My Lease Car Has Been Stolen – What Do I Do?
Has your leased car been stolen? Thousands of cars are stolen each year in the UK and sadly there have been many instances when a leased car has also been stolen.
According to Home Office stats, there were 111,999 cars stolen in 2017-18, up from 75,308 in 2013-14 – an increase of 48.7% in just 5 years. Experts say that this is due to criminal gangs hacking keyless systems and reduced policing. Although there are many things you can do to protect yourself against the theft of your leased vehicle, but as the stats show there is always a chance you might find yourself falling victim to vehicle theft, so what do you do if it does one day happen?
Our brief guide for those whose leased vehicle has been stolen …
With leasing, you never actually own the vehicle, therefore it’s the leasing company who own the car that was stolen. If your leased vehicle does get stolen, here’s the steps we suggest to take:
#1 Call the police. First and foremost, although it might seem obvious, you should call the police and report the theft, providing them with all the details of your lease car, from model and colour to your vehicle registration licence number. The police will then provide you with a crime reference number and start investigating the crime. You should make a note of all your vehicle details if your vehicle has been stolen.
#2 Call your insurance company. Once you’ve reported the crime to the police and informed your leasing company, you will need to contact your insurance provider, as they will be paying for the car if the car is not recovered. Every contract hire vehicle must be covered by fully comprehensive motor insurance. If your lease car is officially confirmed as stolen / non recoverable, or is found but declared a write off, your insurance provider will liaise with the lease company to discuss settlement of the agreement. During this process your insurance provider may also be able to supply you with a courtesy vehicle for you to use in the meantime, but this is not always offered as it can depend on your insurance policy. Thereafter, as long as the insurance company pay out covers the amount required by the leasing company to settle the agreement, this should enable you to start again with a new contract. It is also important to remember to maintain your lease rental payments in the interim up until the point that the agreement is settled.
#3 Call your leasing company. Again,it’s important that they know that the lease car was stolen. Keep in mind that they will continue to charge you the usual monthly rental fee until the issue is deemed resolved. This is where the finance company and insurance provider come together to discuss a potential settlement, and once the amount is agreed, you will get a confirmation that the issue has been settled. However, if the leasing company and insurance provider fail to meet an agreeable valuation, and it falls short of the settlement figure, you are legally and financially responsible for paying the financial shortfall between the agreed amount paid by your insurance company and the amount require to end the contract. You can protect yourself against this by taking a GAP insurance policy (Guaranteed Asset Protection) – ask one of our Account Managers for more information.
This is why we recommend all our leasing customers to be covered by GAP insurance, potentially saving you a lot of money in the process.
Check out our video on how Guaranteed Asset Protection insurance works and why you need to consider it for any leased vehicle.
If you would like to speak with an Account Manager about arranging a new lease car to replace your stolen one – give us a call on 01273 433480 or request a callback today. See our prices below!
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