Advice on what you need to do if you’re unfortunate enough to be involved in an accident in a lease car. What should you do? Who should you inform? Find out.
Unfortunately, accidents are part and parcel of the driving experience. However, when they happen, they can have a huge impact on all involved. Being involved in a car accident is bad enough, but when you’re involved in an accident in a vehicle that doesn’t belong to you, stress levels are certainly heightened.
Lease cars are the easiest and most affordable way to drive around in a brand new vehicle and for this reason, they’re exceptionally popular on the roads. However, you will never own a lease car, which means that should you have an accident, it will be in a vehicle that doesn’t belong to you.
Considering this scenario raises many questions and knowing exactly what to do should this situation arise is something which is likely to be extremely useful to a lot of people. So, if you’re driving around in a brand new lease car and you’d like to know what to do should such an unfortunate incident occur – read on.
Call the police
If the vehicle hasn’t already stopped, stop driving immediately – it’s imperative to stop at the scene because failing to stop is an offence that can result in legal action.
If you’re able to check the passengers of the other vehicles involved then do so and call the police, ambulance and fire service where necessary. Remember, even if it’s just a minor bump and the police don’t need to be called to the scene, you must report the incident to your local police within 24 hours in order to obtain an incident reference number.
As soon as you’ve established that everyone’s safe and well, you should exchange details with all parties involved. You, and they, are legally required to provide your name and address at the scene of an accident. You should also, supply vehicle (make, model, registration number) and insurance details, along with a phone number too.
Along with the details of the other vehicles and drivers involved, it’s also a good idea to record other information like the time of day, the weather, the positions of the vehicles etc. If you have a camera phone then pictures are even more helpful to insurance companies trying to fathom exactly who’s to blame for an accident.
As with all accidents your insurance company should be called within 24 hours of the incident. Many insurance policies have a clause within them stating a time frame, within which you must notify them of an accident – failing to do so within the stipulated timeframe may invalidate your policy.
Your insurance provider will ask for the details you collected about the other vehicles and drivers involved, along with your account of events.
Your leasing & finance companies
Remember, when you lease a car it does not belong to you, although in your possession, the legal owner is the finance company. It’s important to inform your lease company of an accident, although, because of the involvement of insurance and finance companies they’re unlikely to be able to help you. However, you should also notify the finance company.
They will be able to help you and advise of next steps. Remember, you will be liable for any damage to a lease vehicle.
Avoiding costly bills
In order to avoid any costly ventures, many finance companies will provide information about GAP insurance.
This is an additional type of insurance that will protect you against any costly bills should you write-off a lease car. Your standard car insurance company – in the event that your car is a write-off – will pay out the value of the car. However, this is not always enough to cover the remaining finance on your lease. In this instance, you’d make use of your GAP insurance policy and they would pay the remaining difference – essentially the ‘gap’ – between the price your insurance company have offered for the car and the finance remaining on the vehicle.