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Car finance advice

Car finance: Voluntary termination of a PCP or HP

A guide to voluntary termination of your car finance agreement. What legal rights do you have?

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Voluntary termination is one of the most misunderstood aspects of PCP car finance, so we’ve put together this comprehensive guide to explain your right to end your agreement early if you need to.

We have previously explained the ins and outs of settling a PCP early, but today we’re looking at a different option for ending your PCP before the end of your contract.

We will look at a consumer right that is built into every regulated personal contract purchase (PCP) and hire purchase (HP) car finance agreement – your right to voluntary termination (VT).

This guide will explain what a voluntary termination is, why it exists and how to go about cancelling your agreement by VT. We’ll also answer a couple of the most common questions about voluntary termination:

What is voluntary termination?

Voluntary termination of a PCP or HP is the legal right of a borrower (you) to cancel your finance agreement early and walk away in certain circumstances. Car finance companies don’t like it, plus it is usually explained poorly (or not at all) by dealers. Luckily for you, The Car Expert is here to help!

Often people’s circumstances can change over the course of a car finance agreement, that leave you unable to make your monthly finance payments. You might lose your job, your personal circumstances can change in different ways, or other unforeseen factors might make it difficult to keep up with your monthly car payments.

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Depending on the circumstances, you may be eligible for voluntary termination of your car finance agreement with nothing more to pay and no penalties.

Your legal right
UK law provides you with the right to voluntarily terminate a regulated HP or PCP agreement (Consumer Credit Act 1974, Section 99). Your contract documentation will detail your rights.

The law is there to protect consumers who can no longer afford their monthly payments. Equally, it provides protection to finance companies to ensure borrowers can’t simply walk away from their obligations at any time. It does this by setting the minimum repayment amount at 50% of the total amount payable (which we’ll explain shortly).

Exploiting the safety net
Voluntary termination clauses in car finance agreements are there to protect consumers. But there’s no doubt that some borrowers will exploit the clause to allow early cancellation of a PCP or HP if the numbers are favourable.

Although voluntary termination provides a safety net for consumers, it generally loses the finance company money. Usually, you haven’t paid off enough to cover your car’s depreciation, so the finance company is taking back a car that is worth less than the outstanding finance amount.

Understandably, finance companies do not like this one bit. But there is nothing they can do to stop it as the law protects your termination rights.

There is a lot of confusion about voluntary termination, and that suits the finance companies just fine.

The reality is if you do voluntary termination properly, they can’t stop you. What’s more, voluntary termination will not affect your credit score or credit rating. However, some finance companies may decline any further finance applications from you.

How does voluntary termination work?

You can end your agreement and return your car to the finance company as long as:

  • You repay 50% of the Total Amount Payable (not the total amount borrowed, as you need to include interest and fees, and not half of your scheduled monthly payments)
  • There are no damages if you have failed to take reasonable care of the goods (over and above normal wear and tear)

Assuming you have complied with both of the above, you’ll have nothing further to pay.

The Total Amount Payable is the total amount borrowed plus interest and fees. It also includes the Guaranteed Future Value (GFV) on a PCP. This means that you usually don’t reach the voluntary termination point until very late in a PCP agreement. It is not simply the halfway point of your agreement, as that is unlikely to be anywhere near the 50% repayment point on a PCP.

For a regular hire purchase (HP) agreement, you will usually reach the 50% repayment point about halfway through the agreement.

The Total Amount Payable and termination amount must both be clearly shown on any applicable car finance contract, so you should be able to find it easily enough. You must pay off the termination amount specified to enact a voluntary termination of a PCP or HP.

It makes no difference if you bought your car new or used; the law is exactly the same for both.

The second point relating to damages is somewhat vague and confusingly written, and we’ll look at how that affects you when your VT your finance agreement below.

How do I start a voluntary termination?

There are a few problems you may run into when trying to exercise your termination rights.

Firstly, finance companies and car manufacturers generally dislike voluntary termination and would prefer the clause be removed from the law. You can expect them to show little interest in helping you.

Often, this means they’ll try to drag the process out as long as possible. Also, they may try to make you do a lot of running around. This is because, until you terminate the agreement, they can keep charging you.

Secondly, the damage clause is a little vague. It states that there must not be any “damages if you have failed to take reasonable care of the goods (over and above normal wear and tear)”, but there is no definition of what that means, or what constitutes “normal wear and tear”.

As a result, the finance company can and will try to claw back money from you. They will charge you for damage that would not be considered “reasonable care”, and will often use this clause as an excuse to try to pin you for excess mileage.

Usually, this involves threatening letters and large invoices for minor scratches or excess mileage. There will often be various forms and legal jargon to try and scare you into paying up.

LegalBeagles has some excellent advice about documenting your car’s condition with dated photographs to prove it is in “reasonable” condition when you hand it back.

Finance companies cannot charge you for excess mileage (which we will cover in more detail on the next page), although you can be sure they will try.

Thirdly, if you have defaulted on your loan prior to your attempt to terminate the agreement (ie – missed payments), they can potentially refuse to allow it.

If you want to terminate your PCP or HP, plan it in advance. Keep paying your monthly bills until you can exercise your termination rights. The rules are very different if you are terminating the agreement from a position of strength, rather than the finance company cancelling the contract and claiming costs because you have missed payments.

If your financial position is looking wobbly, it is better to be decisive and act early. If your situation collapses and you are no longer able to pay your bills, you may well end up unable to terminate your car finance agreement either. You may have to go down the path of Voluntary Surrender, which is very different to Voluntary Termination (see below).

Luckily, there are some good resources around like this one from LegalBeagles. It contains a template letter you can send to your finance company.

Voluntary termination, not voluntary surrender

There is a big difference between Voluntary Termination and Voluntary Surrender. If you don’t communicate your intentions to the finance company very clearly, it could cost you thousands.

Under a voluntary surrender, you give back the car but still owe whatever is left to pay. The finance company will sell the car at auction (adding on extra costs for collecting and disposing of the vehicle) and then come after you for whatever you still owe.

This is pretty much a worst-case scenario, as the finance company will still be chasing you for money even though you’ve already given back the car.

There is a big difference between Voluntary Termination and Voluntary Surrender. If you don’t communicate your intentions to the finance company very clearly, it could cost you thousands.

Be clear in your language and do not get sidetracked by anything unrelated. Specifically, point out that you are exercising your legal right to voluntarily terminate your car finance agreement as set out in your contract and the Consumer Credit Act 1974.

This is important so that the finance company can’t accidentally or deliberately misconstrue your termination for voluntary surrender, which is a very different thing and something you don’t want to do.

You don’t have to sign forms or other documentation

Simply send them your letter (email is acceptable, but recorded delivery is better) and stick to your guns. Do not fill out any “Voluntary Termination packs” they send you, even if they insist that you have to. You don’t – it’s a trap to get you to sign away your legal rights.

As soon as you formally notify the finance company that you are terminating the agreement, it is considered terminated and there is no need for you to complete any other paperwork.

Leases do not have VT rights

There are many types of car finance, and not all of them are equally protected. If you have a lease (such as a contract hire or operating lease), then you are more limited in your options.

It’s expensive getting out of a lease early, and there is limited support available to help you. You are simply renting the vehicle, with no intention of eventually owning it. As a result, you are not covered by VT rights like you are with a PCP or HP.

If you are a private borrower financing your car from a manufacturer finance company, you’ll generally have a PCP or HP. Therefore you should have voluntary termination rights to end your agreement.

Lease agreements (usually a form of contract hire) are usually preferred by business users. However, a number of finance companies are now promoting personal leasing for private individuals. This is partly due to the absence of voluntary termination rights in a lease.

If your agreement has voluntary termination rights, they will be clearly spelled out in your contract. Make sure you understand what type of finance agreement you are being offered before you sign on the dotted line.

Next page: Will a VT affect my credit rating? Can I be charged for excess mileage?

Stuart Masson
Stuart Masson
Stuart is the Editorial Director of our suite of sites: The Car Expert, The Van Expert and The Truck Expert. Originally from Australia, Stuart has had a passion for cars and the automotive industry for over thirty years. He spent a decade in automotive retail, and now works tirelessly to help car buyers by providing independent and impartial advice.

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  1. I’ve VT a car with moneybarn after paying 60% and no missed payments. Moneybarn took an additional payment after I notified them in writing of termination on January 22nd. Car was collected on 4th Feb. Moneybarn are refusing to prorata a refund of the payment for Feb. Do I have a right to ask for the refund?

    • Hi David. Yes, you have a right to a refund, but that doesn’t mean that the finance company will make it easy for you. I recommend visiting, which provides excellent free and impartial legal advice. You may also need to engage your own solicitor to get what you are owed – and of course, the finance company will hope that you decide it’s all too hard…

  2. Hi Stuart, I posted some comments in early Jan and have since been battling it out with BMW over excess mileage charges. I have stood my ground and refusing to pay the charge based on all my research on your site / legal beagles but they are adamant that I need to pay them. They have started charging interest on the amount owed and now passed it onto collection company and said they will report me to the credit reference agency. Are they within there right to do this when I am still disputing the charge. They keep trying to point me towards the ombudsman if I wish to complain further. Any feedback on this would be much appreciated.

  3. Considering VT on my BMW but concerned whether it’ll affect BMW allowing me to take out another PCP. I have a new car being picked up on March 1st with PCP arranged through BMW – just wondered if that was safe.

    Alternative is £1.5k negative equity which the dealer will clear, but if I VT I,d get that £1.5k off the price of the new car, so it’s money I don’t want to lose if possible.

    • Hi Richard. It will be a consideration, but there are plenty of people who claim that they VTed a car with BMW Finance and were able to get another one immediately.

      Also, if you already have a new approval in place, they are highly unlikely to cancel it if you then VT your old car.

  4. Hi Stuart!

    Fantastically useful article and incredible that you answer all of the comments. Great work!

    I read in one of the comments, in a situation of negative equity, you could sell the car and make up the negative equity gap with a payment. Would this be selling the car to just anyone for cash and using that plus extra to pay back the FULL amount still owed on the car?

    So, I owe £27,000 total on a PCP. If I could sell the car for £22,000, I would then need to pay the £22k + £5k gap to the finance company, am I correct? Is there anything preventing me from selling a car bought on PCP?

    Secondly, to look at a VT, I would have to pay half of the TOTAL amount owed of the car at purchase assuming you were to buy the car outright at the end of the contract, correct? It doesn’t mean half of the PCP minus the final bulk payment?

    • “I owe £27,000 total on a PCP. If I could sell the car for £22,000, I would then need to pay the £22k + £5k gap to the finance company, am I correct?”
      Yes, but you should contact the finance company first, as it is still their car. Some have certain rules about how you need to sell the vehicle (eg – the buyer has to pay the finance company direct, rather than paying you and then you paying the finance company).

      For VT, you owe half of the Total Amount Payable, which includes the final payment as it is part of your overall debt. Check out our car finance glossary which explains the terms in more detail.

  5. Hi Stuart

    Thank you for the information you have provided in the article. I have recently Voluntary Returned a Mercedes A Class and unfortunately I signed the VT Confirmation letter that Mercedes Finance sent out to me. They have now sent me a bill for £2421 for Excess Mileage and for damage costs. The damage is for a bumper repair that I had done by a Mercedes Benz Official repairer (I travelled a long distance and paid premium costs especially for this) and also had two wheel repairs done, by companies that were chosen by an alloy wheel insurance that was taken out with the Mercedes Finance. I sent Mercedes proof of my wheel insurance and the official repair certificate but they have not acknowledged it.

    Can you please advise me on the best course of action to take against Mercedes?

    • You will need specific legal advice on how to progress your case against Mercedes-Benz Finance. I recommend visiting legal for some tips, but you may need to consider engaging a solicitor to assist you.

  6. Great article and comments!

    Are you aware of reputable dealers advising customers to do this, possibly even with their own finance group in the middle, in order to make a deal more attractive? Do you know if the Finance Companies in this situation are more likely to condone the action if it means that there is potentially another deal with them to replace it?

    • Hi Nick. I know that some dealer do indeed advise customers to do this. I’m not sure that the finance company would be especially impressed about it being advertised in such a fashion.

      Finance companies evaluate any application on its merits, which would include previous history. I have heard of companies offering another agreement immediately after a VT, but have also heard of others refusing to finance a customer again.

  7. Hi,
    I have bought a car at the end of nov 2015 for 12000 and have taken a Hire Purchase contract. The total cost of the credit is £13 792. I would like to end the contract (i know it’s soon) but I would like to know how much do I need to pay to the garage if I return it back. We have paid a deposit of 1200 and paid up every month 244 (since dec). Thank you for your help

  8. Great read and thank you for doing it. It’s obviously something that is unfortunately becoming a more real option for people, my self included.

    I am going to start mine with VW tomorrow however am struggling to find the template letter. The link in the article seems to go to different page and was just wondering if you could point me in the right direction please

  9. Hi, I got a car last year second hand through a dealer and now me and my wife are going to be moving to Canada later this year (at the time we didn’t know this and our old car had had it). What would be the best thing for us to do with regards to the car finance.


    • Hi Tom. You will need to sell the car and settle the finance. Unfortunately, there’s a strong chance that the finance settlement will be more than the car is worth, so you will have to come up with the extra cash to cover the difference. Have a read of our article about settling your finance early.

