What Happens if You Crash a Lease Car: A Complete Guide

June 17, 2024

What Happens If You Crash a Lease Car?

Leasing a car offers many advantages, such as lower monthly payments and the opportunity to drive a new car more frequently. However, many lessees wonder, "What happens if you crash a lease car?" This article will guide you through the necessary steps and considerations for navigating an accident with a leased vehicle.

what happens if you crash a lease car

Immediate Steps After an Accident

The first crucial step after any car accident is to contact emergency services. Following this, notify your auto insurance company immediately as per your policy requirements. It's also advisable to contact your insurance agent to see if any additional steps are needed.

Your lease agreement typically requires you to notify the car dealership or leasing company about the accident. Ensure you follow the reporting requirements as outlined in your lease contract.

State and Legal Reporting Requirements

State law may require you to report the accident to your state's department of motor vehicles or another relevant agency. Check your state's DMV website for specific reporting requirements or consult your insurance agent for more details. This precautionary measure helps you stay compliant and avoid potential legal issues down the line.

Repairing the Leased Vehicle

What happens if you crash a lease car also includes figuring out how to get the vehicle repaired. The process will depend on who was at fault and how quickly the repairs are needed. If the other driver was at fault, you can bring a claim against their insurance for vehicle damage. Conversely, if you're at fault or the other driver is uninsured, you may need to file a claim with your own insurance company.

Also, make sure to coordinate repairs with the leasing company or dealership, as they may have specific requirements for parts and services. Some lease agreements stipulate using original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts for repairs, which may conflict with your insurance company's practices.

The Importance of GAP Insurance

Leasing a car often includes the recommendation to purchase GAP (Guaranteed Asset Protection) insurance. This type of coverage is especially important if your leased vehicle is declared a total loss. Standard insurance will only cover the actual cash value of the car, which may not cover the remaining amount on your lease. GAP insurance fills this difference, ensuring you're not left financially vulnerable.

After the Accident: Next Steps

Once the immediate concerns and repairs are addressed, it's essential to consider your options for the lease's future. Options available when a lease ends include walking away, trading the vehicle in for another, or buying the car at its residual value. It's also wise to consult with an experienced car accident lawyer for guidance on navigating insurance claims and negotiating with insurance companies.

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