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End of Contract Hire Agreement- Returning Your Vehicle

Van on mechanic lift

At the end of a contract hire agreement, your van will need to be returned to the finance company. There are a few steps which you will need to be aware of as you approach the end of your van lease.

The steps we’ve listed here are not comprehensive. Finance lenders will have their own requirements for returning vans at the end of a lease, so we always recommend you refer to their documentation.

6 Months to Go

Six months before your van lease ends, you should start thinking about your next vehicle. Factory orders can take three to four months to arrive on your doorstep, so you should plan this in advance to avoid being without a van for any length of time.

If you’re nearing the end of your lease and thinking about a replacement van, have a look at our special offers.

45 Days to Go

Contact your finance company and arrange a date for collection of your current vehicle. You should have all the details to do this in the documentation they have provided. Most companies require one to two weeks’ notice to arrange collection, and this must be done before the end of the van lease.

If you have a personalised number plate on the vehicle, you will need to organise removal. This can be done through the finance company or through the DVLA, depending on the circumstances.

1 Month to Go

Check the vehicle’s condition against the acceptable wear and tear detailed in the finance company’s documentation. You can also use the BVRLA’s guidelines but bear in mind that finance lease companies may have their own checks and standards that you must meet.

If the van does appear to have damage outside of the guidelines, you will have to decide whether to have it repaired yourself or to return it in that condition and pay the charges the damage will incur.  Your documentation should have a list of charges to let you know what you will have to pay. Generally, it will be cheaper to have it repaired before you return it.

3 Weeks to Go

Your vehicle must have an up to date service book and a valid MOT. New vans do not need an MOT until they are 3 years old, so if your lease is shorter than this, you will not need to worry about it. Your service/maintenance book does need to be up to date, however, and you could be charged if this is not the case.

10 Days to Go

If you haven’t arranged collection for your lease van, this is your last chance to do so. Failure to arrange collection in time can result in charges from the finance company.

1 Day to Go

Ensure the vehicle is returned to its original condition. This includes removing any personal belongings and replacing any items you may have removed during the van lease period. You should also use this time to clear any personal data from the onboard entertainment system and the sat nav.

Most finance companies will send you a text to confirm the time and date of collection one or two days beforehand.

Day of Collection

The vehicle will be collected at the agreed location. You will need to hand over all keys and service records, and any other documentation, when it is collected. The driver will ask for your signature to confirm collection of the van lease.

14 Days After Collection

Once the vehicle is collected, it will be inspected by the finance company (often using an independent BVRLA representative) and assessed for damage and wear and tear. You will then receive an invoice for any damage that does not qualify as fair wear and tear. The invoice will also include fees for missing items and excess mileage, if any.


All van leasing companies will have different criteria and processes for vehicle returns at the end of the contract, but they won’t be far apart from each other. If you look after your vehicle, and have a full service history, then you shouldn’t have any problems during this process.