  10. Hi Stuart,

    I’m about to hit the half way point in my agreement (straight HP) when i make my next payment.
    I’m just checking that after 30 months (out of 60) that i am also half way from a £’s perspective, since thats what counts for VT.
    One thing ive noticed is that on the agreement, theyve added the £500 deposit i paid (“Advance Payment” in their lingo) to the “total amount payable”, the figure that has been halved to give the figure they quote on in the T”s&C’s under my right to terminate.
    This goes against one of the comments further up somewhere, but in any case am i right in thinking that if they have included the advance payment in the total, am i right to include it in my paid so far figure? That would make sense, but I want to make sure i’m in the clear before i exercise my right to VT.

    another one… part of their fees is £179 “option to purchase fee” added to the final payment. Should this make up part of the total amount payable for VT (where there is no intention to purchase)? on the basis that, for the avoidance of doubt, all calculations in finance agreements tend to work in the favour of the lender, i assume its just a name for a fee and is still a valid part of the amount payable, even for early termination.


  11. Fantastic article! Very informative.I have 6 month’s left on my 4 year PCP and I need to reduce my overheads so was looking to part ex the car.

    Turns out I have minus £2500 equity in the car at Todays trade in value (with the dealer) with £2800 left to pay. I am looking at VT’ing it therefore and purchasing something more reasonable.

    Theres no damage on the car (Alloys are scuffed quite well though) which I know I will be charged for. If I was to see out the term and hand the keys back instead of paying the GFV would they still charge me for damage to the alloys? In other words and I better of cutting my loses and accept the bill for the damaged alloys?

    • Hi Craig. There is no clear rule on what constitutes ‘fair wear and tear’, which leaves scope for finance companies to charge you for what they perceive as damage at their choice of costs. This will apply regardless of whether you VT the car now or hand it back at the end of the term. Some finance companies are fairly relaxed about scuffs and scratches, while others are more strict.

      However, if the wheels are “scuffed quite well” then you are probably better off having them repaired before returning the car, as it will probably be cheaper than paying whatever the finance company wants to charge you. For a fairly normal wheel design (ie – not a diamond-cut or polished wheel), you are looking at about £50/wheel from a mobile repair man. If you give the car back as is, the finance company may well charge you much more than that.

    • Hi Stuart – Thanks, just what I was thinking. I think whats stopping me from handing the keys back right now is not knowing what the final bill which I would with a part ex. Worried I won’t end up with enough money for a deposit on a new car or lease (which I might just do this time)

  12. Hi,

    I took out an agreement in September 2014 with £13,250 to pay back at £210 a month. The car was fr my husband, and we have now split leaving me to make the payments. I am wanting to VT but as I haven’t paid much back, is this possible?

    Many thanks!

    • Hi Liz. You can VT at any time, but you will need to pay off a total of 50% of the Total Amount Payable (presumably £6,625 if your TAP is as described above). This does include any deposit/upfront payment you made when you purchased the car.

  13. Hi,

    I recently VT’d my car – I was not at 50% of the agreement and was aware of the final payment to make. I have a letter from them saying they would ask for this payment along with any other issues on inspection. There were no issues on inspection – just a little excess mileage.

    This was done on 22/12/15 – it is now 28/01/16. I have had no communication from them? I know the car has been sold at auction (I found it on autotrader). Should I contact them, or do I just hold out

    • Hi Will. I’m sure they will be in touch eventually, but you should keep all your records so that you know exactly how much you owe.

  14. hi me and my partner passed a car with finance last year, we are ng through a tough time and are having problems making payment. what can we do? my partner just wants to give the car up but we have where near paid half. what would happen if we just stop paying? we would rather they just took the car back

    • Hi Claire. You don’t have the legal option to walk away from the contract. If you simply try and give the car back, you will be billed for the full outstanding balance (not just the balance to get you to the VT point). Obviously, you won’t be able to afford that so you will default, so it will impact on your credit score and you won’t be able to get finance again.

      You can try to contact the finance company and see if you can work out an alternative payment plan. It may see you paying more in the long term, but reducing your monthly payments in the short term.

  15. The cash price for the car was 21000 I have the car for 48 months after which I can hand it back or either pay 5800 to keep it.
    at the end of 48 months I will only have paid 20426 (48*425.55) and can hand the car back what happens to the Balloon payment I assume that I don’t pay it as I don’t want to keep the car.

    • No, if you return the car then the agreement is considered settled. The finance company has calculated that the car will be worth £5,800 at the end of the agreement, so you either pay them the £5,800 or you give them back the car which is worth the same amount of money.

  16. Hi I recently took out a lease Hire purchase on a Mercedes total cost 21249.75 monthly payments of 48*425.59 with an option to pay 5800.00 at the end of 48 weeks
    I recently received the yearly statement telling me I owed the total amount of 26504.56 this is because they have added the option of 5800.00 and not wited until the end of the 48 weeks at the end on to my original hire purchase. this is further confirmed when I looked at rights to terminate which state I can terminate when I have paid half what I owed which is 13252.40.
    Can they add this on to my total credit as I had the option to return the car and not to the balloon payment at the end

    • Hi Ray. Their numbers are correct. The total amount payable is £26,504.56 (which is repaid as 48 x £425 plus £5,800 at the end). Therefore the 50% VT amount is £13,252.40.

      The VT figure or any early settlement includes the balloon amount, because you have borrowed that money. If you get to the end of the 48 months, you can choose to return the car instead of paying off the £5,800 and keeping it. But it still has to be paid one way or another.

    • Paying them £5,800 in cash is optional, but ultimately you have a debt which needs to be settled. Your options are:
      1) Pay the outstanding £5,800 and keep the car, or;
      2) give them back the car, which they have valued at £5,800.

      From a contractual point of view, either option settles the agreement in full.

      If you want to VT the agreement, you have to factor in half the value of the final payment.

  17. Thanks for you advice.
    I don’t really want rid on the XF but there is something seriously wrong with the ride. Dealer has proved useless. I keep 100kg of sand in the boot to keep it stable and it only just does the job. It’s been there since it had 3k on the clock. On a £38.5k car jaguar should’ve ashamed of itself. Will persevere with the finance co.

  18. Hi

    I recently lost my job and ended up taking one on significantly lower pay so am considering a VT on my Audi.

    It’s a 3 year PCP which I’m 1 year and 9 months into, I had some deposit against it, it’s in excellent condition and the mileage is around right for the time I’ve had it (16,500 against 10,000 PA allowance).

    Are there any pitfalls I specifically need to look out for other than the obvious ones on condition? How are Audi finance when it comes to VTs? Flexible, nasty? How does the 50% thin work and being more than half way through am I covered for that?

    Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

    • Hi Brian. The figure you need to know is 50% of the Total Amount Payable, which should be noted in your finance agreement. You then need to work out how much you have paid (deposit plus all monthly payments so far) to see if you have reached this amount. If you have, then you can VT the car with nothing further to pay. If you have paid less than the 50% figure, you will have to pay up to that amount. It is not 50% in terms of time, as the amount also includes the balloon/GMFV amount.

      Condition and mileage are the two biggest sticking points on VTs, so if they give you any grief just stick to your guns. From feedback I’ve received, Volkswagen Financial Services (which is the actual finance company for Audi Finance) are generally pretty good with VTing, assuming you’re not massively outside the mileage allowance.

  19. Hi there
    I have a Vauxhall insignia and it was recalled due to electric boot issues (ours was fine but we took it in to be done). 2 weeks later the boot failed to open and we’ve been fighting with them to fix it ever since. Apparently there was a leak which blew the circuit board to open the boot. They’ve said it’s not covered under warranty and they say we can’t prove they did anything to cause this. We refuse to pay to have it fixed as we believe they did something and it broke (the same way they did a full service and left the engine cover under the car off and lost a locking nut and tried to charge us for it!!)
    We’ve had enough and would like to get rid of it as we’ve found them shocking.
    We only owe 2 payments and own 50%.
    Are we able to give the finance company the car back with the faulty boot? Or will they make us fix it first?
    Many thanks :)

    • Hi Katy. I would assume that the finance company would consider it to be damage and insist that it be fixed. A quick check online suggests that several other people have had the same problem, so it is possible that the failure was unrelated to the recall.

      If you are unhappy about the dealer’s level of service, I would suggest contacting Vauxhall HQ and complaining, or you could try another dealership. If you do go to another dealership, they will charge you for the investigation work, and only refund you if it is accepted as a warranty claim.

  20. I’m 13 months into a contract hire period on a Jag XF. I have no problem with the payments but have had terrible trouble with the cars suspension. It’s had 2 major repairs but is still the same. The dealer and Jag now say the car is fine. It’s not. It’s the worst car I have ever driven in 30 years of driving. The finance company are arranging independent testing with the view to taking jaguar and the dealer to court. Where do I stand in ending this agreement early.

    • Hi Ray. Your recourse is with the finance company, as it’s their car. Contract hire is a rental, so you don’t have voluntary termination rights, but you do have the right to a properly-functioning car since that’s what you’re paying for.

      For specific advice on how to engage with the finance company, I suggest visiting, which has an excellent forum for dealing with consumer legal issues.

  21. Hi Stuart

    You say pre-termination liability is ‘usually’ used to describe money owed in arrers / overdue payments? Neither of which is applicable in my case. Can you confirm that excess mileage charges can’t be included in this point. This is detailed in the CCA and the if this is a way for them to claw back mileage charges then the whole of this article is false and I’m hoping that’s not the case. Please advise. I am about to go back to them regarding the mileage not being classed as condition but just wondered where I stood as regards to there other point.

    Much appreciated


    • If you are wanting to engage the finance company over legal issues, you will need legal advice or take on any legal liability yourself, as we are not here to offer legal advice. I suggest you read the threads on VT at which discuss how to deal with finance companies, or engage the services of a solicitor.

      There is no definitive legal precedent for excess mileage under VT because the finance companies do not want to take these matters to court, as the legal arguments for claiming excess mileage are weak (their contract cannot override statute). The finance company is working on the basis that you will cave in and pay. To successfully defend yourself, you need to be comfortable and competent engaging them on the relevant points of law, which usually means engaging the services of a solicitor.

    • If you’ve been sent a legal notice then stop seeking free advice and get a lawyer like a normal person. You never intended to honour your contract and now your looking to get out of it without penalty. People like you will get valuable consumer protections overturned thanks to your greed and selfishness.

      Stu i don’t know why you bother replying to jerks like this. Judging by his comments he will screw up his fight with BMW, be forced to pay up and then try to sue you for his losses. Youre too polite to some of these ***holes

  22. Hi Stuart, nothing is owed and there have never been any missed payments so on this basis; the point they are making regarding pre-termination liability is invalid right? and has nothing to do with the excess mileage claim? if that is correct, I will eliminate this point and then just focus on the condition in which they shouldn’t have a case as the condition was excellent, regardless to the mileage. Thanks

  23. Hi stuart,
    i have a car on PCP but it was a trade in for another car which owed money also. so its in negative equity. my financial situation changed when i lost my job and i am struggling to make the payments which are ridiculously high to cover the neg eq! £210 a month for a 6k fiat 500 ! i have had the car 6 months if i was to hand it back ( if this is possible ) do you have to pay the 50% all in one or do you finance the repayments ? thank :)

    • Hi Alana. If you VT the car, you will be liable to pay the balance of the 50%. You can try and negotiate a debt management plan with the finance company, but they do not have to agree. I’d also suggest reading the information on the forum at for help.

  24. Hi Stuart

    I am currently fighting BMW over an excess mileage charge of £1600, I have my VY notice as per template on legal beagles and sticking to my guns with there been no legal provisions to charge me but they have come bac saying the below; The CCA clearly states that any pre-termination liability is not affected by termination and that they can lawfully recover any excess mileage in addition to the 50%. They are saying as my mileage was accused before I ended the agreement that they are able to invoice me for this. They go on to say they have no control over the termination wording, and that the excess mileage puts the car out of good condition. The car is mint, the inspection report shows this and the guy that carried out the report even said it was mint.

    Please advise

    • Hi Rob. If the car is in ‘mint’ condition, you should have nothing to worry about. They can’t charge you for excess mileage, only condition/damage – and they are playing on the vagueness of that wording in the hope that you will pay up. They are highly unlikely to want to pursue the matter via court if the car is in mint condition as they would almost certainly lose. An excess mileage charge of £1,600 is fairly significant, which is why they are bothering to chase and threaten.

      At the usual average of about 10p/mile, you are about 16,000 miles over your allowance by the VT point and that’s why they’re annoyed with you, as it suggests a clear disregard for the conditions of the contract or an intention to VT from the beginning and never intend to complete the term. BMW Finance is normally fairly relaxed about VT issues, based on feedback from others over the years.

      If you are looking for specific legal advice, try the LegalBeagles forum or engage your own legal counsel, as we can’t offer legal advice.

    • Hi Stuart

      Thanks for the quick reply. The point that is confusing me in all this is that within section 99 of the CCA, it clearly states the following;
      (2) Termination of an agreement under subsection (1) does not affect any liability under the agreement which has accrued before the termination.
      This is what they are trying to catch me out on and it all looks a bit confusing to me, BMW’s wording is that any pre-termination liability is not affected by termination and this means they can recover excess mileage costs??? They are also saying that my car wont be classed as ‘good condition’ due to the mileage, even though the inspection report said otherwise and the car was honestly mint / fully serviced / fully valeted etc.

