Help. My Lease Car Has Been Stolen... Here @CarLease UK we will discuss what to do in instances when your lease vehicle is stolen. This example takes reference from a recent leasing customers dilemma whereby their lease car was stolen but, later recovered.

A quick guide for those who's lease vehicle has been stolen.

An issue, which does unfortunately arise every now and then, is that of the stolen lease vehicle. As contract hire is a usership-style product, you never actually own the vehicle and so the V5 (log book) will always remain with the finance company. If your vehicle is stolen the first thing you need to do is to contact the police. This may sound like an obvious response but we do receive a number of calls from our customers who let us know first (as they think that we will do so on their behalf). If you contact your local police officers you will be able to obtain a crime reference number and you will also be able to ask for their team to investigate the crime.

Once you have contacted the police for your reference number, you will then need to liaise with a) your insurance company; and b) the finance company.

Every contract hire vehicle must be covered with comprehensive motor insurance; your cannot use a 3rd party policy. In the event your vehicle is declared a total loss or is stolen, you need to liaise with your insurance company so that they can begin their processes. If you vehicle is stolen, your insurance company may be able to provide a courtesy vehicle for you to utilise. However, this will depend on the nature of the policy and is not always offered. To be clear, neither we (as a leasing broker) nor the finance company will offer a vehicle for you to use.

This is important to note as you continue to pay your monthly rental for the vehicle even though you are no longer in possession of it. The contract does not cease/be repudiated on the basis of the theft.

Things to Remember - my lease car has been stolen...

1. Call the police - obtain a crime reference number

2. Call your insurance company and inform them - ask about a curtesy car

3. Call your finance company & keep paying for your vehicle

In addition to the above, you need to liaise with the finance company to inform them as to the fact the vehicle has been stolen. As noted above they will continue to charge you the usual monthly rental until the matter is settled.

In the background, the finance company and insurance company will discuss the settlement. An insurance company will essentially offer a market valuation for the vehicle, which must either be accepted or negotiated by the finance company. Once the amount is accepted, as the end-user you will receive confirmation that the matter is resolved (and your monthly rentals should cease). However, if the amount which the finance company receives falls below what they require, there is a risk that there is a shortfall (or GAP). In these instances, the ends-user is responsible for this amount of money.

To protect against this risk some customers will take GAP insurance, which will essentially makes up this shortfall. Additionally, they will help negotiate with the finance company/insurance company in some situations.

When the process is finalised do not presume that you will receive any additional monies/funds. In some cases you will walk away from contract without anything – status quo. Some customers do take issue with this BUT there is nothing to say that you should receive an amount of money following these events.

For more information on car leasing check out our help and advice section or read some new car reviews and news in our blog here. Or if you would like to speak to our team about arranging a new lease car if yours has been stolen please feel free to contact us.

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