My sister recently did a voluntary termination of a PCP on a VW as the car was worth less than what she owed on it (not at the end of the term either) she handed it back with no problems, it even had a few scratches and a ding in the door. The guy that collected it turned up at her house in his own car!!! He said that the car was in the expected condition for its age. Now this is a strange one! she followed the guy down to where he took it, to then give him a lift back as it was about an hours walk (his boss had said it was close enough for him to walk back to collect his own car), he took it to 'we buy any car' which is behind the VW dealership.I went to the dealer today to sign the PCP agreement and got a nasty surprise. I personally value the ability to hand the car back at the end of the term and walk away if the car is worth less than the GFV. I know it's only one of many options but if the bottom falls out of the A3/S3/RS3 market in 4 years time then it could be a very handy option to have.
The nasty surprise was in the small print. If at the end of the term you have either exceeded the agreed mileage or Audi "consider it not to be in good repair and condition, commensurate with its age and mileage" then Audi have two choices (i) accept the return of the car with a payment for excess mileage plus a payment to cover the condition of the car (which is fine, as I expected) or (ii) not accept a return of the car at all which would force you to settle the outstanding finance amount by selling the car yourself and losing out on the difference.
So if you have done just 1 mile in excess, or the car has one scratch or dent then Audi can just say tough, we are not giving you the benefit of the GFV and put the loss on the customer. If the bottom has fallen out of the market (major recession, specific problem with the A3 range etc etc) and they were faced with lots of cars being returned it wouldn't take much for them to say let's avoid the losses of taking these cars back. Especially as Audi will likely have securitised the contracts and they would actually be owned by a Luxembourg finance company who would be the ones making the decisions and wouldn't give a damn about the customer.
I pointed this out to the business manager and he had no idea about this and said that no one in the last six years that he had worked for VAG Finance had even read the clause in the agreement let alone queried it. I am awaiting his reply tomorrow with interest.