      They say this is there final position so trying to scare me I think.

      What are your thoughts on the above point.


    • You will need proper legal advice to argue these points with them. Pre-termination liability is usually used to describe money owned for arrears or overdue payments, not mileage arguments.

      The mileage part is easier to argue than the pre-termination liability part – condition is not a function of mileage, even if it is linked to the car’s value. What they are saying is that the car’s value is reduced because of the mileage, but that’s different from condition. If the car is in excellent condition, you can easily argue that you have taken “reasonable care” of it.

      These are the two sections of legislation:

  25. So just confirm…
    FCA have sent me a document, saying i have to sign it to arrange the hand back of my car. You’re saying I shouldn’t sign this? Yet they’re saying I can’t do anything without signing it…is it because I rang rather than sending a letter? Also there is damage to the car which I was quoted around £200 for from a garage. It was done by a friend when jacking the car!
    Do you reckon I should get this repaired before taking it back as they might charge me lots more?

    • Hi Samantha. You do need to claim your VT rights in writing, but you do not need to fill in their forms. Voluntary termination is your legal right (assuming you have a PCP or HP agreement), and the finance company cannot insist that you fill in any of their forms.

      It is usually cheaper to get the repairs done before you VT the car, but make sure they are done to the highest standard or else the finance company will try and charge you to have it re-done.

  26. Hi Stuart,

    I recently began a hire purchase agreement over the course of 3 years; I have paid off just over 1/3 of the total repayments (including interest) due to a £1,800 deposit and have only had the car since October but due to a change in jobs this year I do not want to/can’t afford to be paying this much for a car. Is the only option the ‘half rule’? Without losing out on money AND a car as I do need a car, this one is just turning out too expensive.

    • Hi Ellie. Your only other option is to try and sell the car privately, which may give you enough money to cover most of the settlement to the finance company. But you are still likely to have to come up with some additional cash to cover a shortfall, and that’s before you start to work out how to finance your next car.

      It may be that your best bet is to stick with this car until you hit the VT point. If you have a hire purchase, that may only be another six months or so.

  27. Hi Stuart. I have a question to ask you. I got a new car on lease, I only had the car for two months until I voluntary returned the car to the owner due to not afford the car. Now I got a letter with a early termination liability balance of 20,000 from the car. There’s no way I can pay that. That’s why I returned the car in the first place. What can I do? The guy that sold us the car from the dealer suggested me to avoid the letter and don’t pay the 20,000. My credit score already dropped, which I knew that was going to happen anyways. Should I fill bankruptcy ?

    • Hi Luisa. Leases do not have provision for voluntary termination, and you don’t have the right to give the car back after two months because you can’t afford it. For advice on your legal options, you can visit, but you may also need to get professional legal advice.

  28. Hello Stuart,

    I have been trying to source information regarding the VT on my vehicle, Land Rover Discovery.

    To summarise it short, I bought the car June 2014 on a 36 months agreement and just now I am at the 50% mark to enable a VT.

    There were issues with the car mechanically, which I had to pay repairs/replacement, the garage washed their hands off it and i went nowhere with them. to date, I have paid over 1,500

    Issues starting to pop up along the months, replacing some issues myself.

    Last November, I took ill, and had to go to the hospital, and found that i had a breathing issue, which i am currently undergoing test, which will be reviewed later this month that I potentially have an asthma. I have since found that the vehicle have a lot of hidden mould sprouts. Someone pointed me out that I should check the MOT history which I have done so and was alarmed with the history and don’t know how they managed to keep the vehicle on road. So I sorn’d the car last November basically because of health issues, which I don’t want to affect my family and mechanically of the car.

    Since I sorn’d the car in November, to the day I type this comment, the inside of the car is full of moulds/meldrews.

    I felt that the car is not fit for purpose and shouldn’t be on road.

    I need advice on this one as i felt it is a bit different from the usual VT processes?

    • Hi Martin. It is unlikely you are able to VT the car at this point as you are 50% through the term rather than having repaid 50% of the Total Amount Payable (I may be wrong, depending on how you set up the contract, but the VT point for a 3-year PCP is usually quite close to the end date).

      I am assuming you bought a used car, rather than a new one (which would still be under warranty). Given that you have had the vehicle for 18 months and have been driving it until very recently, you are going to find it difficult to prove that the problems you now have already existed when you bought the car. You are unlikely to be able to prove that mould was there when you bought the car, as opposed to developing since you bought it.

      Unless you have solid physical evidence, you will not be able to claim that the car was not fit for purpose when sold as a used car 18 months ago.

  29. hello, i have a question if you could please help with it, i am looking to VT my car agreement but am around £1500 short of the 50%, i should be able to raise this but do i need to pay this first befoer sending the VT letter from legalbeagels website giving the finance company 14 days notice or can i send the letter then pay the balance?

    • Hi Stephen. Legalbeagles can probably advise better, but I would have thought you should have repaid the full 50% before initiating your VT, so that you have fulfilled your obligations and they can’t use it as an excuse to deny/delay the process.

  30. Hi Stuart,

    After a year into a 3 year PCP plan, we are considering VT. The vehicle, a Skoda Yeti 2.0 has been affected by the VW emissions scandal (we received a letter from Skoda a couple of weeks ago informing us of this). Is there scope here to cancel the contract as the product spec wasn’t as advertised at the time of signing?

    • Hi Jason. As far as I know, no-one has yet tested the VW dieselgate issue in court with regards to this. You are extremely unlikely to be able to cancel the contract and walk away scot-free, as you have had full use of the car for a year. Unless you can prove that the emissions were the key reason in you choosing the Yeti over another car (which you almost certainly can’t, unless you have a verifiable email trail discussing the matter in writing with the Škoda dealership before making your purchase), you can’t use it as an excuse to try and have the contract cancelled. And besides, no-one actually knows what the emissions results will be if/when the Yeti is re-tested after the recall update has been carried out; it may be that they are only slightly increased rather than drastically affected.

      You can’t use the emissions issue as an excuse to cancel the contract because you simply don’t want the car anymore. If you want to claim compensation for reduced resale value arising from the dieselgate scandal, or reduced performance or economy as a result of the recall modifications, you will certainly be able to do that if you can prove it.

  31. Hello,
    just about to start proceeding with a VT, Finance company will send me an info pack. However they already let me know that I have to pay for an additional product that I took, being GAP insurance. I have paid over 50% back already. Is this right that they ask me for this additional sum of money?

    • Hi Anthony. Check your contract to see what payment arrangements were made for your GAP insurance. It is entirely possible that the payments were added onto your monthly car payment, and as such you may not have paid for the entire value of the GAP insurance. Unlike the car, you can’t VT the GAP insurance. However, make sure they are correct in saying that you haven’t paid all of your GAP insurance, rather than just taking their word for it.

    • Thanks Stuart. I hope this by goes smoothly looks like a hit and miss thing when it comes to things like fair wear and tear issues. One thing I am worried about is stone chips . in order to keep warranty on paint work valid they had to be repaired, which i did. However the show up as a slightly different colour. Can I argue my case that I followed. Manufacture’s requirements and therefore avoid any extra charges?

    • As you say, issues about damage and wear & tear are very hit and miss. You will probably be OK regarding the stone chips, but it depends on how much fuss they want to cause. There is no official legal advice one way or the other. As long as you set your case out that you did everything to follow their requirements, and stick to your guns, you should be OK.

  32. Hi, Wondering if you can help. I have handed by car using the VT Clause. I have received a letter from the company telling me I need to pay excess mileage. My total mileage for the whole term was 23700 and limit was 2400. The excess mileage charge is calculated pro rata. Do I need to pay this could I fight it.. | They are telling em I need to look at my contact.Which I cant right now but will l when I get home.

    • Hi Gwen. No, as stated in the article above, you do not have to pay for excess mileage on a PCP. The law only makes provision for damage over and above normal wear & tear. It’s very common for finance companies to try and charge for excess mileage on a VT, but they cannot enforce it.

  33. Hi Stuart, I have read many of your comments and youll be glad to hear i will not be asking similar questions that you constantly get.. My query is linked to the Bavarian & Italian motorcycle sector that utilise Black Horse Finance for their HP,PCP & Personal loans. Have you had any complaints or queires regarding those that have VT’d their Motorcycles or Cars for that matter?

    • Hi Gordon. No, I haven’t had any specific feedback about Black Horse Finance, for either cars or bikes. The same principles apply when dealing with any finance company. Be polite, but stand your ground and don’t be pressured into abandoning your legal rights when VTing your car (or bike).

  34. Hi I’m after some advise I handed a car back to the finance company after 4 years they came and inspected the car and gave me a bill for £680 for damages so I’ve agreed to pay them £100 a month to pay this off but they have refused my offer and say they want more ,can they refuse my offer

    • You can try to fight it with them, but there is no clear definition of wear & tear, so it’s your opinion vs. theirs on whether any damage is acceptable for the car’s age and mileage. The finance company is normally prepared to keep fighting it, because they know most customers will give in and pay up. They are unlikely to agree to any payment plan, as they know customers are likely to stop paying and they have to chase the money all over again.

  35. Hello I’m looking for help or advice. I’m planning on moving to a different state in a few months so I’m trying to figure out what i can or shouldn’t do with my vehicle. Looking over my bill of sale. Here’s where I’m at: total price was $7500, with a down payment of $1,000. After interest the final cost would be about $8600.(high interest rate) My payoff balance on my monthly bill shows amount due $4000 and I have confirmed all interest has been paid. Can I use my rights under the “half rule” CCA 1995*??? If I’m eligible to do so it’s from my understanding all additional payments will cease, and i would only have to pay for some damages (if any) to the vehicle and that’s it??? And say if I am not at the halfway point i still have the right to do all this i would just half to pay the additional payments until it’s at the halfway point AND I’d have to pay for whatever damages(if any). If I’m correct i am eligible and entitled to such law. I would also like to know the additional steps in going about this process correctly.( I have just downloaded an example document to send out or bring to the dealer stating i want to use said act/right. Please forgive me as I’m only 21 years young and do not know much.. ALSO I LIVE IN PENNSYLVANIA IS THERE A DIFFERENCE…

    • Hi Tony. We are a UK-based site, so I’m not familiar with the situation in the US, although I understand it can vary significantly between the different states.

  36. Hi.

    I took out a used car on bad credit finance about 9 months ago & the repayments are stupidly high. I’m wondering if I could cancel the agreement after 16 months which is halfway into the agreement and ill of paid haof of the money.

    I was stupid to get the car and now realise it would be much cheaper to save and buy a used car.

    I have never missed a payment and it’s though a company called thecarfinancecompany

    Thanks for any help or advice :)

    • Hi Ben. You may or may not have the right to voluntarily terminate the agreement. Your finance contract should explain any VT rights and the amount you need to pay to be able to do it. Check the wording carefully.

      If you do have the right to VT the car, it is once you have repaid 50% of the total amount payable, which is not necessarily the same thing as the halfway point in terms of time.

  37. hi stuart,

    I am in the process of a vt, and I have just had the car assessed and taken back to the finance company today, but the quote the assessor gave me was disgusting. He said it would cost nearly £1,700 to get the car back to when it was new. But I bought the car second hand (5 yrs old,and had general wear and tear) He quoted me nearly £500 for a new windscreen (the stone chip was repaired by auto glass) The car was in very good condition inside and out. If they stick to there guns and demand £1,700 off me, which I can not afford, can I say “ok,I will pay the £1,700, but I will pay you £10 a month”.

    I can afford more but if they are going to be awkward with me, can I be just as awkward back??????????

    End of the day they will get there money back, well end of the decade!!!!!!!

    • Hi Chris. Unfortunately, the definitions of ‘damage’ and ‘normal wear & tear’ are vague, so it gives finance companies the opportunity to try and lever more money out of you in the hope that you will pay up to avoid legal action or any effect on your credit score. You can certainly argue with them for as long as you like; they will be hoping to wear you down so that you pay up to finalise the matter.

  38. Hi Stuart,

    I am looking to purchase a new car in the next couple of months and I’ve been doing some research on finance solutions. My mileage is a sticking point as it is entirely unpredictable. I do a lot of contract work so I am worried about being hooked in on a 10k a year mileage deal if I end up doing a lot more, on the other hand I don’t want to be paying out more if I do less.

    By the sounds of what you are saying, if I was to take out the finance on a 10k mileage deal, even if I ended up doing up to 25k, I would have the option of VT once half the finance is paid, even with excessive mileage?

    My question then is why does anyone ever pay excessive mileage at the end of their term? If you are able to VT once you have paid off half, then surely that option is available during the final month of the contract?


    • Hi Duncan. You are correct. The only catch is the vague reference to damage above normal wear. If you have done massively more mileage than your contract specified, the finance company will be able to chase you for damage (ie – wear) that would not be considered reasonable on a car with much lower mileage.

      Eventually a finance company will challenge the exact scenario you are describing, attempting to make a case for fraud. If you enter into a finance agreement and knowingly underestimate your mileage, and then do not take steps to rectify it with the finance company at any point during the contract, they could argue that you have deliberately misrepresented your mileage, which is considered fraudulent. To the best of my knowledge, it hasn’t happened yet, but if everyone was to do what you are suggesting, it would happen eventually.

