Inspecting Your Vehicle

Prior to returning your vehicle, a third-party vehicle pre-inspection is required. You may also conduct your own review with the help of our First Class Condition Card prior to the vehicle pre-inspection.

First Class Condition Card


You're welcome to conduct your own review prior to the vehicle pre-inspection to familiarize yourself with the process and guidelines. The First Class Condition Card, sent to you in an information package, helps you to identify what is considered excess wear and tear.

How does it work? Place the First Class Condition Card over an exterior or interior blemish. Generally, if the damage (caused by a single event) cannot be seen with the card over it then a repair or replacement at your expense may not be required.*  Please note, this may not apply to some interior blemishes and glass damages such as burn holes in the fabric and windshield chips or cracks.

The approximate dimensions of the card are 8.5 cm/3.375 inches (width) x 5.5 cm/2.125 inches (height).

As part of your assessment, check the number of kilometres you've driven during your lease period to verify whether you've gone over your predetermined limit.

Please keep in mind this self-assessment tool is for estimation purposes only and is not a replacement of the vehicle pre-inspection or of the determination in the Lease End Statement.

*Exceptions apply 

Tires & Rims

Repairs or replacements are not necessary if:

  • All four tires match the original tires in type*, size, load and speed rating with at least 0.32 cm (4/32 inches) of tread depth at the greatest wear point
  • The tires on the same axle are of the same brand
  • The tires and rims match the original specifications (for approved specifications, see sticker inside the driver’s door and Owner’s Manual). Please note, winter tires are not considered original equipment.
  • The rims are not bent and they are free of breaks (regardless of the size)
  • The tires are free of bulges, cuts, sidewall damage and abnormal wear
  • Any wheel scratches and gouges pass the First Class Condition Card Test
  • The TIREFIT kit, located in the stowage well under the front-passenger footwell, must include its original contents (towing eye, tire sealant filler bottle and tire inflation compressor)
*Some vehicles may have a special type of tires (e.g. summer performance tires)

Damage to the rims is only chargeable if it extends beyond the First Class Condition Card.


Tire cuts, bulges, and sidewall damage are all chargeable regardless of the size.

Mechanical & Electrical

Repairs or replacements are not necessary if:

  • All maintenance service specified by the manufacturer has been performed as required and documented by a stamped Service Booklet or a copy of the repair order
  • Any issues covered under warranty have been repaired
  • All engine or drivetrain components are operable
  • You still have your Service Booklet/ Owner’s Manual/smart Audio-System/smart Media-System (if vehicle is equipped with Touchscreen Package)/Service and Warranty Information Booklet
  • Both keys are returned


To ensure a seamless and easy return of your smart fortwo, be sure to keep up with the necessary maintenance of your vehicle throughout your lease. It’s important that you get your vehicle serviced at a smart Service Centre, where our state-of-the-art diagnostic systems can determine your precise service requirements. Please make sure that you have kept your service up to date and that all necessary maintenance has been completed before you return your vehicle.


Repairs or replacements are not necessary if:

  • The exterior is free of holes, tears or breaks (regardless of the size)
  • Scratches are not through the paint (regardless of the size).  If your vehicle has scratches that do go through the paint, just apply the First Class Condition Card Test.
  • Scratches through the paint and dents pass the First Class Condition Card Test
  • The grille is free of any breaks
  • If there is bumper scuff that doesn’t alter or expose the underlying material, it is acceptable regardless of size.  If the underlying material is cut, shaved or torn, then apply the First Class Condition Card Test.  All holes, tears or breaks are not acceptable regardless of the size. 


When assessing your vehicle’s exterior, keep in mind a maximum of 5 damage occurrences (that pass the First Class Condition Card Test) per panel is acceptable. These ‘panels’ include the vehicle’s front and rear bumper.  This excludes holes, tears or breaks. 


Dents are only chargeable if they extend beyond the First Class Condition Card. Holes, tears, or breaks are chargeable regardless of the size.


Bumper damage is only chargeable if it extends beyond the First Class Condition Card. All holes, tears, or breaks and structural damage are chargeable regardless of the size.


Scratches through the paint are only chargeable if they extend beyond the First Class Condition Card.


Repairs or replacements are not necessary if:

  • The interior is free of tears, cuts, holes, burns or stains that cannot be removed (regardless of the size)
  • Any interior damage does not penetrate the fabric and passes the First Class Condition Card Test

Interior scratches that do not penetrate the fabric are only chargeable if they extend beyond the First Class Condition Card.

Glass & Lenses

Repairs or replacements are not necessary if:

  • All glass and lenses are free of holes, cracks or stars*
  • Any scratches can be covered by the First Class Condition Card
  • No more than 2 chips have been plugged**
  • Any chips or plugs**  are smaller than 3 mm
  • Any chips or plugs** sit outside the driver’s field of vision defined by wiper path
  • Any aftermarket window tint is free of any scratches, bubbling, tears, or discolouring
* A “star” is a chip with one or more legs.
** A “plug” refers to any repair to windshield damage.


