Car Return?

Hi there,

I had to organize a car return of my ID.3 as I am waiting for some money to come in, then I will re-order a car from On.To in February.

It was booked for tomorrow, I had the email to say its being picked up tomorrow. However, at 5.15pm I received a call from an unknown number. I had just got back from work and fell asleep so I missed the call. Then a man turned up at the door saying he is here to collect the car.

Because he was dropped off by another driver he didn’t give me much option but to hand the car over to him.

The problem with this was at 8am tomorrow I had booked it in for a full valet as it is dirty inside and out. He reassured me that it is fine and he will take it as it is and I won’t be charged any valet/cleaning fees.

Despite being hesitant he wasn’t really giving me any options other than let him take it today.
I handed over the keys, he walked around the car with a flashlight and asked me to sign.

Then I asked him once more “Are you sure they won’t charge me for not cleaning it” and his response was “nah they won’t, we clean it for them anyway”.

As it was dark I was unable to take ANY photos of the car also because he was rushing me as well.

I got straight on the phone to and was waiting for someone to answer until 6pm when it cut out…

Can anyone advise on where I stand with this/has anyone had this issue before with returning cars?


Suggest you email the above to Onto now so it’s recorded as above.

Even though it was dark it would have been worthwhile taking pics of all the alloys and all around the car, even though it was dirty. Every car is dirty at the moment and it’ll be more so by the time it gets back to the logistics depot.

If you know the car was in pristine condition in the last few days (when you last washed it) then that should help if any issue is picked up. The external condition is more important than the internal on many inspections, as long as it’s not got rips/tears/stains etc.
Trust it all works out, but if you are sure it was 100% albeit dirty, then if they do try and charge you, contest it.

Don’t think I have seen posts about an early pickup, but someone will post if it happened to them.


That takes the mickey TBH, you could’ve needed the car, you could’ve not been home…

This definitely needs raising to ONTO for investigation.


Sound some like some has dropped a right royal one…

As others have said let them know by email straight away, as it is very odd to collect early…

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For other subscribers reading this…

If this should happen to you, then you should refuse to hand the car back, as it has not been agreed to do so early. The driver would have to call his colleague back to site to collect him. Indeed the colleague should not have left until the other driver was handed over the keys to the car and in this case that should not have happened.

Do feel sorry for @AdamG92 as he was placed in an unacceptable position and the worry of additional charges looms large when placed in this position when finances are stretched.
There will undoubtedly be other subscribers that may be placed in similar positions due to the energy crisis along with increasing cost of living and need to return cars, but it should not happen earlier than has been agreed, regardless of what logistics might try and prempt.

I’ll flag @Raheel_at_Onto so this gets some visibility tomorrow and can be followed up.


It’s happened to me before. Thankfully no charges for cleaning or charging since the driver was early and was fully aware that they were early. But they insisted that was the only way they could make scheduling work with another driver to drop them off. I got a phone call giving me 20 minutes notice of collection and I had to rush home for them without getting the car fully prepared.

Thankfully when this happened to me it was daylight and I could snap all the photos I needed even if it wasn’t perfectly clean as I would usually like, just to cover my ass. Don’t think I would have been happy to hand the car over without my own photos though.

I sent an E-Mail straight off to Onto to let them know what happened to make sure I was covered and not held liable for any charges since they could see the collection took place earleir than was agreed.

Should I assume it was BCA Logistics responsible for your collection? They’re honestly hopeless. No tracking. No warning. NEVER on time. I’ve told the story here before where the car arrived over 24 hours after setting off on a 150 mile journey to me since the driver decided to use a slow charge post overnight while sleeping in the car that night.


Sorry mate, I’m out and will be until the collection time tomorrow! (Simples)


Thanks for the replies all. My main concern is if they claim any damage on the car, I’ve not been able to visually see the car clean for about a week now, due to how busy I’ve been at work.

I’ve also lost money by having to cancel the valet in the morning. Fun times.

I’ve sent OnTo a long email detailing what happened and asking them to confirm their position on this.
I do want to continue as an OnTo customer, and I did plan to order a car again in February once the money from the completed house sale comes in hopefully on the 27th. But I think I will wait a little longer now to see if any bill comes my way before ordering a new car and getting a bill midway through.

Thanks again for all your replies.