  39. Hi Stuart this is going to be a rather interesting one. I bought a citroen c5 on finance over 2 years ago ( of a 4 year period) so have paid over half the finance amount. However the car has suffered from a broken (hydraulic) suspension issue about 6 months ago, so has obviously been off the road since, I have continued to pay the finance as I was unaware I could potentially return it until now, the repair cost for the car is in excess of £1000 and am unable to afford this cost as I have my second child due at the end of January, I tried recently to cut my losses and get finance on another car and trade in the c5 but because the car was in such a high amount of negative equity I was unsuccessful, I would just love to be rid of the car now tbh but I’m pretty sure they would refuse a vt without me having to pay an extortionate amount of money on it, just wondering if there is any advice you could possibly give me, thanks in advance

    • Hi Scott. In terms of your eligibility to VT the car, you have to have paid more than half of the Total Amount Payable, which is different to simply being halfway through the agreement (and very different if it’s a PCP). Check your finance contract, and it should tell you the exact figure.

      You won’t be able to VT the car if it has major mechanical problems. I am assuming that you bought the car used, rather than new, otherwise it would still be covered by the New Car Warranty and you wouldn’t be having this problem.

      Unfortunately, you don’t have any good options – Citroën residual values are generally terrible, which means you are likely to be in significant negative equity for a long time. I would get some more quotes on the repair work, as an independent specialist might be able to fix it for a lot less than a Citroën dealership.

  40. Hi Stuart
    i handed my car back to RMS on 09/10/15 with the last paymen of £350.
    I have just received a letter saying under the terms and conditions with Peugeot they are required by law to issue a notice damage above wear and tear and excess milage. Also full vehicle polish Alloy wheel refurb total £120. My mileage on the car was 6519 and i signed the paper work that i was given by the man who picked it up.I am 65 lady driver and have kept this car in perfect condision as i have done with all my other cars This car was cleaned inside and out costing me £15 .I just cannot afford this ammount can you help me please

    • Hi Kathy. It depends on the circumstances of how the car was handed back. If it was a voluntary termination, they can’t charge you for excess mileage (although they may well try), but they can charge you for damage above normal wear & tear (which is a very loose description, and allows them to charge you whatever they want and force you to dispute it).

      If you reached the end of a PCP and were returning the car, I can’t see there being a problem with excess mileage if you have only covered 6,519 miles. As for condition, it should be specified in the agreement and they should have a schedule of charges for repairing any damage. The guaranteed minimum future value (GMFV) assumes perfect condition, so they can charge you for any repairs required according to the contract.

    • Hi Stuart
      There was no damage and i was at the end of my contract and just had to pay £350 for what they called Gap Insurance. What they want off me now is( Full Vehicle Machine Polish=£65 + Alloy Wheel Refurb+£55 Total £120) A week before they picked it up I had it fully cleaned inside and out this cost me £15 well worth it.I put the car in the garage fully covered it. The car was in perfect condition. There was nothing in the letter for claiming for damage just the the above .

      Many thanks for your reply Kathy

  41. Hi stuart,
    I was advised by car salesman to vt my pcp as my car will be worth much less otherwise. my car has a small scratch on the bumper and it was a new car. i was wondering would they charge me for the scratch?

    • Hi Waqas. I would recommend getting the scratch repaired before VTing the car. If it is only minor, it won’t need the whole bumper painted and should be quite inexpensive. If you don’t fix it and the finance company tries to charge you for it, it will be for a lot more money.

  42. Hi Stuart, I got a finance for a 5 year old car at the time, I had too take up a vt and was advised to do a vehicle inspection on the car. I was unable to do this but I returned the vehicle in a good condition and it just passed the mot.
    When the recovery guys came, I was given a form to sign as they've checked that there was no damage on the car.
    To my surprise, few weeks later, the finance company wrote to me demanding a sum of £4000 for cosmetic damage on the vehicle and that's what they need before the car can be in satisfactory condition for sale, which I did dispute. They said they only rely on the independent search and that I'm now liable to make this payment.
    This is rather ridiculous, as the car I bought was a used one and I asked that they return the vehicle to me and I can carry on with the payment, but they told me that they've sold the car. In other words, they've made their money back on the car and still charging me a sum of £4000 for the car that I can't get back. This is a complete rip off. can someone help pls. Thanks

    • Hi Favour. Disputes over vehicle condition are reasonably common when VTing, unfortunately. The legislation is vague, only mentioning "damages if you have failed to take reasonable care of the goods (over and above normal wear and tear)”. There is no determination of what that means, so it is open to interpretation and therefore abuse.

      You can certainly challenge them to explain how they have come up with a figure of £4,000, as it is almost certainly an over-inflated estimation. They will be hoping that you pay up to avoid being taken to court. They may be prepared to settle for a lesser amount, or you can stick to your guns and face them in court if they want to take it that far.

  43. Hi I have been accepted for finance but already have a car on finance with negative equity, when iv payed half I intend to hand it back and take the new agreement with a different lender, the original agreement is 50% interest it's financially better for me to take new agreement at 7 % iv never missed a payment and all been on time but bit worried doing this may affect new deal iv got 5 more payments to reach halfway.its a 3 yr deal thanks.

    • Hi Kev. Make sure your finance agreement does allow you to voluntarily terminate (usually it has to be a PCP or HP); your contract should have the relevant information. The contract should also tell you exactly how much you need to have paid to be able to VT, as the amount is not the halfway point of your finance term, but half of the Total Amount Payable. If you have a PCP, it is often quite close to the end of the agreement rather than halfway through.

      Assuming you do have the right to VT, then it is your legal right to do so and cannot be used to negatively affect your credit score.

  44. Can someone offer advice, my daughter is 3 months into a PvP and hates the car, she's just passed her test and is struggling to drive, so much so her confidence has took a battering.
    I expect a financial nightmare on the cards, she wants to swap it ideally for a slightly bigger 1.2 engine…

    • Hi Rob. The best solution to help your daughter is probably with some additional driver coaching and lessons to help her with her confidence, rather than replacing the car. It’s unlikely that the car is why she is struggling with her driving, even if it’s what she currently believes. Plenty of new drivers struggle with confidence issues once the instructor or helpful parent is no longer present and they have to battle traffic on their own.

      If you want to sell the car, it will be expensive. Have a read of our post about settling a PCP early.

      And there’s no guarantee that going through that hassle and expense will make her feel more comfortable on the roads than she is now.

  45. Thanks for the reply. Its the dealership that i need to speak to then, because i can cancel the finance but i need to convince the dealership to take the car off me. Can you offer any advice on how i can get them to do this? I have paid a deposit of £850, will that not be an acceptable price to pay in order to get them to take it back?

    • Your chances of getting to by your used car (because that’s what it now is) are very slim. If they do agree to buy it back from you, it will be for much less than you paid for it – for various reasons. Have a read of this article about why your car loses so much money so quickly (if it’s a new car, the biggest chunk is VAT, but it affect used cars to a large extent as well). So you may be able to get rid of the car, but it will likely cost you thousands of pounds, not just your £850 deposit.

  46. I recently took a car out on a PCP with arnold clark. I just lost my job so i wont be able to afford the monthly payments to the finance company. i am still within my 14 day withdrawal period, what do i do? any advice? Im sure i can get out of my financial agreement with the finance company but what will arnold clark do? I have already informed them about this. Surely they have to take the car back off me if i cant afford to pay for it? Thanks

    • Hi Cal. Unfortunately there is no easy way out of the situation, regardless of the cause of your problems. Yes, you can cancel the finance, but then you will have to pay for the car, as you can’t cancel that. The dealer is under absolutely not obligation to take it back, as they have sold it to the finance company and you have taken delivery of it. If you stop paying the finance company, they can take you to court. Your credit rating will be affected and you could even be declared bankrupt.

      Your best bet is to get in touch with the finance company straight away and explain your situation. They may be able to reduce your payments for a period of time and extend the term or increase subsequent payments, however they are not under any obligation to do so. You always take out a finance agreement at your own risk.

  47. Hi Stuart, I would just like to clarify something with you. I have a PCP contract on a 2 year deal. The total amount repayable is £15000 (inc interest and fees) the GMFV of the car at the end of the 2 years is £9000. When it says in the article you have to pay at least 50% before you can VT, is that 50% of the amount I would be due to pay over the 2 year contract therefore half of £6000 or is it half of the total amount borrowed therefore half of the £15000? I am 12 months into the contract now and have paid just over £3000. Can I VT now or not until I have paid £7500 which would actually be 6 months after the 2 year contract has finished anyway?



  48. Hi Stuart, unfortunatley i have only read the above after i VT’ed the car and paid £98 in excess Milage. However i wrote to them with regars to the value of the car which was in excess of the final settlement figure, asking them do i get money back that they might make for the sale of the car, and was told no. Is this correct?

    • Hi Andrew. They are correct – Voluntary Termination gives you the right to return the car in lieu of any further payments. The value of the car against the amount outstanding on the finance is irrelevant, so in this case the finance company has come out in front. Normally it’s not the case, and the car is worth less than the amount outstanding. Plus they got an extra £98 out of you for excess mileage, so they’re probably delighted with how it’s worked out.

  49. Hi Stuart, we are just about to VT our BMW and have followed all protocol with regard to ensuring the car is in showroom condition when it gets handed over. We have however done over the total mileage suggested on the contract and I know as you have made clear we are within our rights to not be liable for this aspect. In order for the collection be instructed though we have to fill out a form (and sign it) which says ‘Your maximum total mileage is stated on your agreement. If you have have said agreement this will be prorated to the date you return the vehicle and an invoice will be sent for any mileage charge due’. It then has a section for you to record ‘mileage at last srrvice’ and at the bottom says ‘please sign details below to confirm that you have read and understand the consequences of ending the agreement. My question is by signing this agreement, does it then make us liable for th excess mileage as we have then ‘agreed’. If we don’t sign it however, they won’t ‘instruct collection’. Not sure what to do? Maybe sign it and not put the mileage?

    • Hi Mandy. You don’t have to use their form – it’s a trap. You may exercise your legal right by informing them in writing that you are voluntarily terminating. As soon as you sign any kind of form agreeing to pay for mileage, you will be drawn into an argument over it and can reasonably be expected to be billed for it. Advise the finance company (in writing) that they are free to collect the car on whatever dates you have available, or you can deliver the car to them. For more info, visit, where they have draft templates you can use and there are plenty of stories of people who have successfully VTed their car.

  50. Hi Stuart, you kindly replied to me on one of the threads above and I’m looking for a bit more advice please. I’ve just VT’d my car and its now at a handling agent awaiting auctioning off tomorrow. The finance company have just written to me today and demanded £750 in excess mileage fees and an astonishing £328 for “stone chip damage”. More alarmingly, they want to charge me £44 for “jetwash”. Are these people for real? Surely they cannot charge me £44 to have the car washed? Note, prior to the vehicle being collected I did have the car fully valeted inside and out and have photographic evidence to prove this. Surely I can contest this? Additionally, you told me previously that I would not need to pay any excess mileage given i was VT’ing the car. Is that still the case and on what grounds do I have to refuse payment of this? Finally, and most importantly, the £328 charge for stonechips is absolutely absurd. Any motor dealer or mechanic will tell you, a vehicle which has covered 81,000 miles is bound to have stonechips. How can the finance company put me at blame for this, surely it should be classed as wear and tear? I note your comment above saying reasonable care is always open for dispute but surely this is ridiculous? I am considering taking legal advice on this because I have in no way shape or form neglected my car and always looked after it and had it serviced at main dealers. I’d be most grateful to hear your comments on this please.

    • Hi Andrew. Yes it is ridiculous, but it’s not that surprising. Stand your ground, and quote the terms of your contract (and the law) which give you the right to return the car without any charges for mileage or damage beyond reasonable care.

      Just because they have written a demanding letter/invoice doesn’t mean that you are obliged to pay it. Stay firm and make it clear that you understand the law and your contractual position, and they are likely to back down – at least on the mileage and jetwash(!). The stone chip damage is going to be a matter of interpretation, but £328 is not unreasonable if the car needs any paintwork. Again, it depends on what you and they each consider to be “reasonable”, and it is a grey area of the law.

      For more information, especially if you are considering taking legal advice, check out There are people on that forum who discuss VT issues on a regular basis.

  51. I have just paid £1500 for my car to be collected under a VT and now another company have contacted me telling me I have to pay £250 damage costs as I have a few scratches on it. Is this right?

    • The issue of “reasonable care” is always open to dispute. However, any dispute should be between you and the finance company and no-one else.

    • Hi Colin. It is likely to depend on whether the finance company has processed the termination. In theory, they should be happy for you to keep paying them money, but they may have already ended the agreement.

    • You can always check with your finance company, but third parties have nothing to do with VTs. You can refer RMS back to your finance company if they have any questions, since the finance company is the owner of the vehicle.

  52. Hi Stuart,

    I have a 5 year HP repayment period on a used Jaguar, I’m now a month or so over my first year anniversary of repayments. I’ve added an extra 20K of mileage over that period, pushing it to 118K… I’m aware this is going to kill the car value in depreciation soon, if not already. I accepted that though as this was a ‘until end of [car] life’ agreement I made with myself. I’ve just parted with £850 to get new tyres for the car, that was the only MOT caveat this January. Other than that, it’s is pristine condition.

