Fleet management

Returning a vehicle: how to avoid unpleasant surprises

The return of a leased vehicle is an essential step in the proper management of a company fleet. It should even be prepared in order to avoid unpleasant surprises on the day!


Anticipate the handover with the dealer

From the outset, it is important to know exactly what you are committing to. This is why you should discuss the return of the vehicle with the dealer. First of all, make sure that you have an inventory of the vehicle at the time of departure, so that any damage that may have occurred prior to your rental is recorded. In addition, some rental companies draw up evaluation grids to avoid differences in the assessment of the vehicle's obsolescence. Read this document to understand the margin of acceptance regarding possible damage.

Do not exceed the mileage allowance!

When you sign the contract, you commit yourself to driving a maximum number of kilometres with the loaned vehicle. Make sure you don't drive more than you planned, otherwise you will have to pay between 5 and 10 cents per extra kilometre. This can add up to a lot of money in the end! Sometimes some dealerships agree to readjust the mileage package during the contract, but you can't always count on this.

Therefore, when in doubt between two packages, it may be better to choose the one with higher mileage, as you will be reimbursed for the mileage not covered.


Inspect the condition of the car

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

Remember to check the condition of the vehicle a few weeks before the handover date. The car must be in perfect working order and well maintained. Don't skip the essential vehicle maintenance operations, such as the technical inspection! Also keep the maintenance booklet up to date and keep the invoices.

Carry out any remediation work

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

It is at this stage that some dealerships are good at offering you a pre-diagnostic visit a few months before the return. After examining the vehicle, they will tell you about any faults found, which you can have repaired before the return to avoid additional costs.

Return the vehicle on time

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

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Carry out a final cleaning

The returned vehicle must be in perfect condition and contain all the equipment and accessories provided when the contract was drawn up. Don't forget to collect any personal belongings that may be in the vehicle, by carrying out a final check of the vehicle.

Make sure it's clean inside and out too! Don't forget the last step, which is to polish the interior and the bodywork. Because if you are careless, you will not be able to escape the cleaning costs!

Do not forget the items to be handed in!

On the day of return, do not forget to hand in the vehicle keys, the vehicle registration document, the warranty and maintenance booklets and any documents requested by the dealer. Be careful, if you lose any documents, you may have to pay additional fees!

Be attentive during the contradictory inspection of the vehicle

The return of the vehicle is accompanied by a complete examination of the vehicle in order to draw up a precise inventory and assess any damage. Everything is carefully examined: paintwork, bodywork, chassis, bumpers, upholstery, windscreen, tyres, hubcaps, wheels, lights, mirrors, wipers, etc., as well as the engine, clutch and gearbox. The interior will also be thoroughly inspected for any tears, holes, permanent stains, broken or missing accessories or parts.

An expert commissioned by the dealer will draw up a final handover report for the vehicle, which will be completed and signed by the driver. Be careful at this stage, as 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 second opinion!

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