The term, wear and tear, as it relates to car leasing, refers to one of two conditions in most car lease contracts.
First, lease contracts specify that the lessee is responsible for replacing normal wear-and-tear items such as tires, wiper blades, light bulbs, and brakes should it be necessary during the lease.
Second, contracts specify that there should not be excessive wear-and-tear when the vehicle is returned at lease-end.
If a leasing customer returns his vehicle at lease-end with significant scratches, dents, unrepaired damages, torn seats, or worn unmatched tires, the lease company will bill the customer for replacements or repairs necessary to correct the problems. Most lease contracts describe what the lease company defines to be ‘excessive’.
Excessive wear-and-tear is typically identified during a pre-return inspection by the lease company or an inspection service hired by the lease company. The results of the inspection are documented and the lessee is typically given a copy.
It’s always smart and less costly for leasing customers to repair any excessive wear and tear before returning their vehicle. Although some lease companies will overlook minor damages and wear, it can’t be expected unless the car lease contract explicitly addresses it. If you make repairs or replacements after your pre-return inspection, always send the lease company a copy of your receipts to prove you have corrected the problems.