    The problem: I’ve had an offer to move to HQ in the USA (promotion), and the perks outweigh the benefits of remaining here in the UK, the car included. Clearly I’m below 50% of the period, but I read in one of your other articles that you can sell your car to make up 50% of the ‘total’ value of the finance. That would mean I’d have nothing to physically give back to the finance company, so I feel I’m perhaps misunderstanding you. Henceforth, are you able to inform me of my option given my situation? I’d hate to be in San Francisco paying for a car sitting on a driveway in the UK :)

    Thanks in advance, and thank you for this amazing resource.


    • Hi Nathan. I think you are misunderstanding me. Once you have paid off 50% of the Total Amount Payable, you can Voluntarily Terminate the agreement, which means giving the car back with nothing further to pay. So you have paid off half of what you owe and surrendered the car.

      In your circumstance, you can sell the car, but your settlement is going to be be quite high and probably quite a bit more than the car is worth, so you will have to pay out the balance. Have a read of this article about settling your agreement early. It’s based on a PCP rather than an HP, but the principle of early settlement is the same.

  53. Hi Stuart I’m currently in a personal lease with audi and they are terminating the contract because the car was seized by police and compounded. But I borrowed the car to a friend who was Insured to drive it but got the car taken of him for another reason.I want to keep the car, anyway of getting audi to allow me to keep the car without termination.

    • Hi Ahmed. You will need specific legal advice if you wish to challenge the finance company over this matter.

  54. hi Stuart – l know it is repetitive – does the 50% payable include the balloon figure on the end ?? Thanks Paula

  55. Good article. I’ve found that the sales reps at the dealerships deliberately try and mislead you with PCP contracts, saying things like ‘When you are half way through your contract, you will be able to hand back the vehicle without charge, or change to a new car without charge’ when this is clearly not the case and could be many months or years until you reach 50% paid. They seem to be twisting the 50% of total amount payable into ‘50% of the monthly payments’.

    They also talk a lot about ‘equity’ with regard to upgrading early, making out that ‘the car maybe worth more than the payment outstanding, so you will have a nice deposit on the upgrade car’ seriously? has this ever actually happened to anyone?

    • Hi Andy. Yes, there is too much confusion about the 50% mark. 50% of the Total Amount Payable on a PCP is normally only reached at about 75% of the way through the agreement.

      And I always recommend that people expect not to ever get any equity. Consider it a bonus if you have anything left over at the end.

  56. Hi, I have a PCP contract for my car that runs over 36 months. After which I have the option to hand the car back or pay off/re-finance the rest of the optional final payment. My question is, can you VT half way through your initial agreement (i.e 18 months into my initial three year agreement), or does it have to be half of the full amount payable? Thanks for your help!

  57. Hi Stuart, Please let me know If I get independent Assessor report on car damage which was not disclose by the CAR TIME during the sales. Can I challenge them in the court? While HPI is clear on the vehicle. That mean the honour repair the damage and sold car to CAR TIME and they did not disclose to me even I particularly asked if any damage repair or repainted. As local garage advised me to get Independent Assessor certification then you can challenge them in the court and they have to take the car back…Your advice will be highly appreciated

    • The HPI has nothing to do with any minor damage or repairs. It will only advise if the car has been written off and repaired. You don’t have a case.

  58. Hi stuart i just recently took out a hp car finance with creditplus for a bmw 1 series which altogether the end result of the payment is around £13000. i can pay it off monthly but im feeling like i have made a mistake. im 3 weeks into the contract and i wanted to know what would happen if i just stopped paying for the car or whether it was possible to just allow them to cancel the contract and take the car back because i want a way to cancel the contract without having to put any other property or belonging of mine at risk due to settlement issues with the company. i’ve always been told that on a hp finance, if you cant pay or stop paying they just take the car back. is that true? what are your thoughts? i really need help

  59. Hi there I’ve currently got a 63 plate Ford Fiesta 1.25 zetec on pcp payments £260.81 per month for differing reasons I would like to change my car but don’t mind retaking out a new pcp as this kind if works well for me. Could you please tell me the pros and cons and whether it is actually worth changing my car now. It’s not for financial reasons that I need to change it. Rachele.

    • Hi Rachele. Yes, you can change if it suits your needs. Be aware that you will probably have some negative equity that needs to be cleared, so it may be a bit of an expensive exercise. Add upp your costs and decide if it’s worth the cost for you to change it now.

  60. I bought a car from CAR TIME show room from Bury, UK, they misrepresent the car information on the advertisement and also during the process of sale sales executive hide the facts. During the sale I particularly asked Sales Executive that car has any damage repair and repainted, he said car is in genuine condition and no repair or repaint be done. But when they hand over the car I get car checked by local garage and they informed me that car has damaged repair and repainted front and back bumper and also side doors. Car Time garage also damage the driver side door while fixing the driver door rattle noise. I have already launched complaint with finance company. Now car time offered me £500 pound to close this complaint. But my concern is they misrepresent the car in advertisement and during the time of sale where they did not disclose damage repair, repaint and any other faults which should be checked at their garage before advertisement. I want to ask what my rights are and where I stand? Your advice will be appreciated…….Please let me know how can cancel my agreement and return the car?

    • Hi Stuart,
      I have 3 more payments to make on my car to go past the amount required to VT. Can I pay these early in one sum and immediately VT the car?

    • Hi Alan. Yes, this should be possible. The law only states that you have to hit the 50% mark, so you should be able to pay the balance and VT the car immediately.

    • You will be locked in a battle of what you said vs. what they said, so unless you have anything in writing, you have no grounds to return the vehicle.

  61. Hi, sorry you probably get asked this all the time, my wife and I voluntarily terminated our Clio on a hp scheme, they inspected the vehicle and found no damage and we thought that was it, now they’re asking £440 in excess mileage, I know you’ve stated that they cannot charge us for excess mileage but is that laid down in any government legislation? Legal beagles refer to the consumer credit act 1974 but I’ve had a look at that and I cannot find anything referring to excess mileage on it, I can’t turn round to renault and say I’m not paying because everyone on the Internet says I don’t have to, I’ve considered legal representation but that would cost more than just paying renault.

    • Hi David. It’s a common question, but there is no provision for a finance company to charge for mileage on a Voluntary Termination. They almost always try, but that doesn’t mean you have to pay it.

      Hold firm and point out that they have no legal basis for their claim under the VT clause. has some more information, but the legislation you refer to only requires that you have cared for the car in a reasonable manner.

      The VT clause in your contract should also state this.

  62. HI Stuart,
    I purchased a 6 month old vauxhall astra from a main dealership with a r year finance deal. The vehicle obviously came with the original three year warranty but I was concerned that should anything happen after that period I would have to foot the bill. To cement the deal, the dealership gave me a Network Q warranty to cover the remaining two years, which unknown to me, was of no use whatever because I was using the car as a driving tuition vehicle. The dealership knew that it was going to be a training vehicle as we had purchased from them before.

    There was no charge made for the Network Q warranty and I can only presume that they provided this at their expense to ensure the deal was made.The vehicle has now got major engine problems which run well into 4 figures and both the dealership and Vauxhall just say it is out of warranty. GMAC the finance company, agree that one of the faults was indeed identified in inside the manufacturer’s warranty period. I have even taken this to the ombudsman and they say that they cant help as the original dealership is no longer trading.
    Can I VT this vehicle as I have paid more than half the amount owed and I cant afford the repair bills..

    • Hi Peter. Firstly, if there are records showing that a fault is identified/reported within the manufacturer’s warranty period, it shouldn’t matter whether the original dealer no longer exists. Any Vauxhall dealer should be able to undertake the warranty work and claim the costs back from Vauxhall. If you have evidence of an issue being reported under warranty, contact Vauxhall head office and ask them how best to proceed. If you kick up a fuss (politely, of course!) and refuse to be fobbed off, you should eventually get somewhere.

      The Network Q warranty issue is a lost cause, unfortunately. Your beef there is with the dealership and they no longer exist. It may be worth checking to see if they were part of a larger group, as there may be be a head office for them if they have showrooms elsewhere. Don’t like your chances of getting anywhere, however.

      As for VTing the car, the finance company simply won’t accept the car with major engine problems. In their defence, it’s absolutely nothing to do with them (GMAC is a separate company to Vauxhall, even if they are both ultimately owned by GM).

  63. Hi Stuart,

    I bought a car from CAR TIME show room from Bury, UK, they misrepresent the car information on the advertisement and also during the process of sale sales executive hide the facts. During the sale I particularly asked Sales Executive that car has any damage repair and repainted, he said car is in genuine condition and no repair or repaint be done. But when they hand over the car I get car checked by local garage and they informed me that car has damaged repair and repainted front and back bumper and also side doors. Car Time garage also damage the driver side door while fixing the driver door rattle noise. I have already launched complaint with finance company. Now car time offered me £500 pound to close this complaint. But my concern is they misrepresent the car in advertisement and during the time of sale where they did not disclose damage repair, repaint and any other faults which should be checked at their garage before advertisement. I want to ask what my rights are and where I stand? Your advice will be appreciated..

  64. Hi I am trying to work out where I am, due to an expanding family I am in need of a bigger car and my 3 door just cant cut it with 2 kids…

    I am almost halfway through the term of my finance (BMW select) and I am trying to work out when I can VT, is it half way through the term of the finance or when 50% of the total amount payable?

    My Payments are spread out over 4 years and I have a balloon payment at the end, do I need to incorporate this into the total amount payable? this would move my VT 2/3s of the way into my contract I think.

    any advice would be appreciated.


    • Hi Billy. The VT point is 50% of the Total Amount Payable (including the balloon), so it is usually fairly late in the term of a PCP. The amount should be clearly stated in your contract, so you can work out how much you have paid since you started and that will give you an idea of how close you are to your VT point.

  65. Hi Stuart, Thanks again for answering my question above. I have spoken to my lender (Moneybarn) and basically quoted what you had put in relation to the excess mileage and the response I got from them was “you have signed a legal document which clearly states that you will pay for any excess mileage at the rate of 10p plus VAT over and above 15000 miles per annum.” They then basically said If I refuse to pay this then they will hand the matter onto a collections agency who will come to my house to request the full payment and the guy also said a “black” mark will be placed on my credit file. Additionally, I had a car auction company come to initially inspect my car and they have told me I will be billed anything up to £1000 for “paint work damage to the front of the vehicle”. This is absolute garbage, there are a few stone chips but bear in mind the car has done 85,000 miles, surely stone chips are to be expected? The rest of the car is pristine and has been regularly serviced at main dealers. Could you advise if they are just using bullying tactics here or if i will really have to pay for the stone chips? Note I have taken detailed pictures of my car to be used as evidence if necessary. Additionally, forgot to say, yes this is a VT not an early settlement.

    • My guess is that it is simply bullying. There’s no provision for their contract to override your statutory rights. The issue of stone chips is always difficult, as small chips can need a full bonnet and/or bumper respray, but the definition of what is acceptable wear & tear is quite grey.

      I suggest having a look at for more information about going about a VT.

  66. Hi stuart,i have a car taken out on citroen elect 3,the car is due to be returned at the end of may but i wish to return it at the begining of april due to personal circumstances,i phoned up citroen who told me that if i had paid 50% then i could apply,however due to the fact i put a large deposit down my monthly payments were very low at £89,and i only have 2 payments left
    the final balloon payment would have been £4700 so even if i pay the final 2 payments i will still have paid less than the balloon payment £3204 vs £4700 so less than 50%. does this mean that it will be impossible to hand the car back 2 months early (im going out of the country for some time so it will be a massive problem if i cant)

    • Hi Richard. You should be able to voluntarily terminate the vehicle. It’s unlikely that the balloon is going to be more than 50% of the Total Amount Payable. However, even if it is, then it shouldn’t be a problem. You should be able to give the car back in April and make your final two payments to bring you up to the end of the PCP term. The finance company gets the car a couple of months early but you’re still paying what you would owe, so it shouldn’t be a problem.

  67. Hi, I took a car out on finance 18months ago and I’m willing to pay the rest of the 50% borrowed. I havnt had my car serviced within the 18 months will this affect the voluntary termination? Thanks

    • Hi John. If you are giving the car back under the VT clause, then there is nothing specific that refers to servicing. However, the finance company can dispute whether the car can be defined as being in good condition if its mechanical maintenance schedule has not been followed (I’m assuming it was due at 12 months but you haven’t done it?). It’s a very grey area – if you have a PCP, they could also potentially argue that you have breached your contract by not having the car serviced on time, and therefore refuse to allow you to VT.

  68. Hi,

    Can you please clarify if the 50% paid is 50% of the original amount borrowed, or 50% of the total amount in a settlement figure obtained now?

    I am 36 months into a 48 months PCP and have been offered a company car therefore wish to return the car.

    So, for example if the original loan (including fees and interest) was £18k, and the settlement figure now is £8k, I can write to them, state that I wish to VT and providing there is no damage I should own no further money?

    • Hi Tom. The figure is 50% of the Total Amount Payable. This should be clearly stated in your PCP agreement. It is neither of the amounts you suggested. Total Amount Payable is everything you have borrowed + interest + fees.

      If you settle early, there is a recalculation of the interest payment (because you will not pay interest on the last year of your agreement if you settle now) so the settlement figure is reduced. This does not apply to a VT situation.

