If You Lease a Car Who Pays for Repairs? Explained

June 13, 2024

Leasing a car can be an attractive option for many, but understanding how to handle damage to a leased vehicle is crucial. This guide offers a clear, step-by-step process for managing such situations effectively.

Assessing the Damage

Start by thoroughly inspecting the vehicle to determine the extent and type of damage. This step involves:

  • Thorough Inspection: Carefully inspect the vehicle to identify all damaged areas.
  • Documentation: Take detailed notes and pictures to capture the condition of the damaged areas.
  • Possible Causes: Identify how the damage likely occurred, such as through an accident, weather event, or vandalism.

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Alerting the Leasing Company

Prompt communication with your leasing company is essential. Follow these steps to report the damage:

  • Immediate Notification: Contact the leasing company promptly to report the damage.
  • Documentation Submission: Provide all the documentation, including notes and pictures, to the leasing company.
  • Repair Shop Requirements: Inquire if the damage needs to be repaired at a specific, approved repair shop.
  • Time Frame: Be aware of any time requirements for reporting the damage to avoid penalties.

Determining Responsibility

Understanding your lease agreement is crucial in determining who is responsible for the repairs:

  • Lease Agreement Review: Check the lease agreement to understand who is responsible for different types of damages.
  • Coverage and Deductions: Look for any clauses about security deposit deductions or additional coverage options.
  • Discussion with Leasing Agent: Ensure clear communication with your leasing agent about who will cover the repairs.

"BMW i3 Front Right Car Leasing Made Simple" by Carleasingmadesimpletm is licensed under CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/.

Obtaining Repair Estimates

If you’re responsible for the repair costs, follow these steps to get fair estimates:

  • Estimates from Approved Shops: Get repair estimates from body shops approved by the leasing company.
  • Multiple Estimates: Obtain several estimates to ensure you get the best deal.
  • Estimate Submission: Provide all repair estimates to the leasing company for their records.

Authorizing and Paying for Repairs

Once estimates are finalized, proceed with the following steps to authorize and pay for the repairs:

  • Authorization: If responsible, authorize the body shop to perform the repair work. The leasing company might also need to approve the repairs.
  • Payment: Pay for the repair costs if it’s your responsibility according to the lease agreement.

Submitting Paperwork

After the repairs are completed, make sure to submit the necessary paperwork:

  • Repair Invoices: Submit copies of the authorized repair invoices to the leasing company.
  • Reimbursement Process: Follow the leasing company’s instructions for reimbursement if applicable.

Additional Tips

  • Regular Maintenance: Always conduct regular maintenance and inspections to minimize damage risks.
  • Documentation: Keep all correspondence with the leasing company and repair shops for your records.


  • Contact information for common leasing companies
  • Links to approved repair shops

Following these steps can help ensure a smooth resolution when dealing with damage to a leased car, keeping you in good standing with your leasing company and protecting your investment.

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