10 simple car finance mistakes to avoid

Car leasing has become more popular recently in the UK, as it offers an accessible and attractive way of owning a new car.

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When you get to the end of a lease, there are obligations in the contract which the vehicle has to meet. If it is dirty, damaged or poorly maintained, the firm will charge a fee. This can be avoided by taking some simple steps.

1. Failing to calculate mileage properly

Mileage is hard to estimate. However, when completing the form, you need to be accurate. You are advised to look at your most recent MOT to find out if your mileage has increased.

2. Ignoring minor scrapes and scuffs

All drivers are liable to accumulate small scrapes and scuffs on their car. What companies are prepared to tolerate varies. Check with your company in advance to avoid paying out.

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3. Not having professional repairs

Make sure you have any repairs carried out by a professional, to avoid large penalties.

4. Not having a professional clean

Get a professional valet to make the car spick and span again, before returning the car.

5. Not having enough time to check the car

Check your vehicle around 10 to 12 weeks before returning it to your lease company. This allows enough time for any necessary repairs.

6. Ensure the vehicle is regularly serviced

Cars need servicing regularly – at least once a year. Maintaining your car in good condition will minimise depreciation and fees.

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7. Not removing decals

If you’ve been promoting your business, you may have used a decal or magnet sign. These must be removed and the paintwork left undamaged.

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8. Leaving the windscreen with chips

You need to deal with this to avoid paying a fee, and for the safety of the next driver.

9. Low fluid levels

Make sure your fluids are adequate when returning your vehicle. Regularly check the oil, window wash fluid, brake fluid and coolant and top up when necessary.

10. Failing to check the BVRLA standard

Lease companies adhere to the BVRLA standard when checking returned cars. It’s a good idea to do this yourself too. Ask your company for a copy and use the correct rules.


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