We recommend any windshield replacement be completed by an authorized smart Centre to ensure the repair meets the manufacturer’s specifications. Keep in mind windshield replacement is often covered by insurance. Check with your insurance agent.


Chips are only chargeable if they are more than 0.3 cm in diameter, and do not fit within the circle of the measurement tool on the First Class Condition Card.

Aftermarket Modifications or Missing & Broken Parts

Repairs or replacements are not necessary if:

  • All equipment leased with the vehicle and all factory-installed parts are present, undamaged and in good working order
  • All modifications installed by an authorized smart Centre are intact
  • Any third-party, aftermarket alterations have been restored to their original condition, including but not limited to:
    •  Lowering the vehicle’s suspension
    • Changing the vehicle colour or non-factory paint schemes
    • Spoilers and/or trailer hitches
    • Holes in the frame
    • Damage caused by the removal of parts and accessories
    • Other aftermarket alterations not covered by the manufacturer’s warranty


Anything changed or added to your vehicle is considered an aftermarket alteration and is not acceptable, unless it was installed by an authorized smart Centre.

Please note, not all mechanical, electrical, structural damage, odometer tampering or damage resulting from alterations to the vehicle can be immediately uncovered during the vehicle pre-inspection process. In case any of those damages are found after the vehicle is returned, an invoice will be issued accordingly.


No charge with tow hook cover.


Chargeable if tow hook cover is missing.

Vehicle Condition Review Checklist

Download the Vehicle Condition Review Checklist to help you review your vehicle’s condition and prepare for your vehicle pre-inspection.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What should I do if I’m not able to return my vehicle on the scheduled maturity date?

We recommend contacting your smart Centre to schedule your lease return. You can also contact Mercedes-Benz Financial Services at 1-866-202-6969 for any additional return options.


2. Why is it important to have a vehicle pre-inspection completed before returning my vehicle?

The pre-inspection is an important part of the Lease Return Process, as it provides you with a vehicle condition review and identifies excess wear and tear prior to your expected return date. Not having a pre-inspection completed prior to returning your vehicle will put you at risk of unexpected charges appearing on your Lease End Statement.

Once the pre-inspection is completed, we encourage you to contact your smart Centre, who will review the pre-inspection results with you and provide information regarding the repair process and your return options.


3. Can repairs be performed by a dealership other than an authorized smart Centre/body shop?

We recommend repairs be performed by an authorized smart Centre or body shop to avoid any potential charges for substandard or incomplete repairs. If you have any questions please contact Mercedes-Benz Financial Services at 1-866-202-6969 or contact your authorized smart Centre.


4. What charges will my Lease End Statement include?

Any excess wear and tear charges, excess kilometre charges (refer to your lease agreement), damage charges for anything that makes the vehicle unsafe or unlawful to operate, any remaining payments, and any additional fees you may have incurred prior to returning your vehicle. It will also detail any credits you may be owed.


5. Why might I not receive a Vehicle Condition Summary and a Lease End Statement at the time of return?

If a third-party pre-inspection was not performed on your vehicle prior to return or if the condition of your vehicle has changed since the vehicle pre-inspection was conducted, a Vehicle Condition Summary and a Lease End Statement may not be available and a final third-party inspection may be needed to determine your final kilometrage and any excess wear and tear.


6. When will I get the refund of my security deposit?

Once Mercedes-Benz Financial Services has been notified of the vehicle return by the smart Centre, your account will be settled. If there are no excess wear and tear charges, outstanding payments, excess kilometrage or additional fees assessed to the account, your security deposit will be refunded within 14 days. In the event that you move during the term of the lease please contact Mercedes-Benz Financial Services at 1-866-202-6969 to update your file.


Lease Return Options

To make sure that returning your vehicle is just as smooth as driving it, we’re here to help you understand your options and responsibilities during the lease return process.


Return Your Vehicle

Return your current vehicle to your smart Centre and settle any outstanding fees or charges. Then put yourself in a new smart fortwo!


Vehicle Condition Guidelines

Wear and tear is a normal part of driving. We make it easy to understand what’s acceptable and what’s not – so there are no surprises when your lease matures.


Contact Us

If you have any questions about vehicle condition guidelines, the vehicle return process or even specific wear and tear issues, please give us a call – we’re here to help you throughout your lease. Call the Mercedes-Benz Financial Services Lease Maturity Department at 1-866-202-6969 or your smart Centre.

The information provided and its content may be changed at any time without notice. All lease return obligations are subject to the terms and conditions set out in the applicable governing agreement.