Should I Repair a Leased Vehicle?
Body Damage on a Leased Vehicle: Repair or Leave?
The unthinkable has happened. You have a leased vehicle and you got in a wreck. If you weren’t at fault, then no worries, get that thing repaired. But what if you slid on the ice and smacked a tree, scraped a car, curbed the wheel, or someone scratched up your lease pretty badly? Is it worthwhile to repair a leased vehicle?
The answer is: maybe. It all depends on a variety of factors.
Turning in a Damaged Leased Vehicle
When you signed the lease on your vehicle, you probably had a pile of paperwork to go through. Some of that paperwork gave you the stipulations (such as you have 12,000 miles per year that you can drive before incurring penalties), and others talked about returning the vehicle with more than normal wear and tear.
What that means is that a tiny ding, a scuffed windshield, and an underside that looks like it drove on Montana roads is just fine. But what if there’s more? In those cases, you may be assessed a penalty when you return the vehicle.
Here’s how to decide if you should take the penalty, or have the repairs done.
Time Until Returning the Vehicle
First, how long until your lease is up? If you have more than a few months, then it’s probably best to have damage repaired. This way you can ensure that it won’t become worse over time. Worsening damage (caused by rust and more) will end up costing you a whole lot more when you turn it in.
If you just have a few months until your vehicle is returned, then you have to decide based on what’s going to cost more.
Do Some Math
There are a few different factors that come into play when determining if a repair is worthwhile. You need to know is it going to cost more to turn it in damaged, or to have the repairs done.
Insurance Premiums – If you file a claim on your insurance, will your premiums go up? If you were the victim of a parking lot scrape, most likely not. If you haven’t filed a claim in the last 5 years, there’s a good chance you will have a bit of grace. You can call your insurance company and ask; they can’t penalize you if you’re just inquiring.
Cost of Repairs – Either out-of-pocket for small repairs, or your deductible if using insurance, the repairs are going to cost money at some point. After you get the quote from Big Sky Collision Center, or your insurance company for increased rates or deductible costs, you can then find out the penalty.
Cost of Penalty – Take the vehicle to your dealer (where you leased the vehicle from) and ask what the penalty would be to turn it in with its current condition. A dealer may be willing to work with you for a couple of reasons. First, small damage could fall under the wear and tear policy. Second, they may do the repairs in-house to avoid an insurance claim showing up on a CarFax report when they try to sell it.
Once you have all of the numbers, it’s just some simple math. Will the potential increased insurance rates and your deductible cost less than the penalty to turn in a damaged vehicle? Then have it repaired. If the penalty is less, then turn it in with the damage.
Big Sky Collision Center Makes Cars Safe Again
We’re not advocating that you drive around with a headlight dangling and a missing bumper; major damage like that needs to be repaired. But if you have a couple of door dings, some paint scrapes, or a cracked bumper, then you don’t need immediate auto body repairs, but you might want them.