  69. Hello there, first of all can I say a massive thank you to you for providing the information on this website. I’ve just VT’d my agreement with Moneybarn which to my suprise they did with no questions asked or any unhelpfulness. The only thing that they did raise which I need to clarify here is that I have done approximately 8000 miles more than in my agreement and they want approximately £800 paying. Obviously this is a large amount of money, do I have to pay it? I am guessing so as its in my agreement. The car that I VT’d is in excellent condition and I have really looked after it so when they come to inspect it they should not find anything wrong. I am going to take detailed pictures of the car inside and out as well as all the invoices and service history so Moneybarn should have no come back. Thanks again!

    • Hi Andrew. If it is a VT rather than an early settlement, then you don’t have to pay anything for excess mileage. Once you point out that you are well aware of your rights under the Consumer Contract Regulations (as linked in the article above) which only makes reference to the vehicle’s condition, they should back down.

      They are basically hoping that you’ll pay it, and I would put money on it that someone would be getting a bonus or commission for any monies reclaimed for the company in this way.

  70. Stuart

    I am 3 years into a 4 yr finance deal on my car and have found out that I have negative equity of about £1500. I am in the process of trying to get a new vehicle however I have a dilemma, do i VT the current car or try and get the new dealership/finance company to put this shortfall on the new car finance? Some finance companies won’t do this and will ask me to pay the £1500 before they do a part exchange. I could VT the car but there are a couple of small dents on the vehicle which probably do not come under wear and tear and will need repair, I have done over 2000 excess miles, the car has passed its MOT but the MOT people said the tread on the tyres was just above the legal limit and my tax runs out at the end of March. Time is running out and this could prove quite costly.



    • Hi John. You are confusing early settlement with Voluntary Termination. If you are going to VT the car, then assuming you have repaid 50% of the Total Amount Payable, you simply hand it over to the finance company. They can only charge you for any damage that is over and above normal wear and tear. Mileage is irrelevant as long as the car is in good condition. This is your legal right, regardless of the equity position. The negative equity is not your problem, although obviously the finance company will not be happy about inheriting a car that is worth £1500 less than their settlement figure. But that’s their problem.

      Most of what you are describing above is related to settling your PCP early and starting a new agreement. Most finance companies will not allow you to refinance your negative equity (and in reality, you don’t want to do this anyway, as it makes you new car much more expensive and creates even greater negative equity problems during your next agreement), so you would need to settle this with your current finance company before starting a new agreement.

      Usually road tax is the least of your ongoing costs, so don’t get too worried about having to pay your road tax in March. When you sell the car, you will get most of your unused tax back anyway under the new DVLA rules which cam into place last October. Take your time and do it properly rather than rushing, as you are far more likely to get a good result. The tyres may or may not be a big expense, depending on the size & type of tyre. If you are part-exchanging or VTing the car, it doesn’t matter what brand of tyres are on it (unless it’s a performance car like a Porsche), although we would always recommend quality tyres instead of cheapo tyres for safety’s sake.

  71. Hi I was wondering if anyone as ever heard of a finance company accepting you for finance then putting a clause in where the person apply for the finance is the only person allowed to drive the car and then they wanted prove that no one else was on the policy .

    • I haven’t heard of it personally, but there’s no legal reason why they can’t do so as a condition of financing the vehicle. Does sound a bit unusual though.

  72. ive got a car on pcp with Citroen it finishes in may but they have left me in a hole the settelment fig is just over £5000 my car is only worth £4000 so they say so im arround £1200 down already still got another £800 to pay over the next few months plus the £430 to hand my car back to them at the end of the agreement and i think ive worked out about £600 fo extra milage i was pointed in the direction about phoning up to vt/vr my car i was just wondering would i have a leg to stand on and im hoping to get another pcp but with a diffrent car company would this stop me??? if you could shine any light on this id be gratefull thank you

    • Hi Kyle. Yes, as the above article states, as long as you have repaid more than 50% of the Total Amount Payable, made all your payments on time and had the car serviced according to schedule, you can voluntarily terminate the agreement and give the car back. It is your legal right and will have no negative impact on your credit rating.

    • Kyle why don’t you try reading the article? And Citroen hasn’t left you in a hole, your the bell end what bought a Citroen.

  73. Hi Stuart,

    I plan on handing back a 2007 mini around April te as that’s when it’s halfway through the hp term. I have owned the car since it had 78k miles and it’s at 108k now. I have had 2 services carried out when the dash said it needed servicing but not by a bmw/mini dealer. Will this affect my right to vt. Also there is some corrosion on the alloys and some stone chips at the front of the car otherwise it’s good for having done 108k and I think the clutch is close to being worn out. Will they come back to me on these points. TIA. Alan

    • Hi Alan. Firstly, halfway through the term does not necessarily equate to half of the Total Amount Payable. Check your agreement details, as it should tell you exactly what you have to pay in total to give the car back (Total Amount Payable includes deposit, interest and fees, so half of that doesn’t necessarily equate to halfway through the term).

      The only stipulation is that you must have taken reasonable car of the car. They can’t ping you for not having it serviced by MINI as long as you have followed the required service schedule. There may be some argument over condition with regard to stone chips and wheel corrosion, but you can decide whether it’s worth getting anything fixed before you give it back.

      Whether the finance company wants to have an argument about charges for vehicle condition often depends on how confident you are in dealing with them. If you make it clear in writing that you are exercising your right to VT the vehicle as per clause X in your contract, and don’t let them sidetrack you regarding any other issues, they will usually accept it and move on. If you start asking them how to go about the process, they will usually give you answers which suit them (ie – telling you that you have to pay for mileage, wear and tear, servicing, etc. which is not true).

  74. HI Stuart

    I financed a new A Class in April 2013 on a three year deal at £279 per month with the Agility Finance Package

    It has warned me I am in need of a service at 15,550 miles, I have now done 25,000 miles, however I cant afford the £200+ they have quoted for servicing on top of my monthly train bills to work (unexpected change of job).

    I will be able to get the service done by the time I hand back the car, but it will be a late service compared to what they recommend.

    Will this have a detrimental effect when I hand the car back at the end of lease and will I be liable for any fees?


    • Hi Simon. Yes, having the car serviced on time every time (usually within 1 months or 1,000 miles of the service’s scheduled date, whichever comes first) is a requirement of your Agility PCP agreement. If the car does not have a complete MB service history and you try to claim the GMFV at the end of your three years, they will penalise you by approx. £900 per missed service.

    • Hi Stuart, Iam also in the similar agility PCP deal for an A class mercedes, monthly payments of £300 per month. I have had the car for 6 months now and possibly looking to hand it back this summer. Do you envisage any costs ? Or is it as easy as handing the car back and walking away to go find a cheaper deal somewhere else (house purchase pushing me to hand it back) thanks

    • Hi Arran. You have to reach 50% of the Total Amount Payable, so unless you have very short-term PCP and a very high deposit, you are going to need to keep the car for a lot longer than another 6 months. The amount you need to pay off should be listed in your contract with Mercedes-Benz Finance. If you want/need to get rid of it early, you will have to pay a fairly large amount to MB Finance.

  75. Hi I need a little help, I have been reading some of the above messages about exceeding our mileage. We have just VT our c1 exceeding our limit by roughly 5000 miles, they are trying to bill us £244. The car was in good condition we have charges of £85 for damages which we believe are wear and tear we walked round with the lovely chap who examined our car he said its in pretty good nick for a 34 month old car. We have photos of all around the car but you can’t see any diets or scratches.
    Cheers in advance for your help :D

    • Hi Stephen. It’s perfectly normal for the finance company to ask you to pay excess mileage and damage, and it is perfectly normal to tell them where to go (politely, of course!). They can’t force you to pay for any excess mileage when you VT, and they can only charge you for damage over and beyond normal wear and tear. They are simply trying it on in the hope you will pay, as they are probably losing money by you VTing the car.

      Hold firm and point out that they have no legal basis for their claim under the VT clause. See for more information.

  76. hi stuart, I took on a car on finance for £11,000 but after 6 months and payments of £1600 my circumstances changed and i could no longer afford the car, I contacted the finance company who agreed to take the car back they then applied the “half rule” on my account but are now pursuing me £600 for excess mileage and for future payments totalling £6000(original balance due) plus £3000 interest (again on top of the agreement interest in the (£6000 balance due) even though they accepted the car back and applied the half rule to the account? how can they pursue for future payments totalling £9999.08, excess mileage £606.68, have £1600 of my payments plus a car worth at least £6500 when returned – so they are looking to gain £18725.16 from me when the amount borrowed was only £6588 and the total amount due was £11,862.36 – none of it makes sense

    i’ll try and explain it easier

    The original amount borrowed was £6588 the full amount including interest to be repaid back on the agreement was £11,862.36 (it’s on the statement)

    I made payments of £1619.40(statement) and returned the car

    they then made a half rule adjustment on account for £5931.18

    On top of this they are still trying to pursue £6118.12 future repayments? but £6118.12 + £5931.18 + £1619.40 = £13,668.70 this is £1806.34 more than the original agreement amount? This is clearly incorrect

    And what’s even more worrying the “future repayments” amount of £6118.12 already has the interest from the agreement accounted for but for some reason Moneybarn are adding more interest onto the original interest so this “future repayments” total is £9999.08 so they’ve added interest twice to a payment that no longer should exist?

    I’m actually bemused at these calculations all this info is clearly set out on their statement but they are still pursuing me in court in a couple of weeks its crazy

    • Hi Chris. I don’t know how they have come up with those calculations. If your Total Amount Payable was £11,862.36, then your VT threshold should be £5,931.18. You have already paid £1,619.40, so you should owe £4,311.78.

      They can’t charge you for excess mileage, only for damage. If you have failed to make regular payments or not serviced the car according to its schedule, you lose the right to VT the car. For more information, go to

    • Hi stuart thanks for getting back to me, they are trying to charge for the full amount of the credit then they’ve added £606 for excess mileage then added “future payments on top” then interest on top of it all then theyve deducted £5931.18 for a half rule adjustment?
      I have also checked over the conditional sale agreement and there is nothing on it in relation to the deal, no car info no monthly payments no APR no amount borrowed or amount to be paid back or anything to do with excess mileage, the car had full service history and no damage it was purchased for £7000 I only had it for 6 months so worth at least £6500 – do they need to take into consideration their net proceeds from the sale of the car? it states on their statement that if the vehicle is returned to them they will deduct the net proceeds from the sale of the car from the outstanding balance
      I feel they are trying to get the full amount from the agreement plus mileage costs plus keep the car it’s shocking – their solicitor won’t listen to me when i’m trying to explain this to him or anything else to do with their errors

    • Hi Chris,

      By the sound of it, your agreement may not have a VT clause in it at all, otherwise there would be none of this conclusion. Voluntary termination is only applicable to a PCP or HP finance agreement. There should be a specific clause which indicates your VT amount, which would simplify the whole matter. If you don’t have that clause, you do not have the legal right to give it back and pay half. Sorry.

      And if you bought the car from a dealer for £7,000, then it is almost certainly not worth £6,500 to sell it now. See our article on depreciation, which applies to all cars whether new or used.

    • Hi Stuart,
      Thanks for getting back to me I took out this agreement in jan 2013 had the car for 6 months handed back to them July 2013 there statement states “on returning the vehicle to us we will deduct the net proceeds from the sale of the vehicle from the outstanding balance”
      I have had the car valued today on glass guide and traders value is £5100
      The “signed agreement” is only 2 pages none of which has any disclosure of the deal i.e APR, amount borrowed, full amount due, payments dates and amounts or mileage or even info on the car make or cost or mileage,
      The agreement has sections on security/insurance of the car
      Missing payments charges – the account was up to date not in arrears
      Ombudsman FCA section
      Right to settle early section
      Right of withdrawal section within 14 days
      Termination section that states – you have the right to end this agreement to do so you should write to the person you make payments to they will then be entitled to the return of the goods and to half the total amount payable under this agreement that is £5931.18 if you have already paid at least this amount plus any overdue instalments and have taken reasonable care of the goods you will not have to pay any more
      Repossession section – your rights if you do not keep to your side of this agreement but you have at least paid one third of the total amount payable under this agreement that is £3954.12 we may not take back the goods against your wishes unless we get a court order. If we do take them without your consent or a court order you have the right to get back your money under this agreement
      The 2nd page is just info stating I confirm to accept the info within this agreement and data protection info
      There is no info regarding the actual agreed terms i.e. payments interest etc and if their statement states they’ll deduct the net proceeds of the sale can I argue that point?

      Thanks again for your advice I really appreciate it

    • If you didn’t specifically declare that you were terminating the agreement as per the termination clause, they don’t have to treat it as a VT. Unfortunately, given that this all happened nearly two years ago, you can’t go back and do it differently. Your best bet is to engage your own solicitor and try to agree a settlement with them, as they have the legal high ground. A solicitor could also advise whether they are breaching the law by not providing all the required information in the contract. If you simply keep trying to argue with them on your own, you are likely to lose and the longer it takes, the more they will be able to claim from you. It could also significantly affect your credit rating.

    • Hi Stuart id did terminate in writing and they have applied the half rule on the statement – does this help my case?

    • A court will review all documents and correspondence presented over the whole period, and their side is likely to be far more experienced at arguing these cases. Get yourself professional advice; there’s nothing more I can say to assist you.

  77. Hi! I’m potentially due to leave the country (for at least a year, outside of EU) in a month or so and I am 2 years into my 3 year Ford Options plan.. what’s the way to get out of this? Ideally I’d obviously like to not be liable to pay thousands before leaving! The Ford was brand new when acquired and has done WAY over the mileage (should have been 18k, currently already done 30k).

