Firstly, it is advised that you clean the exterior of the vehicle every couple of weeks. Frequent cleaning of the exterior not only ensures the vehicle looks good but helps to prevent minor damage. Dirt that is left unwashed can cause your car to scratch, paint to fall off or lead to rust forming on the vehicle and wears the protective coat off which can cause the colour to fade over time.
Polishing the vehicle exterior around four times a year will also help reduce the effects of any stone-chip damage, limit the effects of air-borne contamination (e.g. bird droppings), remove traffic grime and make routine washing easier.
Paintwork, body, bumpers and trim
Walk all the way around the vehicle, checking each panel at a time for significant damage. Damage such as chips, dents, and scratches should be repaired as soon as possible after it occurs. This is vital as when the paintwork is damaged, this can cause corrosion to the vehicle.
Rust is a big problem on cars as it damages bodywork and, if left untreated, can cause severe problems. All bodywork must be done to a professional standard by repairers who provide a full warranty on their work.
If you have taken out a maintenance contract when negotiating your lease deal, it is important that you speak to your finance provider in the first instance as they can advise you and authorise any repairs that may be required.
Decals, badges and labels
Many businesses want to add custom stickers, logos and company decals to their lease vehicle, particularly if the vehicle is used by the company on a day-to-day basis, however, advertising decals, badges, labels or stickers should never be painted directly onto the vehicle without the finance provider’s permission.
As custom vehicle decals are easy to apply and simple to remove, most finance providers will allow you to add them to the lease vehicle provided that you remove them at the end of the term and before the vehicle is returned. If you have permission to do so, the decals should be fitted so that they can easily be removed without damaging any part of the vehicle's paintwork.
Windows and glass
Once the vehicle has been cleaned, take the time to inspect all lamps, windows and mirrors for any chips, cracks or holes. All vehicle glass should be kept clean and have regular maintenance to enable any damage to be identified quickly, and repairs can be dealt with accordingly.
Windscreen and windows
Firstly, walk around the vehicle to check for any chips, cracks or holes that can be seen from the outside. Then sit inside the vehicle and complete the same checks. Don’t forget to check the panoramic sunroof if applicable. While light scratching on the windscreen is acceptable, any damage in the driver's direct line of sight should be repaired immediately as this can hinder the structure of the window in a severe accident. Chips, cracks or holes are not acceptable.
To make sure you’re keeping the car’s windows in the best condition, spray a window cleaner solution on the vehicle's windows and wipe clean with a microfiber cloth or a paper towel to make sure you have perfect vision out of the windows.
Door mirrors are prone to gathering moisture and must be cleaned regularly to stop dirt from forming. Any cracks and bulls-eye damage must be repaired to avoid further damage. Adjustable and/or heated door mirrors must also be checked to ensure they work correctly.
Spraying a window cleaner solution on the vehicle's door mirrors and wiping them clean with a microfiber cloth or a paper towel helps keep the mirrors in excellent condition, allowing you to see correctly when manoeuvring.
Screenwash and Windscreen Wipers
Next up, it's time to check that your vehicle’s screenwash is topped up and that your windscreen wipers are in good condition.
Before topping up your screenwash, be sure to check your owner's manual for how much fluid your washer reservoir holds as you don't want to overfill.