What is Fair Wear & Tear?

Learn what won't fall under fair wear and tear.

Fair wear and tear covers the natural deterioration that occurs as a result of normal usage through the period of the lease. Fair wear and tear is not to be confused with damage caused by an accident or negligent behaviour. The leasing industry's definition of 'fair wear and tear' is established and overseen by the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA), of which NewCarsOnline is a member.

When the vehicle is returned to the finance provider, it will be inspected for any damage that falls outside of fair wear and tear. You will be liable to pay for any damages that is deemed to be outside of the fair wear and tear policy.

The BVRLA specifies that fair wear and tear takes place when regular usage leads to the deterioration of a vehicle. This should not be mistaken for damage resulting from a particular event or a series of events, such as impact, improper stowing of items, harsh treatment, negligent acts, or omissions.

How do I get a copy of the fear wear and tear guidelines?

Each finance company has their own set of fear wear and tear rules, which are based on the guidelines that the BVRLA (British Vehicle Rental & Leasing Association) supplies. 

If you're close to the end of your agreement and you would like to find out more about your finance companies fear wear and tear rules, please contact us on 01472 563600.

Problems that may result in charges

The fair wear and tear policy is designed to protect the driver from minor scratches and scrapes that are not the fault of the driver but rather a consequence of driving on UK roads. Such wear and tear typically results from debris kicked up from the road onto the car, and preventing it can be extremely challenging. Some problems that have resulted in customers having to pay penalty charges include:

  • Cracked or significant bumper scuffs
  • Scratches longer than 25mm
  • Large chips on the bonnet/windscreen
  • Door dents with broken paint, exceeding 10mm, and more than two on a panel
  • Excessively worn or damaged tires
  • Rips, tears, and burns to the carpet and upholstery
  • Curb damage to wheels
  • Missing keys, including locking wheel nut keys
  • Dents on the roof or swage line of any panel
  • Removal of livery and signage is required

Tips to keep your lease car in good condition:

Washing the vehicle: 

  • Regularly clean both the interior and exterior of the car to prevent dirt and grime build up.
  • Promptly address spills and stains on upholstery to avoid permanent damage.

Wheel Care: 

  • Be mindful of curbs to prevent damage to the wheels.
  • Regularly check tire pressure and ensure proper alignment to prevent uneven tire wear.

Document Everything:

  • Keep records of all maintenance and repairs performed on the car.
  • Document the car's condition with photos when you first receive it and before returning it.