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What Happens If You Total a Leased Car?

Posted By Aguirre Law | December 13 2023 | Car Accidents, Firm News, Personal Injury

Leasing a car has its advantages. You can drive a new vehicle at a low monthly payment with minimum maintenance costs. You can also easily trade a leased vehicle for a new one when your lease terminates.

But, what happens if you total a leased car? Before you decide to lease or purchase a vehicle, read the following information about the consequences of totaling a leased car.

If you or your loved one were in an accident while driving a leased car, speak with an experienced San Antonio personal injury attorney regarding your accident and the lease terms.

What Happens If You Total a Leased Car?

If you total a leased car, you or another party may be liable for the fair market value of the leased vehicle. Any lease payments beyond the vehicle’s fair market value will be your responsibility.

Why am I Liable for the Lease Payments? 

Leased cars are not your property. They are the property of the leasing company. You pay for the privilege of driving the car for the lease term.

While many leases have a buyout option upon the expiration of the lease term, you have no acquired interest in the leased vehicle. A lease is not a “rent to own” contract.

The leasing company requires that you return the car in good condition. Otherwise, you must pay for vehicle replacement or repairs.

Some leasing companies make you buy additional insurance coverage for leased cars, such as gap coverage and property damage. These may help to pay for damages outside of regular insurance coverage.

What are Texas’s Minimum Car Insurance Requirements?

Texas’s minimum liability car insurance requirements apply to leased and owned vehicles. Liability insurance only pays for damages you cause another person in an accident.

Texas’s liability minimums are as follows:

  • $25,000 in property damage to another person’s vehicle;
  • $30,000 in bodily injury for one person in an accident;
  • $60,000 in bodily injury for two or more people in an accident

You can purchase additional coverage to replace or repair a vehicle when you cause an accident. This is called collision coverage. Comprehensive coverage is optional to pay for vehicle damages not caused by a car accident.

There is another type of insurance called gap coverage. Gap insurance covers the difference between a vehicle’s value and the insurance coverage for that vehicle

Anytime you consider leasing a vehicle, check with your insurance agent to ensure you protect yourself from unseen expenses in the event of a severe accident.

If you are in a Texas car accident, have a copy of your policy when you meet with your attorney

Contact an Experienced San Antonio Car Accident Attorney Today

Car accidents are stressful, and the aftermath of a serious crash can be overwhelming. If you are worried about handling the insurance company and leasing company on top of your physical injuries, call The Aguirre Law Firm, PLLC.

You can meet with an experienced San Antonio car accident attorney at no cost to discuss your circumstances and have your questions answered honestly. The Aguirre Law Firm, PLLC, has represented accident victims for two decades and has the knowledge and resources to tackle your legal issues.

You can rely on The Aguirre Law Firm, PLLC! We are ready to fight for you!

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