Good condition guide

What you need to be aware of before the end of contract inspection of your vehicle.

At the end of your agreement you may choose to return your vehicle. Throughout your agreement you must keep the vehicle in good condition allowing for fair wear and tear. If the vehicle, its equipment or accessories have not been used, maintained or looked after as originally agreed then we may make end of contract charges. This guide explains what fair wear and tear is and highlights other key information you need to know.

What is fair wear and tear

Fair wear and tear occurs when normal use causes acceptable deterioration to the vehicle’s condition at the end of a contract or finance agreement. The age, mileage and use of the vehicle are taken into account.

We suggest you check your vehicle 10-12 weeks before it’s due for return. This will give you time to arrange to have any unacceptable wear and tear repaired. 

Carry out your own inspection

Step 1

Wash and dry your vehicle before, dirt can mask damage.

Step 2

Make sure you check your vehicle in good light. Checks carried out in poor light may mean you miss something.

Step 3

Be objective and assess your vehicle as honestly as you can.

End of contract charge

End of contract charges occur when the vehicle and its equipment or accessories are not maintained, looked after, or used as originally agreed at the start of the contract.

You may find it cheaper to make your own repairs before we collect the vehicle. You will be responsible for the standard of those repairs, set out in this good condition guide.

Returning your vehicle

When returned to us, your vehicle will be checked by a qualified inspector for any damage over and above normal wear and tear. We will then tell you of any damage that falls outside of fair wear and tear standards and give you a costed inspection report. Any excess mileage and damage charges need to be paid within 30 days of that report.

Servicing and repairs

Your vehicle must be fully serviced in line with the manufacturer and/or warranty requirements. Any mismatched colours and parts, or substandard repair work will not be accepted. Additions you have made to the vehicle can be returned to you if you ask us in writing. Our reasonable costs, which may include replacing any items and repairs to damage caused, need to be paid to do this.

Documents and keys

You will need to return the complete servicing record. You will also need to return any items or documents that came with your vehicle, such as the vehicle registration certificate and spare keys. If you don't have any of these, the value of the vehicle may be reduced and you may be charged the cost to replace them.

Things to remember on the day of return

Please make sure these items are placed in the vehicle or there may be a charge:

  • Any accessories supplied on delivery
  • Spare and master keys
  • Wheel security key (if applicable)
  • Vehicle operating manual
  • Service book
  • Vehicle registration excluding section 9 of the V5 which should be completed and returned to the DVLA

Personal items or data

Please check for and remove all personal items from the vehicle such as phone kits, portable Sat Navs, trackers, parking permits, CD ’s, etc. All personal data you may have stored in vehicle systems also needs to be deleted. For example, clear destination details from built in Sat Navs, wipe phone contact lists and call logs from in-car phones and remove all music uploaded to onboard music systems. And make sure all personal memory cards or drives are removed.

  • General appearance

    Acceptable condition

    • Any repairs made to the vehicle as long as they meet our good condition guidelines. You will be responsible for the standard of the repairs.

    Not acceptable

    • Rust, corrosion or discolouration on any painted area, including painted bumpers, body moulding and mirrors.
    • Obvious evidence of poor repair, such as flaking paint, preparation marks, paint contamination, rippled finish and poorly matched paint.
    Acceptable damage - red car with scratches on it.


    Acceptable condition

    • Small areas of chipping, including door edge chipping, as long as the base coat has not been penetrated.

    Not acceptable

    • Areas of chipping which require the entire panel, bumper or trim to be repaired or repainted.
    Acceptable damage - red car with very small areas of chipped paint.


    Acceptable condition

    • Dents up to 10 mm in diameter, as long as the paint surface is not broken.

    Not acceptable

    • Dents on the roof or grooved metal line on any of the panels.
    Acceptable damage - white car with small dent.


    Acceptable condition

    • Scratches and abrasions up to 25mm, where the primer or bare metal is not showing.

    Not acceptable

    • Scratches down to the primer or to bright-work/moulding. Panels that require respraying will incur end of contract charges.
    Image showing an acceptable scratch on the side of a car


  • Acceptable condition

    • The vehicle should be returned in a safe, legal and reliable mechanical condition, capable of passing an MOT test.

    Not acceptable

    • Brake damage from worn out pads
    • Engine damage due to ignoring warning lights
    • Seizure through low fluids
    • Excessive damage to the underside.
  • Wheels and wheel trims

    Acceptable condition

    • Minor scuffs and scratches (up to 25mm) providing the moulding or trim is not broken, cracked or deformed
    • Scuffs totalling up to 50mm on the circumference of the wheel trim and on alloy wheels.

    Not acceptable

    • Dents and holes on wheel rims and wheel trims
    • Any damage to the wheel spokes and the hub of the alloy wheels.
    Acceptable damage - wheel trim with minor scratches.

    Tyre wear and damage

    Acceptable condition

    • All tyres including the spare must be within legal limits. The minimum legal tread depth for a car tyre is 1.6mm, which must be maintained across the central 3/4 of the breadth of the tread in a continuous band for the full circumference of the tyre.

    Not acceptable:

    • Damage to sidewalls or tread and uneven wear due to under or over-inflation.
  • Windscreen and windows

    All heating elements should work properly.

    Acceptable condition

    • Light scratching provided it does not interfere with the drivers line of sight.

    Not acceptable

    • Chips and any critical damage. Cracks or holes should be repaired immediately and to a professional standard

    Door mirrors

    Adjustable and/or heated mirrors should work correctly

    Acceptable condition

    • Minor scuff marks or scratches up to 25mm to door mirrors

    Not acceptable

    • Missing, cracked or damaged door mirrors. These should be replaced.

    Lights and lamps

    All lamps and lenses must work.

    Acceptable condition

    • Minor scuff marks or scratches up to 25mm

    Not acceptable

    • Holes or cracks in the glass or plastic covers of lamp units. These should be replaced.
  • Interior fittings should be present, intact and free of damage.

    Acceptable condition

    • Normal wear and tear to carpets and trims.

    Not acceptable

    • Burns, cuts, scratches or dents to trim, seat covers, headlining and floor coverings
    • Stains or permanent discolouration to interior upholstery – any damage including holes after audio removal should be repaired to a professional standard.
    Acceptable damage - small scuff mark on interior door handle.

    Equipment, tools and controls

    The spare wheel (including 'spacesaver'), jack and other tools must be intact, stowed properly and in good working order. The emergency tyre inflation kit, if supplied when new, should be in full working order, serviceable and ready for use.

    Not acceptable

    • Missing items, including original audio equipment unless it has been replaced with equivalent
    • Bent or broken parts, ill-fitting items through substandard work, accident damage or misuse.

What do I need to return?

Please ensure that the following items are placed in the vehicle or there may be a charge:

  •  Any accessories supplied on delivery
  • Spare and master keys
  • Wheel security key (if applicable)
  • Vehicle operating manual
  • Service book
  • Vehicle registration excluding section 9 of the V5 which should be completed and returned to the DVLA.

Personal items and data

Please make sure that you have checked for and removed personal effects from the vehicle such as phone kits, portable Sat Nav, trackers, parking permits, CD ’s etc. It is also your responsibility to ensure that all personal data is deleted. From built in Sat Nav systems, delete destination details. From in-car phone systems, delete any telephone directory contact lists and call histories. From onboard music systems delete all music uploaded and remove any personal memory cards or drives.