Unfortunately lease vehicles can be involved in accidents and sometimes a lease car which has been involved in a road traffic accident will result in the car being determined a “total loss” by the insurance company.

What should I do if I have had an accident in my lease car and it is written-off?

Where your lease car is involved in an accident, you need to liaise with your insurance company first. Whether or not you are the party at fault, they will determine the extent of the damage and any necessary repairs which are required to remediate the vehicle. Where the cost of arranging this because uneconomic, the insurance company may declare the vehicle as a write-off.

With contract hire, you are never the registered owner of the vehicle – this will always be the finance company.

Therefore, when you discover that the vehicle is going to be written-off, you need to liaise with the finance company to notify them of the issues. They can then speak to the insurance company to discuss the next steps.

While this is ongoing you will 1) have to continue to pay your regular monthly rentals; and 2) organise your own mode of transport (unless this is included within the terms of your insurance).

There is no automatic right to a “relief” vehicle.

What will essentially happen between finance company and insurance company, is that they will discuss the market valuation of the vehicle at that moment in time. If the value the insurer offers meets the requirements of the finance company, the contract will cease between customer/finance company and there will be no further obligations. If the settlement amount does not meet the requirements of the finance company there will be a “gap” – if this is the case it is the responsibility of the customer. For some transactions, customers will take gap insurance to protect against this risk. Gap insurance is by no means compulsory and there is not just one supplier for you to consider.

Learn more about lease car insurance here in our help and advice post or be sure to check out our help and advice pages for more info on leasing a car, check out our blog too for lease car reviews, ideas and industry news. Alternatively you can contact our helpful team who can advise on all aspects of leasing.

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