Fair Wear and Tear

What Is Fair Wear and Tear?

Fair wear and tear’ is when a vehicle’s condition deteriorates over time. This is not considered to be damage to the vehicle; after all, repeated use is bound to have an effect.

As a member of the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA), we follow the guidelines given in the BVRLA Fair Wear and Tear Guide. These are outlined below.

Things to do before returning your vehicle:
• Remove all personal belongings from the vehicle
• Detach your house keys from the vehicle key fob and locate any spare keys
• Ensure that all tools and the spare wheel/space saver are present
• Check that the vehicle will start, is roadworthy, and that the MOT has been carried out (if due)
• Check that the vehicle is clean inside and out
• Clear all personal data stored on any SD card and Satellite Navigation system
• Make sure you can provide a valid MOT certificate
• Check you have evidence of a full service history
• Check that there is at least a quarter of a tank of fuel


General Requirements

You should return the vehicle clean inside and out, without any rubbish or personal belongings. All original documentation and equipment should be inside, with the service book stamped. Don’t forget to bring your complete set of keys, including spare keys.

Make sure there isn’t any rust or corrosion on the car. We do allow minor imperfections (relative to the vehicle’s age and mileage), as long as they fit the below criteria: 

  • Scratches up to 25mm (As long as the paint surface is not broken) 
  • Small areas of chipping 
  • Dents up to 10mm (as long as there are no more than two per panel and the paint surface is not broken) 
  • Scuffs up to 50mm (As long as the paint surface is not broken);

Damage Definitions

  • Abrasion - Multiple scratches in the material surface 
  • Chip - Removal of the surface material (glass or paintwork) in a concise area
  • Dent - Deformation of the surface usually caused by impact
  • Light Scratch - A scratch with no raised edges. Can be polished out using SMART repair techniques. 
  • Scratch - A single line, mark or score in the material surface
  • Scuff Light - scraping of top surface not penetrating base material

Mechanical Condition

The vehicle must meet current MOT standard. If any of the below are applicable, it suggests that the driver has neglected to service the vehicle and/or not dealt with warnings for the vehicle management systems. This sort of damage is not considered to be fair wear and tear.

  • Brakes: grooved brake discs or drums caused by excessive wear or metal to metal contact from worn out pads
  • Engine: seized or damaged due to running vehicle with insufficient coolant, oil or with broken internal components
  • Manual transmission: clutch slipping, noisy clutch or gearbox, excessively worn or ineffective synchromesh
  • Automatic transmission: noisy gearbox or torque converter, abrupt gear changes, loose gear linkage

Vehicle Interior

All of the seats must be present and clean, with no visible burns, tears or staining. If you’ve removed any accessories and this has left a hole or other damage, you must repair this neatly. Interior fittings such as seat belts, rear view mirrors, courtesy lights, sun visors, door bins etc must be present and intact.

Equipment and Controls

All of the original equipment, accessories and controls (including satellite navigation disks) must be present and working properly. The aerial must be left in place or the hole neatly repaired.

Important Information

To avoid being charged, you should get the vehicle checked 10 – 12 weeks prior to return. This will leave time for any damage to be dealt with. Pendragon Vehicle Management will inspect the vehicle at the end of its contract a few days before its collection. An independent inspection company will carry this out.

  • bvrla
  • Arval
  • Leaseplan (uk) Limited
  • Mitsubishi HC Capital UK PLC