract.

Returning a lease car with damage

If the car is damaged, then you’re in for a bill, because the leasing company will need to get it repaired. If you’re in any doubt about its condition then it’s a good idea to contact the finance company before the vehicle is inspected to discuss any potential issues. You may find it’s cheaper to get any damage repaired yourself before you return the car. Click here for a guide to Lex Autolease "Returning a Vehicle"


It may be possible to extend your lease contract. If you want to, then speak to the finance company as soon as possible. Some will be more flexible about extensions than others, but the earlier you contact them about it, the better your chances.

No, you don’t. When you lease a car, you’re effectively renting it for the duration of the contract, so you won’t get any money back at the end of it.

Some forms of car finance allow you to hand the car back early – but leasing isn’t one of them. If you want to cancel the contract then you’ll have to pay off the remaining amount in full, even if you have years left.

If you’re struggling to afford the payments then contact the finance company as soon as possible, as they may be able extend the contract and lower the monthly payments or attempt to find another solution.

If you return your lease car early, you will likely have to pay a penalty. This penalty is usually calculated as a percentage of the remaining lease payments.

If you damage your lease car, you will be responsible for the repairs. It's always best to get these repairs fixed by bodyshop or a SMART repair centre before handing the car back.

If you don't return your lease car by the end of the agreed lease term, you will be considered in default. Legal action will be taken against you.

If you lose your keys to your lease car, you will need to contact your finance company immediately.