When you have a lease car, taking care of it is one of the most important aspects of leasing. After all, the car isn’t actually yours, so you have to keep it in good condition for when it goes back.
However, we know that keeping your car in top condition is actually harder than it sounds. Accidents happen, as do small bumps and taps. But, these can damage your car, and there may be an occasion where you dent your lease car. This might be your fault or it might not be, regardless, you have a dent in your car.
Should you get it fixed?
In this article, we look at whether you should get that dent fixed, how to avoid damage charges on your lease car and the best way to keep your lease car maintained.
Should I get the dent in my lease car fixed?
Yes, you should.
When you return your lease car, it will undergo an inspection. This will be done either a week before the vehicle is due to go back or the day it goes back. The vehicle will be checked for any damage that is outside the BVRLA Fair Wear and Tear Guidelines.
If there is damage that sits outside of these guidelines, then you will be charged. If your inspection is a week before the vehicle is due to go back then you are at an advantage. The person inspecting the car will tell you if you need to get anything fixed. You then have a week to get the vehicle repaired. However, if your car is inspected the day it is due to go back then the finance house will repair the car and you will receive an invoice shortly after.
The finance house won’t regard price when it comes to getting the car repaired. Therefore, we recommend that you get the car repaired before it goes back. That way, you can shop around for the best deal.
How can I tell if my car meets the BVRLA Fair Wear and Tear Guidelines?
The BVRLA Fair Wear and Tear Guide is the industry standard for all lease cars. Your vehicle broker should provide you with one of these guides at the start of your contract.
We recommend you refer to your guide every so often during your lease contract to make sure your car is still in line with the guide.
Another way to tell if you should get that dent repaired is to simply look at your car. We recommend looking at the car as if you were going to buy it. Would you pick up on the dent? If you would, then get it fixed.
This applies to any other bumps and scratches too. If you would pick up on it as a buyer then the inspector will also pick up on it.
What counts as fair wear and tear?
So how do you know if your dent counts as a fair wear and tear or not?
There is a whole booklet dedicated to what counts as fair wear and tear, so we aren’t going to go into huge amounts of detail. But, we will give you the basics;
Here is what is acceptable;
- Scratches up to 25mm (except where primer or bare metal is showing)
- Scuffs up to 25mm on alloy wheels
- A scratch that does not interfere with the driver line of sight
- Tyres that meet the UK legal requirements
- Light staining to the driver seat area
- Damage to lens (but hasn’t broken the glass)
And what isn’t acceptable;
- Adhesive residue
- Windscreen chip
- Wheel damage
- Scratches longer than 25mm
- Unrepaired impact damage
- Abraisians longer than 25mm
We would advise that you get a dent fixed. While it is your decision, getting it repaired before it goes back could save you money in the long run. For more information on what constitutes as fair wear and tear we recommend that you either head to the BVRLA website or refer to your handbook. Alternatively, you can contact your vehicle broker who will also be able to advise you.
How much will it cost to repair a dent in my car?
There’s no exact figure to how much it will cost to repair a dent in your car. It depends on the size of the dent, the extent of the damage and who you get your car repaired through.
Carcos.co.uk estimate that Paintless dent removal can start at £84+VAT. But that can rise depending on the size and the damage.
We recommend having a shop around to try and find the best quote.
If you want to get more considerable damage repaired, then we recommend going through the manufacturer. For example, if you have an accident, then going to the manufacturers garage is more advisable. This is because they will repair the car within the manufacturer’s guidelines. For small dents and bumps, though, you can shop around. You can read about what happens if your lease car is in an accident here.
How to avoid damage charges on your lease car
Avoiding damage charges on your lease car is actually fairly simple. Here are some of our tips to making sure you aren’t charged at the end of your lease contract;
- Refer to your Fair Wear and Tear Guide
- Simply referring to your guide every few months could end up saving your money. If something looks like it needs to be repaired and you get it repaired before it gets worse, then it will save you money in the long run.
- Inspect your car yourself
- Again, you can do this every few months. If you give your car a once over then you might spot something that you hadn’t before. Look at it as if you were going to buy it. If there’s something you would pick up on, get it fixed.
- Make sure it is serviced
- Getting your car serviced is part of the lease contract. But making sure that it is serviced on time will ensure that any problems are fixed before they become even bigger problems. You can read more about servicing your lease car here.
- Before the inspection, take photos of your car
- Take photos of the exterior and interior and make sure they have a time and a date stamp on them. That way, if you are charged and you want to dispute the charges, you have evidence to support your case.
In conclusion, you should get that dent fixed. Although it might seem small, you could end up getting charged for it when your lease contract is up and your vehicle is returned. You can get this repaired pretty much anywhere, though we recommend getting a few quotes and finding the best deal. To avoid damage charges on your lease car, refer to your BVRLA guide regularly and make sure it is up to date with servicing.