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Consumer education needed to prevent shocks on return of damaged PCP cars

Rupert Pontin

More may need to be done to educate the rapidly rising number of PCP customers about the condition in which their lease car should be returned, says Glass's.

The vehicle data provider says that it is receiving notable anecdotal evidence from the trade that some customers are shocked to find that there are potential financial implications surrounding the vehicle's return.

Rupert Pontin, director of valuations, said: "There are many people with PCPs right now for whom their current contract is their first experience of leasing a car. They will perhaps know nothing about standards covering fair wear and tear.

"When they come to hand the vehicle back at the end of the lease period - perhaps with the odd small dent, scuffed alloys or a hole in the upholstery - they are shocked to find that they could be out of pocket by potentially hundreds, even thousands of pounds.

"For customers who have signed up to a PCP because it promises affordability and regular, monthly payments, this is obviously something of an unpleasant surprise. Also, of course, it makes them much less likely to take out another PCP in the future."

Pontin (pictured) said most manufacturers issued fair wear and tear guides based on industry recognised standards.

"The paperwork that is supplied with most PCPs is generally quite good but, of course, the truth is that a lot of the documentation doesn't get read. Perhaps more needs to be done to tell customers about the condition expectations that are part of the deal?

"Certainly, during 2016, we have seen more and more PCP stock coming back onto the market and condition is playing an important part in the values that vehicles are attaining. Dealers and manufacturers cannot afford to give away too many favours on the condition front."

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  • Sam Ellison - 12/09/2016 12:47

    Is this chap talking about PCH by any chance as opposed to PCP? PCP isn't a lease product and most customers do not hand them back - whereas as PCH contracts are on a 'leasing model' and all get handed back, often with quite unexpected fees. This article maybe should be checked and reissued?