Disclaimer: This page has been put together from information that is considered industry standard, it is by no means definitive. It is designed as a guide only to help you distinguish between fair wear and tear and rental damage. You must always check with your insurer for their own definition of damage before making a claim.

When renting out your campervan you’ll want to be sure that it is well looked after by your customers, and carrying out inventory checks, taking pictures prior to rental and completing a thorough handover process are all key steps in covering your van for any damages and disputes that may arise.

However, there may be instances when you are unsure as to whether a piece of damage is worth making an insurance claim over or requesting a deduction from the security deposit, say if it’s a small scratch to a tyre or a single dent to the exterior. The answer to this question all comes down to the severity and type of damage that you are concerned about.

So, what typically counts as wear and tear damage?

Typically, if it’s minimal and caused by ongoing use of the vehicle rather than an isolated incident, it will classed as general wear and tear, in which case it likely won't be covered under your insurance or security deposit.

Leading car rental companies class wear and tear damage as anything that occurs as a result of the vehicle’s age and milage, and not due to a one-off incident and we would recommend that you approach your vehicle rental in a similar way. If the damage to your campervan is minimal and has no effect on its value, then it may also class as wear and tear. These are the type of damages that occur over time due to use of the vehicle and are not caused by a direct action of the customer.

As an owner, you have the right to put in place rules that will prevent increased levels of wear and tear, for example disallowing customers to go to certain locations or limiting mileage, which you should make clear prior to their holiday. Equally, careless behaviour from the customer can cause more wear and tear than is expected, in which case you may have a claim or valid reason to use the security deposit.

Guide to fair wear and tear

We hope the below will help you when doing the handover and return of your vehicle and when defining any imperfections that may be part of your van. The following is taken from various car rental companies as an industry standard on what typically classes as fair wear and tear and may help you if you are unsure as how to classify a type of damage.

What is generally considered inside the guidelines of wear and tear has been shown below with a tick, and what is not included, and therefore may be considered damage, is shown with a cross.

Scratches, dents and stone chips

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  • Scratches and dents less than 20 mm in length or diameter and less than 1 mm wide. The paint surface hasn’t been broken and there is no paint removal, cracking or flaking.
  • Stone chips up to 2mm in diameter and they must be isolated.
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  • Scratches and dents of 20mm or more on bonnets, roofs, wheel arches, door sills or door edges.
  • Multiple scratches and dents within a close area regardless of size.
  • Damage affecting or removing paintwork.
  • More than 5 stone chips to an isolated area.


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  • Any scuffing or scratches where there is no paint penetration and they are less than 20mm in diameter.
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  • As above with scratches and dents plus any damage to a textured bumper.

Wheels, wheel trims and tyres

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  • Any scratches or scuffs that are less than 20 mm in length.
  • Mechanical related issues, e.g, wheel bearings.
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  • Damage to wheel trims or hubcaps larger than 20mm, or if they are missing.
  • Alloy rims that are damaged beyond the above 20mm in length.
  • Unroadworthy damage to the tyre tread and sidewalls.
  • Replacement tyres not agreed to before fitting.

Upholstery, floors, carpets, dashboard, fascia, trim interior and vehicle cleanliness

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  • Any marks, smears or regular day to day debris that can be removed through standard cleaning measures e.g, hoovering, wiping.
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  • Any permanent damage caused by harsh or corrosive materials e.g, tears, cuts, holes or burns.
  • Any damage to the seat’s position or shape.
  • Pet hair that cannot be removed.
  • Soil, mud or sand that is more than would be expected from regular use.
  • Signs that someone has been smoking in the vehicle, or any odours or foreign matter.
  • Stains or marks that require more than regular cleaning methods e.g, steam cleaning.

Mechanical issues

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  • Failures of the vehicle that are due to age, milage or maintenance and not the hirer e.g. Drivetrain issues, gearbox and engine issues.
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  • Mechanical failures caused by the hirer by not following the guidelines of the owner.

Keys, accessories and equipment

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  • Any cosmetic damage that doesn’t affect the functionality of the keys, accessories or equipment.
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  • Loss or damage to keys or remotes, and damage caused by incorrectly using accessories such as bike racks.
  • Breaking or damaging of aerials.
  • Removal or damage of items that were provided with the vehicle e.g, parcel shelf, tools, spare tyres, wheel trims, hazard triangles, first aid kits, GPS unit etc.