Being involved in a car accident is scary and dealing with the cost of any damages to your or another party’s vehicles can be complicated.
Throw into the mix that you are leasing your car, and you may feel unsure about who to contact and what to do next.
Whether you’re leasing an Audi or a Volvo, the simple information in this article will help to explain what to do next if your leased vehicle is involved in an accident.
Do you have to tell a leasing company if you have an accident?
Yes, if you are in an accident whilst driving a leased vehicle then you are required to notify the company that you are leasing from and your insurance provider immediately.
Whether or not the car you’re leasing is damaged is irrelevant, even if damage to the vehicle is very minimal, you should still inform both parties.
What happens if my leased vehicle is involved in an accident?
If you are in an accident, it’s always important to swap details with any other drivers involved at the scene of the crash. Without this information, your insurance company will not be able to help you.
Details that you should make a note of include:
- Name and contact details of other people involved in the accident.
- Their insurance details.
- Vehicle registration numbers
- Vehicle make and model
- Details of the accident
The party responsible for paying for the damage depends on who was at fault. If you were at fault, then it will be your insurer that is responsible for the cost of repairs. If another party was at fault and caused the accident, then it will be their insurer that is responsible for paying for damages. If the accident was your fault, but it caused little damage, perhaps a small bump or scratch, then you may be better off paying for the damage yourself rather than losing your no-claims bonus.
Once you have notified the lease company of the accident, it is your responsibility to then arrange to get the vehicle repaired at one of the garages approved by the company you are leasing from.
Even if you were not at fault and you are not going to be claiming with your insurance, it’s still important to notify them of the accident, failure to do so could invalidate your cover.
Can you write off a leased car?
If you’re in an accident that causes serious damage to your leased vehicle, then it may need to be written off.
You should contact both the company you are leasing from and your insurance provider, to inform them that the vehicle has been declared a ‘total loss’. They may also require written confirmation of the vehicle’s status.
At this point, your lease agreement will automatically end, and you will need to settle any outstanding finance with the lease company.
Your insurance company will usually pay the current value of the vehicle. However, there is usually a shortfall leftover after this which you will need to pay yourself unless you have GAP insurance which will cover this.
How do I dispute a car lease charge?
When leasing a car, it is your responsibility to have any damage beyond fair wear and tear repaired. If you return a leased car that is damaged, then you may receive a charge from the leasing company. If you wish to dispute any charges with the leasing company, then you should contact them directly as soon as possible to discuss why you believe the charges to be unjust.
If the finance company disagrees with you, then you can pay for an independent, qualified engineer to assess the damage. If they agree with you, then the finance company will need to pay for the repairs and refund you the cost of consulting the engineer too.
If you are still not happy with the outcome, then you should contact the BVRLA’s Trading Standards Institute within 90 days to raise a complaint.
If you are involved in an accident with your leased vehicle, it is important to know what steps to take. You should always contact your leasing company as soon as possible and let them know about the accident. For more information about leased vehicles and what happens in case of an accident, please get in touch with us today on 03300563331or head to our contact us page. We would be happy to help.