There computer system doesn’t seem to be very good, I’m currently subscribed to an Audi etron, I wanted to swap it, so I contacted them today through the live chat, and the guy said I was still showing the E up I returned on his system and needed to ring them, I’ve had numerous issues with the chat system it’s not great regarding bookings at all

Your concern about charges indicates that you haven’t got car hire excess insurance cover. May be something to think about before getting your next vehicle. Obviously check the terms and conditions to make sure it’s suitable for you.


Good afternoon Adam,

Thank you for your time this morning, again, I would like to apologies for this mistake the team made in the booking process and I can confirm that we wouldn’t be charging for cleaning. As I stated this was a genuine error and mitigation has been identified to ensure this doesn’t happen in the future.

Look forward to having you back as an ONTO customer in February


Just an update,

Richard Moses (Head of logistics) contacted me the following day after collection apologizing for the issues caused. Very professional and was very happy by the response. Confirmed that the car would be cleaned by them and no charges to me.

I received a email just now for charges:

  1. Front Screen - Chipped; £22.34
  2. Front Bumper - Chipped; £12.59
  3. OS Front Door Shut - Scratches; £9.79
  4. Interior - Soiled, Valet Retail; £21

Damage total: £65.72

I’ve looked at the photos and the chip doesn’t look very large on the windscreen. So I’ve queried it. I didn’t notice it before.

The chip on the front bumper was reported within the Onto app and I received a notification that I didn’t have to pay for it. It was a stonechip (This was within 3 weeks of delivery) so I’m surprised to see this on the bill.

Interior is obviously a mistake as Richard had stated it would be cleaned for free. So I’ve queried that.
I had thought that the stone chip on the window would be covered under wear and tear considering I had the car for 6 months from brand new, with 7k miles on it when returned. It was bound to have a chip here or there due to the usage.

However, all in all, the price isn’t too steep and I’m glad it isn’t in the £100s! The prices above are really generous in my opinion!
I am happy with the service Onto has provided and I can’t wait to play the refresh the page game to book another car in February!


Glad to hear it’s coming to a good conclusion, just query the damage vs wear and tear and I suspect that should get resolved to.

Enjoy the refresh game when it’s time :blush:


Just out of curiosity, do they actually repair chips, scratches etc that they bill you for or do they just send the car back out?

I imagine they are repaired automatically by the logistics company and then ONTO billed who recharge to the subscriber accordingly. But somebody like @burnt_crisps2 will have a more accurate idea than me, due to his experience in the world of vehicle logistics.

I’ve a suspicion that the process for dealing with minor damage may also be different depending on whether the vehicle is being re-deployed to a different subscriber versus being disposed of.

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Apart from @kcrane who got a M3P with a couple of curbed alloys (thanks to me), I’ve never heard of anyone getting a “damaged” previously used vehicle.

@E7EV is right, also worth saying I was asked if I wanted to delay delivery so they could repair the wheels.

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When I received my Ioniq at the beginning of the month, it had some scratches and scuffs on the bumper and around other parts of the car. I wouldn’t call it “damage” per-se but it wasn’t repaired before I received it anyway.

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My pure conjecture was that repairs might not get performed/charged when a vehicle gets offloaded into the trade - I imagine all vehicles going out to other subscribers will have the damage repaired (or, like above, the subscriber given the choice).

In many ways the logistics companies will treat the Onto fleet of cars in the same manner as they do a fleet of demo cars for any manuf. On return they will be assessed as soon as the driver steps out of the car and logged into an app/tablet. They will ‘pen’ mark the windscreen with a code and visually inspect all around, inside etc. and ‘pen’ mark any defects, like stone chips in paint/glass, minor dents etc. The app will know what items should be included with each make/model. Since manufs like to have their demo cars turn up in as near ‘as new’ condition as possible, the same will basically apply to Onto’s fleet. Its unusual for things to be overlooked, but if they are minor and the fleet manager wants a car back with another subscriber asap (maybe an emergency) then it will still go through all the post and the pre checks, but maybe get left with some minor issues.

These logistics places usually have full paintshop facilities with drying/baking room, along with alloy and all will have tyre repair/replacement/balancing and proabably tracking/alignment. Full valet is the last thing that will be done the day before the car is scheduled for delivery, usually in 2 blocks afternoon for cars delivering the following day (morning) and morning for afternoon deliveries.

In amongst all of the movements, the cars will need charging if they are EV’s, usually overnight (Fuel is done by always returning to base with a min. quarter tank)

Cars that are being defleeted go through basic checks, mainly safety, tyres, fluid levels etc. and checks for all items inc. and thenas already mentioned will be moved as is to the next venue in the condition they are in at that time. Often they are in great condition anyway.