Dealing with damage to a leased vehicle
April 2, 2011 6:49 PM   Subscribe

How to deal with minor cosmetic damage to a leased vehicle?

A year ago I leased a new 2010 Honda Civic. Yesterday my girlfriend - who is on my insurance policy as an additional driver - got into a minor fender-bender with another driver (completely my girlfriend's fault) resulting in some cosmetic damage to the front grille. The other driver's vehicle was undamaged and he was in a rush (did not appear to be the uninsured type, according to her), so they did not exchange info.

I'm not at all sure what to do in this situation because I've never leased before - am I supposed to contact Honda, who technically own the car? My insurance company? Can I just quietly get the damage repaired? I caused a very similar accident years ago, which resulted in about $500 of cosmetic damage, and I only just got those points off my policy so I'm worried about the effect this could have on my insurance costs., etc.
posted by Ryvar to Law & Government (4 answers total)
Best answer: This happened to me last year. Just get the damage repaired. The company doesn't care all that much what happens during your lease, just so long as they get it back in one piece. You have signed a contract saying that you'll keep the vehicle in good condition, so don't just let it go, but you probably aren't under any obligation to notify anyone other than your insurer and mechanic.

You can always read the terms of your lease to be sure. Should probably do that anyway.
posted by valkyryn at 7:08 PM on April 2, 2011

Just get it repaired. If it's really just cosmetic, like a broken grille or something, just get a new one cheap and install it.
posted by sanka at 7:38 PM on April 2, 2011

Yep - handle it just as you would if you owned it. Technically, that's the right thing to do, and I can't guarantee you wouldn't get dinged (so to speak) if you turned it in with some damage, but this thing where the leasing companies supposedly go over it with a fine tooth comb is a bit of a myth. Typical wear and tear, scratchs and dings, etc. - usually the dealer who takes it back doesn't really care, because it's not their car. It belongs to the leasing company, who may never literally see it again. On the truck it goes, to be sold cheap at an auction, just like any other used car.
posted by randomkeystrike at 7:47 PM on April 2, 2011

If you leased the vehicle through Honda, they'll cover up to $1500 worth of damages. Call your dealer and see if they charge to give you a verbal estimate at how much the damage would be to repair and take it from there.
posted by andrewcilento at 1:53 PM on April 18, 2011

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