Lease-end damage bill climbs to £350 per car
22 February 2010
Vehicle remarketing expert Manheim identified more than £12m of damage across the 90,000 end-of-lease vehicles it assessed during 2009.
The firm found 38% of vehicles assessed as they finished their lease term had suffered in excess of the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association's fair wear and tear guidelines, with the average rectification figure at £351.64. That's up 14% on 2008, and is at least in part down to the average age and mileage rising by three months and 4000 miles as fleets extended contracts. Manheim doesn't, though, know how many leasing firms were able or willing to pass that cost back to the customer. The firm did, however, confirm that it saw a 35% rise in refurbishment work last year, despite the strong auction market. "We could sell anything in 2009, but leasing firms still reclaimed damage from fleets," said a spokesman.
"When someone buys a 60,000- or 70,000-mile car, their opinion of fair wear and tear is different to those returning lease cars," said John Given, Manheim's group sales director.
Kerbed alloys, windscreen cracks or chips and scuffed bumpers were the most common form of damage, with MPVs needing the most remedial work at an average £430. But most sectors were fairly even, with executive cars actually suffering less damage in financial terms than lower medium models. One explanation for this, according to Manheim, is that job cars are more abused than management vehicles, which should be better cared for. And, according to Given, features found more regularly on expensive models, such as parking sensors, could be saving those vehicles from the type of low-speed impact that can cause scuffs and minor dents.