    Any advice would be helpful! I’d like to have all the facts before I speak to them.

    • Hi Angel. You are probably at or close to the point where you can VT your car. Check your paperwork on your Ford Options contract, as it should tell you what the amount is (half of the total amount payable). Work out how much you have paid them so far, and that will tell you if you have reached this mark.

    • Heres a tip princess, if you start a contract and try to quit it halfway through to travel the world, don’t complain that your liable for thousands. And don’t get a pcp for WAY lower miles than you actually do then complain about it.

    • How exactly ‘Jungle’? This individual has clearly showed no intention of honoring her legally binding contract and wanted to know, quote “whats the way to get out of this”.
      She also blatantly ignored the mileage clause which she was trying to then avoid paying for. Its people like her who caused the credit crisis and frankly I hope Ford took every penny from her they could or drove her bankrupt.

  78. Hi Stuart,

    Ive read over a few comments here and you seem to know your stuff!!

    I have got a new Mercedes A class, bought in June 2014 from my local dealership. It is a PCP deal and I pay £300/month for it – along with a 30/month service package.

    When doing the deal the guy selling me it did not mention anything about paying money if I wanted to hand the car back early. The impression I got was I could hand the motor back and simply walk away (something he also said) but after reading various comments on here, I am un-sure if I may have to pay something if I wanted to get rid within the next couple months.

    Iam currently saving for a house and doing not bad, but could ideally do with something around the £180-200/month range.

    Basically is it as simple as handing the car back and walking off with nothing? I didn’t have to put a deposit down, they just cleared my finance agreement on my old car. They also serviced it for me so that isn’t due until Sept 2015.

    Any comments would be appreciated. Thanks

    • Hi Arnie. You can only VT your car and walk away once you have reached 50% of your total amount payable. On a PCP this only usually happens a matter of months before the end of the agreement anyway. If you want to change the car at this point, you will have considerable negative equity because the car is worth less than what you still owe. Have a read of this article about settling your PCP early, as it will apply to your situation.

  79. Hi stuart i wounder if you can help/advice me i took out a lease from kia with 6000 miles a year after 4 months my situation changed im using 10000 miles a year i called kia who said they will not increase my miles i offered to pay more a month i also called santander the finance company both declined now looking into vt it works out cheaper for me to return half way as im going to pay near £1000 excess if i carry on till the end i was then going to look at just buying a car take out a loan now i presume santander will decline me if i take out a loan for a car to purchase outright what am i best doing applying with other companys or for a car loan they shouldnt decline me if my credit score is excellent and can repay monthly payments i sort of feel stuck in what to do as i will need a car.

    • Hi Bash. You don’t have VT rights on a lease like you do on a PCP or HP. A lease is simply a rental, so you are bound by your contract with the leasing company (Santander). There is no simple and cheap way to end a lease, so you are stuck with the terms you signed on for unless you want to pay a huge termination penalty. Taking finance elsewhere will probably not help your situation as you will still have to pay a penalty but will also be paying interest to another finance company.

    • Hi stuart im sorry it was hp i had not lease it states in my contract i have a right to terminate once ive paid x amount and the car is in good condition please can u readvice me thanks sorry for misinformation

    • Hi Bash. If you have an HP or PCP then it’s surprising that the finance company won’t allow you to amend your mileage. A VT may be a viable option for you, or you could save the extra £1000 over the remainder of the loan so you have it ready to pay the excess. If you VT the car, you will need to pay a deposit on your next car anyway, which will probably be more than £1000. You are right that Santander probably won’t finance your next car, but it shouldn’t stop you getting finance elsewhere.

  80. Hi Stuart,

    Very interesting article and please keep up the good work.

    One thing that I think a lot of people misunderstand about PCP is the fact that the depreciation element of a PCP is a ‘repayment’ loan, whereas the balloon payment is ‘interest only’; thus; the latter element of the PCP never reduces and you pay interest on it at the full amount for the entire term. This is why a PCP is more expensive than HP or a conventional loan where the entire credit balance is repaid on the ‘repayment’ basis.


  81. To pay off your finance you say you only need to pay 50% of the amount owed is this including the deposit which was put down initially. Sadly lost my job before Christmas and no longer able to afford the finance didn’t realise it was possible to terminate early without paying it all off.

    • Hi Ross, sorry to hear about your situation. Your finance documentation should highlight the exact VT figure, but it should be 50% of the total amount payable (which equals the amount borrowed + interest + fees). It should not include the initial upfront payment as you did not borrow that money.

  82. Hi Stuart. My wife bought a car on the 13th of this month via the dealerships HP. We have decided that the repayments are to high and want to pay for the car outright using our savings. The car cost £6,000 and we paid £1,000 deposit plus they allowed us £1,500 part ex on our old car. Can we cancel the HP agreement and pay for the car outright and if we do so will we incur any other costs from the finance company.

    • Hi Pete. If you are quick, you should be able to cancel within the 14-day cooling off period and not incur any fees at all. Have a read here for a bit more info on cancelling your finance within 14 days. If you don’t get it done, you can still cancel but may have to pay some fees. It will still work out to much less than all the interest you would pay over the term of the HP.

  83. Hi Stuart,

    I brought a ford mondeo 3 years ago on a 5 year plan. Meeting monthly repayments is a real struggle. However the car has not been serviced. Would the finance company be able to refuse a VT based on this?


    • Hi Pete. It may depend on whether your finance plan is a PCP or HP. With a PCP, your finance agreement requires you to have the car serviced in accordance with the manufacturer’s service schedule, and usually by an official franchised dealer. Failure to do so is a breach of contract, which means the finance company does not have to let you VT the car. It also invalidates your GMFV at the end of the agreement. If you have a Hire Purchase, you will need to check your contract and see what it says. Any breach of contract means the finance company can refuse a VT, so it will depend on your circumstances. If you have an HP, you may be better off selling the car privately, as you will have paid off a fair chunk and it may be worth more than your outstanding finance amount.

  84. Hi Stuart, We have two payments remaining to reach the half-way stage on a Personal Loan with Santander and want to voluntarily terminate – can we still do this with a Persoanl Loan ie. it’s not a conditional one? Evans Halshaw sais we should have no problem, but Santander appearing to be playing hard ball. Any advice appreciated as I feel we have been given duff information from EH. Thanks in anticipation.

    • If it’s a personal loan, you do not have Voluntary Termination rights. Check your finance paperwork – if you have VT rights then they will be spelled out clearly in a specific clause. A personal loan is not secured against the vehicle, so the finance company does not have any interest in the car – you simply owe them the money you borrowed + interest and fees. Voluntary termination only applies to secured finance agreements such as a PCP or HP.

  85. Hi Stuart,

    I recently bought a BMW z4 in august, I pay £300 a month on a HP agreement. The agreement is over 4 years. However unexpectedly my financial circumstances have changed and I am now finding it hard to make the monthly payments as well as my general living costs.

    I know that I am in negative equity. But I was wondering what your advice would be?

    • Hi Robert. Best advice is to make your tough decisions sooner rather than later. It probably still won’t be easy, but it usually gets worse the longer you leave it if you can’t make your monthly payments.

      Speak to the finance company and discuss your situation with them. Depending on the type of finance plan you have, they may be open to restructuring it to help out. If you don’t get any support from them to reduce your monthly payments, your best bet is to try and sell the car and take out a (hopefully) small personal loan for the negative equity. It might be a bitter pill to swallow, but it might be your least-worst option.

    • Hi Stuart,
      I have a PCP agreement with Ford. I have only paid 11 payments of my 68 month contract. My settlement figure is £7183.09.
      I have checked on the like so auto trader and my car is worth around £6800.
      Am i allowed to sell the car and pay the negative equity?

      Thanks for your advice.

    • Hi Hannah. Yes, you should be able to sell your car and pay off the settlement to the finance company. Make sure you contact the finance company before you do this, as they may have some requirements. For example, some finance companies insist that your buyer pay them direct, rather than paying you and then you paying them.

    • Sorry – just checked my paperwork and it is a 36 month credit agreement HP.
      The total amount payable is £10761.06. So I am only about 30% through the agreement.

    • You can still settle the agreement, regardless of whether you are eligible for voluntary termination. As of right now, you are 11 months into your agreement. Of the £10,761.06 total payable, you have paid off less than £3000, and if you settle now you will have to pay £7183.09. You can sell the car, but if you get less than £7183.09 then you will have to make up any difference. So if you get £6000 from a buyer, for example, you will have to pay the finance company an extra £1,183.09 to clear your debt. Have a read of this article about settling a PCP (or HP) early.

    • Yes, that is what the settlement figure means, you pay it anyway you like and it’s settled.

    • If the car has not passed the service due date, you should be able to hand it back without servicing it. However, if the service date falls due before you are giving the car back, you should get it serviced. Your finance agreement requires you to have the car serviced on time – if you don’t then you are in breach of your finance contract and they can probably refuse to allow you to VT the car. I don’t know how strict the finance company would be in your instance, but as a rule finance companies don’t like VTs so they will make it as difficult as possible.

    • Hi Mark. When you confirm the VT with the finance company, they will have a process regarding the collection/return of the car. That will include inspecting for damage, making sure they have all the keys, books, V5C logbook and any other bits. Their representative will sign the V5C and then you post the yellow section back to the DVLA to confirm that you have handed back the vehicle.

  86. Hi Stuart – Are you familiar Porsche Lease Purchase agreements, they are defined as a type of HP and I want to ensure before committing that VT would be applicable as I am aware that pure lease agreements are exempt from the regulatory rule.

    • Hi Rob. If it’s an HP, then Voluntary Termination rights should included. A Lease Purchase is a form of Hire Purchase so it should be in there. There has to be a clause listed in the finance agreement which explains your VT rights, so you should be able to see it before you sign anything. Have a read of this introduction to car finance which covers different finance products, and our car finance glossary.

  87. Due to some unforeseen circumstances I am now having trouble meeting payments for my car, I also feel I am paying over the odds for it. (£300/month for a Fiesta).
    I am looking into the possibility of a VT, but the car needs an MOT and some minor repairs, which I can’t really afford.
    Would this void my chances of a VT ?

    • The car will need to have a valid MOT when you hand it back, and the issue of the repairs will depend on whether it is reasonable wear and tear for the car’s age. If it is more damage than is reasonable, then you will be billed for the damage.

  88. We are only 18 months into contract with our car and we have had nothing but bother since we bought they car (paying guts of 2k in repairs up to now and now my clutch is starting to slip and we have been quoted £970 inc vat to repair – could honestly cry. I am calling car finance company on monday to find out about a settlement fee to see if we can trade car in or see if they will consider VT. Do you think they will if we haven’t paid 50% off yet ?

    • Hi Margaret. Sorry to hear that you are having so many problems. Unfortunately the finance company won’t care one iota, which means that they are absolutely not going to allow you to VT the car without paying 50% of the Total Amount Payable (even then, they don’t like it but have no choice but to allow it). Chances are you will also be in a difficult position if you want to part-exchange the car as you will probably have quite a lot of negative equity. I’m guessing you have bought a used car, otherwise these sorts of problems would be covered by the car’s warranty. Without that, you’re unfortunately stuck with it for now or paying a lot to get rid of it.

  89. I’m stuck paying well over the odds for a car that’s not worth the money I have to pay.
    I’ve paid well over 50% of the total owing with only around 10 payments left.
    I am taking another car out with another finance company paying less a month back for a car much better. At the moment I look to be stuck paying 2 finance agreements. While I can afford but don’t think I should have to especially learning now I could voluntary terminate my contract.
    But I’m nervous n how things like this work out… What will I have to pay if anything ?? Would I be able to spread the cost f I had anything??

  90. Hi there, I’m coming up to the half way period of my 5 year finance agreement through Santander i believe the type of agreement is HP/Conditional Sale and I am seriously considering using the voluntary termination to end my agreement with them because I am struggling to save any money whilst having to make these payments. What I am worried about is it affecting my credit rating for purchasing a mortgage, my question is do you think i am better off just to continue until the agreement has ended or use the voluntary termination to get out of this agreement so i can properly save for a house.

    • Hi Nathan. I can’t advise what will will work out best for you financially, but a Voluntary Termination is a legislative right and cannot be used to affect your credit rating. It does mean that Santander may be less inclined to offer you a mortgage, as you have failed to complete a previous agreement with you, but it should not affect your chances with other lenders.

  91. I’m about to sign a PCP contract for a used car from Evans Halshaw. I asked the salesman to send me an example set of terms and conditions so I can be sure what I am getting myself into. He told me he’s emailed me a contract from another customer and just blocked out all the personal information. He seems to have done this with paper/post-it notes and if I tilt my screen I can clearly see he’s actually covered up all MY personal info!!! I plan to use the halves rule and just end the contract after I’ve paid off the necessary 50%. The contract has me down as doing 6,000 miles a year – I realistically do around 10-12,000. I specifically asked the salesman if having more mileage than this would mean I’d have to pay any excess mileage charges. He assured me that I wouldn’t.
    Now, in the covered up part of the contract, I can see it clearly states that if I “end the contract early (I assume this includes the halves rule), the maximum total mileage (6,000 miles P/A * 48 months agreement) will apply in proportion to the reduced period of hire and your obligation to pay any Excess Mileage Charges will accrue immediately prior to termination. Accordingly, if the vehicle’s mileage exceeds the adjusted Maximum Total Mileage you will have to pay the Excess Mileage Charge for depreciation for each mile covered in excess of the adjusted Maximum Total Mileage”. I think the salesman is trying to pull the wool over my eyes coz he called me to say he’s desperate to rush the sale through. What do you make of it? TIA

    • The salesman is clearly not being entirely honest with you, as you can deduce from the fact that he’s lying about the contract info (incidentally, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with them e-mailing you a copy of the contract you would be signing, as you have the right to take it away to read before signing anyway – so no idea why he bothered to cover it up at all…). The law makes no provision for excess mileage if you are voluntarily terminating as described in the article above, only for damage beyond normal wear & tear. The LegalBeagles links in the article point towards people with plenty of experience in this area, and are well worth a read.

