Is it normal to be charged extortionate amounts for 'defects' when handing back a leased car?

I was charged £600 for body repairs to a vehicle I returned at the end of a 42 month lease (22,000 miles) recently. I have now received a final demand from the leasing company. I spoke to a lawyer through my LV= Home Insurance Legal Cover, which advises me that the leasing company are entitled to request payment for any defect that they feel is "repairable" under the terms and conditions of the agreement, irrespective of whether they carry out the repairs or not. They have also advised that, in these circumstances, they are unable to proceed and I'm "on my own" if I choose to pursue this. The leasing company have agreed to remove two of the "defects" from their final list, which leaves me a claim for £177 for a repair (which I could probably get done by a specialist for about £70). Seeing that a solicitor would charge me about £150 for a consultation, it hardly seems worth pursuing it. However, if you have any evidence of a successful case I would love to know about it.

Asked on 20 March 2018 by John Filbey

Answered by Honest John
Basically you have probably won as much are you're ever going to win on this one. Not worth fighting over £177. But, as leasing companies start finding themselves unable to get the residual values they had predicted for diesel cars - and which they based their figures on - there is going to be a lot more of this type of "grabbing back" going on as the leasing companies attempt to remain solvent.
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