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Documented customer-friendliness in the leasing business

Towards the end of their contract, many leasing car drivers are concerned: All too often, damage to the vehicle is not limited to a reduced value corresponding to the mileage, but even normal wear and tear is figured into the depreciation. At the time of calculating the residual value, many leasing customers truly feel they are being taken for a ride. Leasing companies can now document "fair wear and tear" with the TÜV symbol to ensure their customers that they are safe from such unfair practices.

This is a Europe-wide standard provided by TÜV NORD, which defines the requirements for the management system of leasing companies and the criteria for evaluating damage to cars and utility vehicles. Leasing companies are certified by this as not profiting from fees at the end of the contract. In Germany, the only previous standard was the association's standard of the VMF (association of brand-independent car pool management companies e. V.), which was not open to non-members. These people can now refer to "Fair Wear & Tear" which has comparable criteria.

The leasing company must introduce and maintain procedures, which satisfy certain requirements. These requirements are formulated in accordance with ISO 9001. However, the introduction of a management system as per ISO 9001 is not a prerequisite for "Fair, Wear & Tear" certification, it will only facilitate the certification.

The certification goes as follows: The leasing company familiarizes itself with the requirements of the standard. It implements procedures and processes, which satisfy the requirements. It appoints an independently recognised assessor organisation - such as the TÜV – to evaluate their leasing returns. It trains the personnel who will be conducting the procedures and processes. If parts of the process are carried out by service providers, the leasing company ensures that the personnel of the service provider are also appropriately trained or it trains them itself if necessary and conducts its own tests to see how well the procedures are functioning (e.g. in internal audits that can also encompass the function of the service provider.)

If the TÜV "Fair Wear & Tear" symbol is awarded, the leasing company will have an effective marketing tool and an important competitive advantage: "In this case, the customers won't have any grief at the end of the contract," says the TÜV.

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