    • Thanks for the quick response! I know the law makes no provision for it, but it seems to state clearly in the contract I would sign that they will charge me??!?!

    • They will quite probably try, and some finance companies will send official invoices and try to intimidate clients into paying – they are trying to recoup their losses, since you are returning a car worth considerably less than they expected. But they can’t actually make you pay for excess mileage, unless you have damaged the car beyond what would be reasonable wear & tear for the contracted mileage.

    • Thanks again for the quick response. I don’t like how the salesman has tried to pull the wool over my eyes tbh. Looking at the payment details he has also covered up, he made no mention of the £149 acceptance fee added on to the first payment….it all feels a bit too wishy washy for me. Its a car a really really really want, for a pretty decent price and am reluctant to pass it up :/

    • If I did decide to back out of this deal, would I be able to get my deposit back? I paid £200 on my credit card plus an additional £105 for them to retain and then move my private plate from my current car (which I planned on part exchanging) and then placing on the new car? I can’t imagine they’d have any grounding to deny me the £105 back, but where do I stand with the £200? TIA

    • The £105 is a DVLA fee to put your current number plate on retention. Chances are, this would have been actioned (since it can take up to 4 weeks to go through, moving at the DVLA’s snail-like pace) and therefore you won’t get your money back. But since you will need to do this anyway, you haven’t really lost anything. As for the £200, that’s a matter of negotiation. Clearly they have been deceiving you and you have evidence of this. If they try to be difficult, you can kick up a fuss and you should eventually get it back.

    • Depends – did you sign a V317 form for the number plate to be retained? It is perfectly normal for a dealer to arrange this on your behalf, but they would have to have your V5 (plus MOT) and your signature on the form to do so.

    • I haven’t signed anything at all to do with transferring the plate. All I did was pay for it in anticipation of the transfer

    • Well that was pretty easy…called up the salesman to say I’d known the finance contract was in fact my own. He said he wasn’t sure of the data protection implications of emailing out the contract so blanked it out (albeit unsuccessfully). I told him I just wanted to walk away as the contract wording was very dubious and its too much hassle. He agreed to the full £305 refund, took my card details over the phone and that was that :D.

    • Hi again Stuart…just a quick update on the situation. It has been over a week since the salesman promised me a full refund of the deposit and DVLA fee over the phone and lo and behold, my credit card has not been refunded at all. I called up the dealer today to speak to him, but was told he was on holiday and was asked if he (the guy on the phone) could assist me. I explained the situation and he went to speak to the manager and came back quickly with the response “you’re not getting it back”. When I said I should get the £105 back, as this is separate from the deposit for the car, he replied that usually they ask for a £500 deposit, to which I countered that was irrelevant. I recorded the original call with the salesman where he promised the refund and will try and use that as leverage (legally you’re allowed to record a phone call without telling the other person as long as it is for personal use ( Things may get sketchy when it comes to passing that recording on to a 3rd party who wasn’t on the call, but we’ll see. I’m gonna try calling again tomorrow and if no luck, I’ll go straight to the head office.
      I wonder if there is any consumer credit law protecting me as I paid via credit card?

    • I would definitely recommend talking to your credit card company to see if they can assist. There are certainly provisions in the event of technical problems if you have paid with a credit card, but I’m not sure how helpful they will be if you want your deposit back on a car you haven’t bought. And you should certainly go to their Head Office and set out your complaint against their dealership, as they should be able to assist (although it will depend on the exact ownership of the dealership). You can also speak to the finance company to complain that the dealer is mis-selling the finance, which has significant implications for both the finance company and the dealership. Failing all of that, you can complain to the Financial Conduct Authority regarding the dealer’s practices in the selling of finance. Essentially, if you make enough noise they should eventually give you the money back to get rid of you.

    • I phoned my fin co today to say id already sent a letter to vt ( copied from this site) and im not signing the vt pack they sent me to sign ( this states i will agree to pay excess millage) she said they needed this and i quoted the cca 74 where you write to people you are making pymt too , she then said she will use my letter as long as im agreeing to their terms of canx which i said i wasnt ( calls recorded) i told Her they cant claim excess millage and that i knew my rights , she continued to say it was in my terms and i signed ( i said this cant superseed government legislation ) she said it does and i will get a bill and they take people to court over it and win ??

    • If they think that they can supercede legislation then they’re dreaming. I suggest having a look at the info available at LegalBeagles (link in the article above), where they give a lot more explanation on the machinations of these sort of issues.

    • Yes, you should be able to. For example, if you have paid 40% of the total payable, you can pay an additional 10% to bring you up to your 50% and then voluntarily terminate. The only thing that may prevent this is if your agreement does not allow you to pay any additional payments or overpayments, but that would be very unlikely.

  92. I am vt a car which i have paid more than half of sent a letter off today to terminate agreement , even though they said on the phone i had to get a pack sent out from them and fill it in . Speaking ti them on the phone they said i have to pay nearly 2,000 pounds in excess millage as it states in contract but i thought this only applied if i fullfilled the contract not vt , and how can that superceed cca 100 ? Any help

    • Hi Lizzyanne. As the article states, there is no provision in law for the finance company to charge you for excess mileage when you VT a car. Given that your mileage is significantly over your agreed value (by what, 20K miles?), they’re understandably peeved that your giving back a car that is worth much less than they were expecting. They will certainly try to recover whatever they can from you (and they can get you for damage, for example), but they can’t charge you for excess mileage. Doesn’t mean they won’t try, though.

    • Hi stuart thanks , Yea it seems they had millage at 5k per year Ive done just above average at about 13 , would this stand up in court though if i vt under cca 1974 where as Long as Ive paid half and taken resonable care it says i should have nothing more to pay i dont see 13k per year as unreasonable . There is dsmage to bumper and i do expect to pay for this but not millage

    • I can’t advise what may or may not stand up in court; you would need to speak to a lawyer and refer to your contract. They would argue that you should take responsibility since you signed a contract based on 5,000 miles per year, but the law does not provide for them to charge for excess mileage. As I see it, they would have to make an argument that the condition of the car is worse than would be expected for fair wear and tear based on 5,000 miles per year.

    • Hi , i got a pack from finance co to sign and send back , not doing though already sent à letter stating was doing vt and quoted cca 74 and section 100 sent sd so know they recieved . Thé pack they sentout says requires sig and sent back wants you to sign saying you will pay any excess millage , trying to catch people out .

    • I was wondering what the outcome was with the excess mileage invoice after you VT your car ? I am in similar situation as yourself at present – many thanks

    • Hi Stuart,
      I hope you can help :) I’m thinking about voluntary terminating my PCP contract with MINI Finance, I understand this doesn’t affect your credit rating but it does state on your history that a VT has been made, with no reason as to why it has been done.
      My question is, would this affect any mortgage or loan applications in the near future?
      Also, I’m thinking of going with Nissan and having a PCP with them, would VT’ing my PCP with Mini affect this too?

    • Hi Luke. VTing your car should not affect any mortgage or loan applications, or a PCP application with another car finance company – it’s your legal right, not a default.

  93. I am getting my new car on finance tomorrow and and using my old car as part payment. My old car has recently had battery issues. Will this effect the deal?

    • Hi Chris. It depends on 1) whether the battery problems were there when the dealer originally appraised the vehicle, and 2) whether they notice while checking it over tomorrow. Realistically, the chances are that they won’t look too closely, you’ll sign the car over to them and drive off in your new car, and they will have to sort it out. If they are sending the car to auction, they probably won’t care too much. If they are going to keep it and sell it themselves, they may get a but grumpy, but there’s not much they can do once they have signed for it.

  94. Obviously it’s not something to be taken advantage of – as you point out – but useful information well presented in an even-handed way. Great resource!

    • Hi Stuart,

      I have recently sent Mercedes finance a letter to end my hire purchase agreement under the half rule.
      I’ve recieved a letter back asking me to sign a voluntary termination confirmation before they will give me a date for collection. I’m very hesitant to sign this but they said I can’t end the agreement without signing and returning the letter. Any suggestions?

    • Hi Danny. No, you are not required to sign their forms. As long as you have given them written notice, you have done all you need. If you have a look at the forums at, they are adamant that you should definitely not sign the Mercedes forms, as you may be agreeing to charges that you should not have to pay.

    • Hi Stuart, was hoping you could help me, I have paid more than 50% of my car and now in a position that I want to give it back, but I am 25,000 miles in excess of which it states in my contract that I would have to pay 11p/mile?? Iv calculated this which it comes to just over 2.5k?? I mean my car has been kept in emmaculate condition? Do I need to pay this?? Even if it is in my contract?

    • Hi Zul. As stated in the above, excess mileage is a hotly debated issue for voluntary termination. Most legal experts agree that you can’t be charged for excess mileage on a voluntary termination, but you can bet that the finance company will come chasing you for that £2,500 regardless. You will probably have a fight on your hands to avoid paying it, but if you are prepared to have that fight then you should win it eventually.

      However, if you are that far over your mileage allowance, it’s probably not an accident and I’m wouldn’t be surprised if the finance company is pretty pissed off with you and prepared to fight you to reclaim at least some of the mileage charge.

    • Hi Stuart, thanks for the reply, I guess I will have a fight on my hands, does this mean being taken to court? Or will it involve a lot of letter exchanging? Also, do I get an invoice from the finance company for the excess charges or do they invoice me instead? Additionally, if I don’t pay back the excess mileage would this affect my credit score? Finally, once I have given the car back am I within my rights to terminate my direct debit with the finance company via bank straight-away? Or do I have to wait direction from the finance company? Thanks again for your help

    • In terms of how to deal with any dispute with the finance company, you will need legal advice which we are not in a position to provide. As a start, I would recommend visiting, which is an excellent forum for consumer advice. However, if it comes to threats of legal action then you may well need to engage the services of a solicitor.

    • Thanks Stuart, I have actually registered with legalbeagles and is in fact much more helpful with a lot of people willing to help, thanks again

    • Yeah, they are generally excellent and are experts in consumer rights & consumer law. Like this site, they are impartial and independent, and purely exist to help people. Even when the law is on your side, it doesn’t mean dealers and finance companies will play nicely, so so it’s good to have assistance to work through your issues.

    • Hi Stuart
      I got a brand new car on finances from Ford on the 1st of May I’m paying it over 3 years, within a week of picking it up I got a new job and a company car and now I’m not driving the new car at all its just sitting on my drive and its only done 300 miles on the I’m being tax on my company car so I’m paying for 2 cars is there anyway I can give the car back to Ford?

    • Hi Xenia. Nope, it’s all yours. You can sell it and settle the finance, but you will lose thousands. Alternatively, you could try to renegotiate your job package to pay cash in lieu of a company car.

    • hi stuart , i have only 3 months left to end my contract , ive just put in a VT, forms have come back , and they are saying unless i sign them i cant end the agreement with them ( mercedes)
      plus are now saying i have a shortfall of 552.01 … but it was sold to me to pay a higher monthly instalment for the mileage of 15,000 per year , so that stands the car in 45,000 miles , however today it is at 35, 000 , obviously 10,000 under , so surely that stands for something …. confused .

    • Hi Rebecca. You don’t need to fill in any of their forms, as Voluntary Termination is your statutory right and you you only need to give them clear written notice. If you choose to fill in their forms, be aware that you may be signing away some or all of your rights.

      Secondly, you cannot claim a reduction in the VT amount because your mileage is less than expected. The VT amount is 50% of the Total Amount Payable under the agreement you signed, and the figure should be written into your finance contract.

    • I had no knowledge of voluntary termination until I went into a garage and looked to
      Part exchange my vehicle. As it turns out as I was £3,500 I’m minus equity to do a part exchange. When I purchased my original vehicle I had no idea about finance or credit and didn’t have a good credit score. At the time I didn’t even know I had a bad deal.
      I had paid well over half of my HP finance agreement at this point and found a car that I liked. The garage said that I had a good credit rating and that they could offer finance for the car I liked. But when it came down to the deal the finance company rejected the minus equity. I was advised to do a voluntary termination. They seemed trustworthy and to be looking out for me say it would save me £3500 on top of my finance. I believed this whilst checking on multiple times that it wouldn’t affect my credit. They reassured me constantly that this is my legal right and it would have no impact.
      I did this sent all the proof they required that this was in action . Once you take these steps you cannot go back! As soon as I provided this info, the finance company came back again adding another 600 to my original deposit and said that cause I was filling a voluntary termination I was a risk and added an extra 50 to the proposed monthly payments! Be careful anyone thinking that this does not affect credit! It does, dealers will use it against you to back you in a corner!

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