Wear and tear is an accepted part of owning, driving or renting a car. No matter how well maintained or carefully driven a car may be, it will inevitably sustain varying degrees of damage from frequent use. From the point of view of insurers and accountants, there are two categories of wear and tear – fair or normal, and excess.
What is wear and tear?
The general term “wear and tear” covers all damage and natural deterioration that a car sustains while it is in use, from small dents and scratches to worn out engine components. It does not include accidental damage or vandalism. The damage or wear sustained must take place over time in the normal usage of the car.
Normal wear and tear
Normal wear and tear refers to damage and deterioration within certain parameters deemed to be the result of normal and natural usage. For example, isolated scratches that are less than 45mm in length would be considered normal wear and tear. Another example would be minor windscreen chips outside of the driver’s line of sight. Scratches, scuffs, nicks and light staining are also included under this description.
Excess wear and tear
Wear and tear is considered excessive when it goes beyond the parameters described above. A scratch that is longer than 45mm is regarded as excess wear and tear. Any cracks and chips on any glass within the driver’s sight, cuts, rips or burns on the interior of the vehicle, or damaged rims, are all further examples of excess wear and tear.
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