A consumer is charged for damage at the end of a finance agreement and thinks this is unfair

Consumer Credit

Rosie was required to pay for additional damages to the car when her finance agreement came to an end. Rosie thought this was unfair as the damages claimed by the finance provider were barely noticeable.

What happened

When Rosie returned the car at the end of her agreement the finance provider wanted her to pay for damage. Rosie thought this was unfair. She was asked for the cost of the repair of some scratches to the paintwork on the door and for a chip to the headlight. 

Rosie didn’t think this was fair because she felt the scratches were barely noticeable, and she didn’t even know about the chip in the headlight, so she complained. Unhappy with the final response issued by the finance provider, Rosie contacted us to complain.

What we said

We looked at photos of the scratches and compared what we could see with the industry guidance. Although some of the scratches were barely noticeable, we thought that taken together the scratches would likely have an impact on any resale value and the car would need a respray of the door before any onward sale. However, on close inspection of the headlight photographs, the chip was so small we didn’t think it would be noticed and so wouldn’t have any impact on any onward sale. We didn’t think the lens would need replacing and, given its positioning, didn’t think it impacted on the overall safety of the car.

So we asked the business to waive the charge for the repair of the headlight, but thought that they could fairly charge for the respray to the door.