4 Jan 16

UK lease company publishes its own wear and tear guide

In a first for the UK, Milton Keynes-based contract hire and lease company Activa Contracts has announced that it will publish its own end-of-contract fair wear and tear guide. 

The guide is intended as a supplement to the existing fair wear and tear guide used by the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) to decide whether end-of-contract charges should be levied. 

Activa says the guide, now available online to customers and to be distributed in printed copies when new vehicles are delivered, aims to raise awareness among customers. “Well over a third of all vehicles returned incur no charges, and we’d like that figure to increase”, says Martin Hughes, Activa’s remarketing manager. 

The guide also introduces more transparency on Activa’s own policies: “The BVRLA guide states that any chips or scratches on a windscreen are unacceptable, but if they’re minor, we don’t regard them as chargeable”, Hughes says. A soon to follow smartphone app will allow customers to send in pictures of vehicle damage to ask whether specific damages will be charged or not. 

Wolfgang E. Reinhold, president of the European Car Remarketing Association (CARA) sees very little point in Activa’s go-it-alone guide: “It’s nonsense. As members of the BVRLA, they already have a wear and tear guide that is perfectly fair. And you can’t be fairer than fair. Of course, they can do what they want – but I don’t see the point”.

CARA wants to go in the opposite direction: one fair wear and tear guide to rule them all. It has received the support of Leaseurope and the European Commission for a fair wear and tear guide that would be accepted as standard for the entire EU, and by all parties involved in the remarketing industry – all of which are represented within CARA. 

“We have a task force working on sharpening up the proposals, which should be done in about 6 to 8 months. Thereafter, we will get the text approved by the proper administrative channels. The EU-wide fair wear and tear guide should come into effect before the end of this year”. 

Authored by: Frank Jacobs