What happens at the end of my car lease?

At the end of the lease contract, the lease company takes possession of the car, and it will be sent to a car auction where it will be sold on the second hand car market.

It may be that you have to drop the car off somewhere, but it is more likely that the car will be collected from you, often by a contracted driver who will do a quick condition report before delivering the car to the auctions.

A lease inspector will then typically inspect the car while at the auctions and list missing items, damage and condition of the car. This will then be sent to the lease company, who will make a decision as to if they will be any recharges.

This might happen in a different order. It is possible the car will have an inspection first, and then be collected by a driver. It is also likely that both the driver and the lease inspector are sub-contracted and not directly employed by the lease company.

If the inspection report lists missing items and/or excessive wear and tear on the vehicle, and the lease company deems this to be over their threshold of charges, you will be sent a copy of the report with the bill.

At this point, it is too late to do anything about it. They will not let you have the car back so that you can repair the damage. It is also hard to dispute recharges as they are the ones with the report and so with all the evidence. (The car is likely to have been sold by this point). So the only thing to argue over is their paperwork unless you have had your own independent report. This is why we highly recommend having your  own inspection several weeks before the car is returned so that you have ample time to ensure you have the paperwork in order, all parts such as locking wheel nuts and spare keys present; the car is clean and repairs carried out.


Written by Danny Argent. Last updated 16/06/2022 15:51