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Van Leasing Wear and Tear Guidelines from Vansdirect

Van Leasing Wear and Tear Guidelines from Vansdirect

Leasing a van can be a great, cost-effective solution for many businesses. However, it comes with certain responsibilities, including adhering to wear and tear guidelines. It’s important that you understand what constitutes fair wear and tear, to avoid a penalty fee at the end of your van lease.

In this guide, we'll explain what fair wear and tear entails and what types of van damage are not deemed acceptable.

Read on to learn more.

Table of Contents

What is van fair wear and tear?

How to conduct your own wear and tear assessment

What about van signage or decals?

How to prepare for returning your van

What is the standard expected for returned vehicles?

Loading area

Bumpers and grille

Wheel rims and tyres


Windows, lights and glazing

Body and paintwork

How to rectify any damage to your van

What do I need to return with the van?

What happens when my lease van is collected?


What is van fair wear and tear?

It is reasonable to expect that at the end of your van lease, there will be some signs of wear and tear. Lease agreements typically span from two to five years, so it’s only natural to pick up some signs of use during this period.

Fair wear and tear refers to the normal, reasonable effects that occur during regular use of the van. These may include light scratches and small scuffs. However, it does not account for damage that has resulted from impact or neglect.


How to conduct a wear and tear assessment on your van

It’s good practice to inspect your van before you hand it back at the end of its lease. To ensure a clear view, perform this inspection during daylight and in dry conditions.

Start by thoroughly cleaning your van, both inside and out. Not only does this make it easier to identify issues, but it also leaves a positive impression when you return the van.

As you walk around your van, carefully examine it for dents, scratches, chips, or paint discolouration. Be sure to inspect all panels, mirrors, windows, and lights, and assess the condition of the tyres.

Inside the van, check for tears, scuffs, and stains. Verify that electronic equipment is in working order, such as the air conditioning and radio.

You could even ask a friend or colleague to inspect the van as well. They may be able to provide a more objective assessment than you can.

If you come across minor wear and tear issues, consider making these repairs professionally before returning the van. Especially for major repairs, you will need to consult a professional technician who can provide a full warranty on all work.


What about van signage or decals?

If you have added signage or decals to your van, it's essential to remove them entirely before returning the van. Failure to do so may result in additional charges to have them removed.


How to prepare for returning your van

It’s generally advised that you inspect for any van damage 10 - 12 weeks before it is due to be returned. This should give you enough time to arrange for any repairs to be carried out if needed.

Ensure that you have all the items that were included with the van when it was delivered, as well as any required documentation.

If you need to contact us to discuss your next van lease, our expert team will be delighted to assist.


What is the standard expected for returned vans?

Understanding what qualifies as fair wear and tear when returning your van can be challenging at times. To make this clearer, we've outlined some key areas.


Van loading area

Fair wear and tear

Unacceptable wear and tear

Small scuffs, scratches, dents, and bumps.

Damage that interferes with the use of the doors or compartment functions.

Abrasions due to normal loading activities.


Dents to wheel casing.


Additional fittings may be left, providing they are properly secured and comply with vehicle regulations.

Damage due to improper loading.



Holes on the loading floor.


Damaged or dented interior lining that limits the use of doors, windows, and fittings.


Damaged body parts, partition walls, doors, or windows.


Missing interior linings and partition walls.


Van bumpers and grille

Fair wear and tear

Unacceptable wear and tear

No more than two light scuffs or scratches in the same area. These must not have penetrated through to the base.

Bumpers showing scratches through to the base, or misshapen due to impact.


Severely damaged grilles and bumpers.


Van wheels rims and tyres

Fair wear and tear

Unacceptable wear and tear

Tyres with a minimum tread depth of 2mm.

Bulges, cracks, or cuts to the tyre.

Small scuffs or scratches to the wheel trim or alloy.

Tyres with damage caused by impact.


Tyres with a tread depth below 2mm.


Flat tyres.


Damaged, scuffed, broken, or missing wheel trims.


Misshapen or rusted wheel rims.


Missing spare wheel (if included as standard equipment).


Missing or incomplete Tyre Mobility Kit.


Van interior

Fair wear and tear

Unacceptable wear and tear

Slightly worn seats.

Torn, ripped, or burnt upholstery.

Small dents on the partition wall.

Excessive staining that cannot be removed.

Minor damage to the headlining.

Damaged or torn panel headlining.


Mobile phone equipment may be left providing it is correctly fitted and adheres to legal requirements.

Holes on the centre console.


General wear in the footwell through general usage.

Damage to the dashboard.

Abrasions, light staining, and minor tears.

Broken storage compartments.


Van windows, lights, and glazing

Fair wear and tear

Unacceptable wear and tear

Small chips and scuffs on the light casing.

Chips or cracks that have broken the glass or plastic cover of lights.


Large stone chips, or cracked windscreens.


Van body and paintwork

Fair wear and tear

Unacceptable wear and tear

Minor paint scuffs or scratches that can be removed by mechanical polishing.

More than two scuffs or scratches on the same body part.

Light paint damage that hasn’t gone through to the base.

Body dents larger than 20mm in diameter.


Damage which has corroded or rusted.

Please note this information is for guidance; consult your lease contract for the complete criteria.


How to rectify any damage to your van

If you come across any damage that you think may result in a penalty charge, you can arrange for the damage to be professionally repaired prior to returning the van.

For chips, dents, and scratches it’s advisable to get them repaired as soon as possible after the incident that caused them.

Certain minor issues, such as interior staining, may be resolved by cleaning them yourself.

Feel free to contact us for further advice and guidance.


What do I need to return with the van?

When returning your van at the end of its lease, it's essential to ensure that all the items that came with it are included. For example:

  • All keys for the van.
  • Original documents, such as the owner's manual.
  • A stamped service history record.
  • A valid MOT certificate (if applicable).
  • Radio code cards.
  • All optional equipment attached to the vehicle (e.g., tow bars, if applicable).
  • All emergency equipment supplied with the vehicle (e.g., warning triangle, first aid kit etc.).
  • Any spare wheels.



What happens when my lease van is collected?

On the day of your van’s collection, please ensure your van is in its best condition and equipped with all the required items.

The agent responsible for collecting the van will:

  • Complete a preliminary inspection of the van.
  • Check your documentation and equipment.
  • Take some photographs of the van.


You will be asked to sign an assessment document, which will highlight any visible damage, and grant permission for the van to be collected.

Subsequently, the collecting agent will transport your van for an impartial fair wear and tear assessment. You will be informed of any damage that falls outside the bounds of fair wear and tear. You may incur charges for the repair of such damage.

We hope this guide has helped answer your queries about fair wear and tear and van damage. If you’re looking for your next van lease, you can rely on Vansdirect. We offer fantastic deals across a wide range of brands, including Nissan, Renault, Mercedes-Benz, and more! With our Price Promise, you can lease with confidence. If you find a better deal elsewhere, we will match any like-for-like quote.*

*Available on selected vans from our van leasing deals. Must be showing the Price Promise logo.

Stay up to date with our Blog for more helpful tips and advice.

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