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There’s no getting away from the extra costs associated with servicing and repairing your van, and on top of this, we know that wear and tear can cause some confusion when it comes to the return of a leased vehicle. Whilst every leasing company will have its small print, generally the options are similar.

If it’s a brand-new van being leased, a manufacturer’s vehicle warranty will be included as part of the purchase. For many, however, this standard cover doesn’t offer everything they’re looking for, and for peace of mind look to add a maintenance package, designed to cover a range of other potential issues.

In this guide, we take a look at the key differences between a manufacturer’s warranty and an additional maintenance package and also outline your responsibilities for looking after your van from the start to the end of your leasing period.

What is a manufacturer’s warranty?

A manufacturer’s warranty is simply a guarantee that comes directly from the vehicle manufacturer which obligates them to fix a range of faults, mechanical breakdowns or vehicle impairments that might happen to a van during the period of time it is under the warranty. Generally a manufacturer’s warranty will last for a certain number of years, or for a certain amount of mileage. Standard is 3 years for a new vehicle, or 36,000 miles. The length and mileage limit of the manufacturer warranty depends on the actual manufacturer, but the basics of the cover will be the same.

A manufacturer warranty period starts from the vehicle registration date. This is the date your vehicle is first registered with the DVLA and not your own delivery date of the vehicle.

You can find out the registration date for your vehicle by checking on the DVLA website.

What is covered by a manufacturer’s warranty?

It’s always important to check the details, but a manufacturer’s warranty should cover any electrical or manufacturing faults during the full term of the warranty. It can vary from vehicle to vehicle, but generally, this will cover:

  • Engine
  • Fuel and ignition systems
  • Cooling systems
  • Electrics
  • Gearbox
  • Clutch transmissions
  • Steering
  • Suspension

What is a maintenance package?

Like most standard manufacturer warranties, there is a list of things that won’t be covered. For vans, this is normally things such as:

  • Tyres and wheels
  • Brakes and clutch
  • Paintwork
  • Headlights
  • Exhaust
  • Catalytic convertor

Designed to cover more than a standard warranty, this gets people thinking more about the benefits of taking out additional cover. For a fixed monthly fee, a maintenance package takes the worry out of getting your new van serviced and maintained and the peace of mind that you are covered for a range of features. Packages will vary by provider but will be similar. Here we’re using our maintenance package to illustrate what you can expect to be covered:

  1. All scheduled servicing and routine maintenance to protect the warranty and ensure the vehicle operates safely.
  2. All mechanical repairs or replacements including unexpected costs such as a new clutch or gearbox.
  3. All electrical repairs or replacements.
  4. Tyre replacements for anything except tyres damaged through driver misuse (so it includes normal wear and tear, punctures, and blow-outs).
  5. Replacement of items due to normal wear and tear including bulbs, batteries, brakes, exhausts, wiper blades, and so on.
  6. MOT Tests (from three years onwards).
  7. A dedicated driver line booking number.

Not all, but some will also include roadside assistance. Our package does include this as standard and here are the benefits:

  1. Roadside repair wherever possible.
  2. Recovery of the vehicle to an onward destination.
  3. Free-of-charge replacement vehicle for 24 hours.
  4. Home breakdown assistance.
  5. European roadside repair and recovery.

What you need to do to maintain your leased van.

Warranties and maintenance packages aside, a lot of the responsibility for the upkeep of a leased van is down to the driver. That said, we know that general wear and tear can cause confusion and issues when it comes to returning a leased van, not helped by different leasing companies using slightly different guidelines regarding what is appropriate for van damage when the vehicle is returned.

We think it’s really important that customers have a good understanding of what is expected of them when it comes to taking care of their vehicle. A maintenance package will help with some of this, but it’s you – the driver who is responsible to:

Return the leased van safe and roadworthy

The van should function well and pass its MOT on its return. It should have one after the first three years of use, so it’s important to have this done and look after the correct paperwork and spare key. The van is likely to be either sold or leased again when you hand it back, and to do so these things must all be in order.

Ensure the van is serviced to manufacturers’ standards

As outlined earlier, it’s possible to include servicing with the lease with a maintenance package. By doing that you can ensure the vehicle is being maintained to the specific standards. However, remember a leased van needs to be serviced in accordance with the manufacturer’s service requirements. Keep a note of all the service paperwork and stamps.

Ensure the van is clean

This is all about making the right impression when you hand back your van. We recommend a professional cleaning. It’s an additional cost but makes a huge difference to how the vehicle is presented.

Remember, the day-to-day maintenance of a leased van is really important and there are things that we see pop up time and time when a van is being returned. Here are a few of the other important things to consider to keep your vehicle in tip-top shape:

Windscreen – keep a close eye on this. A few small scratches will be fine, but if anything obstructs the driver or there are any chips at all you will need to have it repaired yourself.

Wing mirrors – Must be able to reflect perfectly.

Wheels – there is always confusion here, so it’s important to know that a lot of soring to the wheel surface and side walls is thought unacceptable wear and tear and should likely be replaced.

Bumpers – scrapes and little bumps will likely happen over time, but it will be deeper dents and cracks that can cause issues as it affects the paintwork

Bodywork – Normal wear and tear is generally considered as light scratches of around 25mm in length and van ages are always taken into consideration here. A few small dents will likely be ok, however, if the bare metal is exposed due to damaged paintwork or the van has rusted in areas, then you’d likely need to have some repair work done.
Van signage and graphics. If you have the van wrapped with your business logos, this should be professionally removed.

Interior – We know the interior can sometimes be forgotten, but It matters how the van looks inside. Ideally no stains, burns, or damaged equipment. All of that would need to be replaced and you could be asked to pay for that.

Looking for more information?

If you’d like to speak with our team of specialists about our maintenance options, simply get in touch on 0800 027 3923. We also always recommend a visit to the BVRLA website. Its wear and tear guidelines are used as the industry standard.