I'm being charged £630 for minor scuffs and marks on a lease car. Where do I stand?

Having reached the end of my lease arrangement with Ford after three years, an inspector came to look over my Fiesta. He said I'd kept it in good condition and then proceeded to point out marks, scuffs etc on three wheels and slight marks, scratches and a small dent in the bodywork. I was told it was £90 per wheel and £120 per body defect, however slight. I'm looking at a bill for at least £630.

I know that I could get the wheel scratches done for £60 per wheel and all three body scratches for about £150. I refused to sign the inspector's form because when Ford contacts me, I'll point out that having 'bought' 12,000 miles per year, I have finished the three-year lease with just over 25,000 on the clock, instead of 36,000.

I checked the car's valuation online using both the 25,000 mileage and the 36,000 and there is a difference of £700 from one valuer, £780 from another. I intend to use this as leverage, pointing out that I had passed on o them a car worth at least £700 more due to the lower than expected mileage. Where do I stand?

Asked on 27 July 2021 by Ashley Franklin

Answered by Dan Powell
In hindsight, it would have been better to have addressed the scuffed wheels and scratches before handing the car back to the lease company. The damage will now be a matter of record and you will be bound to the terms and conditions of the legally binding lease agreement you signed three years ago.

If you feel the charges are excessive, I suggest that you argue your case - the leasing company will have a dispute process you can follow. If that fails to find an agreeable solution, you may also pay for an independent engineer to inspect the car and evaluate the damage claim.
Tags: leasing
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