Had an accident in a leased car? Here's what to do


Had an accident in a leased car? Here's what to do

Let's face it, accidents happen whether they are your fault or not, but if you've had an accident in a leased car, what do you do?

The first thing is not to panic, and there's lots of help available should you be involved in an accident.

It's important that you follow the law and here, the Tilsun Leasing team offer some advice and guidelines if you should be involved in an accident while driving your contract hire car.


What to do if your leased car is involved in an accident

If you are involved in an accident while driving a leased car, you must:

  • Not fail to stop or fail to report an accident if it involves you
  • If someone is injured, or property is damaged then you may be breaking the law by driving off
  • As the driver involved, you must remain at the scene under the Road Traffic Act 1988
  • If someone has reasonable grounds for asking for your car details, you must give them.

The details to give someone, including a police officer, after an accident include your name and address, the vehicle registration number, and the vehicle owner.

This last point is important because if these details are not exchanged at the scene of the accident, then you will need to report the accident to a police constable or at a police station as soon as possible, but certainly within 24-hours.

What to do if someone is injured in an accident

Should the accident you are involved in while driving a leased car lead to someone being injured, then you need to follow these rules:

  • If someone is injured, or an animal or property has been damaged, you must stay at the scene of the accident
  • If someone has reasonable grounds to ask for your certificate of insurance, then you must give it to them
  • Should someone believe you are responsible for the accident, they can ask for your insurance information
  • Failing to provide your vehicle insurance without a reasonable excuse will be an offence.

Should you not have your certificate of insurance to hand, or access to the details, you can take it within seven days of having the accident to a police station.

You can also report having had an accident as well.

Should you not stop after an accident, then you face a fine of £5,000 and the potential of up to 10 penalty points on your licence for either failing to report or failing to stop.

There's also a chance of being disqualified from driving and six months imprisonment.


What to tell your car insurance provider

You also need to tell your car insurance provider of the accident within a reasonable time - even if you do not intend making a claim.

Failing to tell an insurance company about an accident may invalidate your cover.

It's worth noting though that if you decide to pay for vehicle repairs rather than claiming from an insurance company, then you don't have to submit a claim.

What you must do when you have a car accident

There's an established procedure of what you must do when you have a car accident, whether you are at fault or not.

It's important that you collect as much detailed information as possible, including notes and photographs while at the scene.

This is a great opportunity to use a camera to record images and video of the accident. You will need to:

  • Take note of the time and date
  • The location and address of the accident
  • Describe the traffic and weather conditions
  • Take pictures of traffic signals, road signs or road markings
  • Make a note of the other vehicles including any accident damage, colour, registration number as well as the make and model
  • Detail the estimated speed(s) at the time of the accident
  • Draw a map showing the direction of each vehicle
  • How many people have been involved in the accident?
  • Collect details of everyone involved including witnesses, pedestrians and passengers.

Finally, while you are taking notes and photographs, it's worth asking a friend or a bystander to take photographs of the damaged vehicles and of any property, plus of any injuries to those involved.


How will an accident affect my car lease?

Everyone who drives a car knows that accidents happen, and this will be an excepted part of leasing a vehicle.

You will need to follow the rules of the finance company and have repairs carried out.

Once these repairs are complete, you'll be back behind the wheel and there will no further issues.

You should also discuss with the insurance finance company about the possibility of having a courtesy car for when your vehicle is off the road.

When you have an accident in a leased car

Essentially, when you have an accident in a leased car, you need to remain calm, record as much information as possible, ask witnesses for their details and get in touch with your leasing company as soon as possible.

The friendly team at Tilsun Leasing will be able to offer more advice, should you need it, on 03330 040 888.

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Lex Autolease
Leasing Broker Federation

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