Options towards the end of your car leasing contract

Handing the keys back for your lease car can be bittersweet, but the process doesn’t have to be complicated. The team here at Synergy can support you throughout the leasing process, from the collection of your lease vehicle to wear-and-tear and the financing of your next personal car lease.

Synergy always recommend planning in advance, so we’ve put together this guide to help you understand your end-of-car lease options. It will give you an overview of the end-of-lease process and answer any questions you might have.

What happens at the end of a car lease?

At the end of your lease agreement, you’ll need to hand the car back to your finance provider. All leasing contracts will come with a fair wear and tear policy, meaning your lease vehicle’s condition will be compared to standards set out by the British Vehicle Rental & Leasing Association (BVRLA). This is when damage charges may apply, especially if the vehicle hasn’t been maintained regularly or you’re unfamiliar with the BVRLA’s policy. You also risk mileage charges if you have exceeded the agreed mileage limit set out in your car leasing contract.

If your circumstances change and you don’t want the contract to end, extending the lease may be possible. However, this will depend on your finance provider and is not a guarantee.

What are my options at the end of a car lease?

Your options at the end of a contract will vary from lease to lease and are subject to the type of agreement you enter into. For example, choosing Personal Contract Hire (PCH) finance means you won’t have the option of ownership and will need to explore our top lease deals when choosing a replacement car.

If you’ve entered into a business car lease, specifically a Business Contract Purchase (BCP) agreement, you’ll have a few more options. At the end of the lease, your organisation can own a vehicle by making a balloon payment, the cost of which is agreed at the start of the BCP contract. For a more detailed look at your individual lease options, speak to one of the Synergy team. We can support the transition to a new vehicle, or if you lease with Synergy already, help contact your finance company about options for your current car lease.

Returning a leased vehicle checklist

To help make returning a lease vehicle easier, we’ve compiled a checklist of steps you can take. This should help you adhere to BVRLA standards and simplify the process. Some of these steps include:

  • making sure all servicing and maintenance is up to date — check your handbook, MOT certificate (if applicable) and service records
  • ensuring the mileage isn’t over the agreed limit
  • checking tyre tread to make sure it meets the legal requirement – minimum UK standard of tread depth is 1.6mm
  • regularly testing all-electric features to see if they are working correctly
  • making sure the exterior and interior have only minor surface damage.

If you’re worried about the condition of your lease vehicle, remember that minor damage will be covered under the BVRLA’s Fair Wear and Tear Guide. This includes smaller areas of chipping and any shallow surface scuffs. However, major bumper damage, large chips and cracks are not covered.

What happens if I’ve exceeded my car lease mileage limit?

If you exceed an agreed mileage limit, an extra charge will be applied at the end of your agreement. The exact amount is calculated at a pence per mile rate, which will be outlined in your lease contract. A finance company uses a mileage limit to predict the car’s value at the end of your lease. The lower your agreed mileage, the likelihood you’ll have a lower monthly payment to match because the car will keep more of its residual value.

Can I give my lease car back early?

If you want to hand your car back early, your finance company will likely charge you a termination fee. Here at Synergy, we always ask customers to think carefully about exiting an agreement and suggest you calculate the exact cost associated. To avoid the penalties and fees associated with an early termination of your lease, think carefully about the length of your agreement. If you’re worried about a long-term rental, explore our short-term lease deals, which avoid the commitment of long-term contracts.

Why should I choose to lease with Synergy?

At Synergy, our team supports you throughout your leasing journey, from start to finish. Leasing with Synergy is a hassle-free process, with our team reaching out before the end of your lease to help explore your options. We can find a convenient date to collect your leased car and work with you to find an all-new lease deal. Delivery of your new vehicle can even be organised for the same day too.

All our leasing deals come with free UK mainland delivery, our Best Price Guarantee and Feefo 5* rated customer service. Contact our team today if you’d like to discover our lease deals or learn more.