Addressing Normal Wear And Tear On Used Cars

Addressing wear and tear on pre-owned vehicles

Previously, we provided tips for receiving vehicle shipments and stressed the importance of inspecting the vehicle at both the pickup and receiving location. In the article, we pointed out the distinction between normal wear and tear versus major damage. Below, we discuss wear and tear on used cars.

Defining normal wear and tear

It’s difficult to define “normal wear and tear” on used cars because it’s very subjective. Two people looking at the same car may have very different opinions over what is or isn’t normal wear and tear.

For example, at a pre-owned car dealership, a buyer noted a broken taillight as damage, while a service writer noted it as normal wear and tear because of the car’s age.  Experience also plays a role in the subjectivity of vehicle inspection.  At another dealership, a porter claimed a ding on the car was transportation damage. Upon getting a second opinion from a service writer, it was not deemed transportation damage.

What’s the standard?

New cars have defined standards, damage codes and inspection procedures to follow before the car is removed from a bay location. Each party along the supply chain has set procedures.

However, for pre-owned cars, there are no universal standards.  Leasing companies, dealerships and auctions have their own guidelines for normal wear and tear.

From a dealership perspective, vehicles bought online should have pictures to show the condition of the vehicle. The dealer will expect to receive the vehicle as it was shown. They will not expect damages that were not noted in the vehicle condition report.

From a carrier’s perspective, so much can happen before a vehicle is issued to a driver. That’s why it’s important for drivers to conduct a thorough inspection prior to moving the vehicle. If there are any doubts, they should take pictures. Most importantly, they should write it down on the Bill of Lading and have the point of contact acknowledge the damages noted.

Maybe one day industry associations will develop mutually-agreed-upon standards for pre-owned vehicles. But until then, we hope this post educates all parties on the importance of vehicle inspections and proper documentation via the Bill of Lading. 

If you have any questions, chat with us or call 1-855-ACERTUS to speak with a representative.

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