Wear and Tear Guide

Wear & Tear Guide
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Commercial Fleet Return Conditions

A visual guide to Commercial Fleet Return Conditions


The purpose of this booklet based on the FTA independent guidelines is to give guidance on the expected return condition of commercial fleets after a period of rental, lease or contract hire. It is considered reasonable to expect that a vehicle should be serviced and maintained to the manufacturer's recommendation and for its condition at return to reflect this. Conversely a commercial vehicle is designed to work and it will suffer some deterioration while it is doing so — it is not reasonable to expect it to be returned in as new' condition.

Some specific requirements will be stipulated within individual agreements or contracts and, if different, these will take precedence over anything in this guide. However, most agreements state that returning vehicles should be legally compliant, roadworthy, be free of any damage or deterioration other than that attributed to fair wear and tear and have had all repairs carried out to a professional standard.

This booklet provides some guidance on what constitutes 'fair wear and tear' and what are professional repair standards, particularly on bodywork. It has been written following discussions with interested parties including operators, manufacturers, leasing and rental companies.

Fair wear and tear occurs through normal reasonable usage of a vehicle. Components wear, paintwork deteriorates and minor scuffing or scratches may occur particularly in load contact areas this is all acceptable.

Excessive deterioration caused by misuse of a vehicle, maybe in the way it is driven or loaded, is not acceptable, neither is damage whether caused carelessly, deliberately or accidentally.

Damage can be defined as a dent, a crack, any deformation of a panel from its original shape or excessive scratching. Some minor dents in certain types of bodywork such as tippers, skip carriers or refuse bodies may be considered acceptable provided they are small and cosmetic in nature and do not weaken the structure or load security in any way.

Any repairs required to a vehicle should be carried out to a professional standard. Any bodywork repairs should ensure that the structural strength, load security, water tightness and visual appearance are restored as close as possible to the original. It is accepted that totally invisible repairs are not always possible.

It is inevitable that the amount of wear and tear will increase dependent on the use and age of a vehicle. It will be necessary when assessing the condition of a vehicle to take this into account. However, damage or a poor standard of repair are unacceptable no matter whether a vehicle is one year old or seven years old.

Axis takes maintenance very seriously with all vehicles subjected to regular and effective preventive maintenance throughout their working life. It is the customer responsibility to ensure that they have periodic damage assessment inspections carried out to monitor the way the vehicle is being used and avoid any big surprises occurring when the vehicle is returned.

Subject to any specific agreement to the contrary, a vehicle should be returned with all the components and equipment it was originally supplied with. This includes sound insulation panels, wheel trims, tools, etc.
The contents are split into the following categories:

Please click on the links below:

An overview of expectation of conditions
Internal Inspection
Cab & Van exterior body
Cab and van exterior paintwork
Body & Curtains
Windows, windscreens, mirrors and lenses