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Most leasing companies provide an inspection report when the car is first delivered, so they know what to look for when it's collected at the end of the lease term.

Here's how to get your vehicle ready in tip-top condition when it's time to hand the keys back.

A good clean inside and out

Technically, a lease car doesn't have to be clean when it's returned, but it helps to give it a good wash outside and valet the interior. Try to remove any stains or odours from the upholstery.

You can do this yourself, or a professional car valet will cost between £30 and £100.

Fix any kerb damage

If you regularly parallel park your car, you'll know how it's easy to kerb the wheels and graze the rims.

Most leasing companies don't class this as fair wear and tear, so if you want to avoid repair charges it's worth having the rims refurbished before returning the vehicle.

Prices vary hugely depending on the damage and the style of the wheels, but expect to pay between £50 and £100 for the refurbishment of just one alloy wheel.

Do up any door dints and dents

While scratches and deep dents are obvious signs of damage, you may also be charged for minor door dents. These are caused when people open their doors into the side of your vehicle in a car park.

Most leasing companies, including LeasePlan, are regulated by the BVRLA, and abide by their fair wear and tear guide.

But providing the dent hasn't flaked or gone through the paintwork, they can be quite easy to fix by a professional paintless dent repairer. And it won't be as expensive as you might expect, probably around £100 for several dints, depending on their position.

Keep your car in good condition

Although you don't own your lease car, it's wise to treat it as if you do and look after it accordingly. Otherwise you could end up paying to fix damage due to carelessness, or risk getting financially penalised by the leasing company.

Even though fair wear and tear is allowed by leasing companies, including tiny scratches and small stone chips caused by regular use, if your car's in poor condition you'll be charged to repair any damage.

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