Restitution of vehicle : how to avoid unpleasant surprises 

Returning a leased vehicle is an essential step in the proper management of a company fleet. It must even be prepared in order to anticipate unpleasant surprises on D-day  !
Here's everything you need to know before returning a leased car to avoid any unexpected extra costs at the end of the contract.

vehicle return

As soon as the contract is established

Anticipate the return with the dealer

From the outset, it is important to know exactly what you are committing to. This is why you should discuss the subject of restitution with the dealer. First, make sure that you have an inventory of the vehicle's departure location so that any pre-existing damage to your rental is recorded. In addition, some car rental companies establish evaluation grids to avoid discrepancies in the assessment of the age of the vehicle. Please read this document to understand the margin of acceptance regarding possible damage.

Do not exceed the mileage package provided!

When you draw up the contract, you agree to drive a maximum number of kilometres with the loaned vehicle. Be careful not to drive more kilometres than you expect, otherwise you will have to pay between 5 and 10 cents for each additional kilometre. That's enough to seriously add to the bill at fin ! Sometimes some dealers agree to readjust the mileage package during the course of the contract, but you can't always count on it.

That's why, if you're in doubt about which package to choose, it may be better to choose the one with the higher mileage, because you'll be reimbursed for the kilometres you don't drive.

Before returning the vehicle

Inspect the condition of the car

The car must be returned in " standard " condition with normal wear and tear in relation to its age and the number of kilometres driven.

Remember to check the condition of the vehicle a few weeks before the delivery date. The car must be in perfect working and maintenance condition. Don't skip the essential vehicle maintenance operations, such as the technique  check! Also keep the service book up to date and keep the invoices.

Carry out any repairs that may be required

If you find any damage during your inspection, it is best to act quickly before returning the vehicle. It will always be cheaper to carry out the repair work yourself than to pay the often exorbitant repair costs charged by concessionnaire !

It is at this stage that some dealerships are good students by offering you a pre-diagnostic visit a few months before returning the vehicle. After examining the vehicle, they will inform you of any defects that they find, which you can have repaired before you return the vehicle to avoid additional costs.

Returning the vehicle on time

The vehicle must be returned the day after the end of the leasing contract. To avoid having to pay late fees, contact the dealer a few weeks in advance to arrange a date and time.


Carry out a final cleaning

The returned vehicle must be impeccable et with all the equipment and accessories provided when the contract was drawn up. Do not forget also to recover any personal belongings that may be in the vehicle, by carrying out a final check of the vehicle.

Make sure that it is also clean, both inside and at extérieur ! Don't skip the last step, which is to brick the interior and bodywork. In case of negligence on your part, you won't be able to avoid the costs of nettoyage !

Don't forget the items to be handed in!

On the day of return, do not forget to return the vehicle keys, the vehicle registration document, the warranty and maintenance booklets, as well as any documents requested by the dealer. Be careful, if you lose any documents, you may have to pay a fee supplémentaires !

Be careful during the contradictory inspection of the vehicle

The return is accompanied by a complete examination of the vehicle in order to draw up a precise inventory and assess any damage. Everything is carefully checked at examiné : paint, body, chassis, bumpers, upholstery, windscreen, tyres, hubcaps, rims, lights, mirrors, wipers... but also the engine, clutch and gearbox. The passenger compartment will also be inspected from top to bottom to detect any tears, holes, permanent stains, accessories or broken or missing parts.

An expert appointed by the dealer will then draw up a final return report for the vehicle, completed and signed with the driver. Be very careful at this stage because your signature indicates your approval of the description of the car's condition. However, if you disagree with the results of the inspection, you can always ask for a counter-approval at expertise !


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