Several hundred thousand cars are stolen each year. And though there are things you can do to make auto theft less likely, there’s always a chance that you may one day find yourself a victim.
When dealing with a stolen leased car, the leasing company technically owns the car that was stolen. That often raises some questions about what exactly a lessee should do if their car is stolen.
If your leased vehicle does get stolen, here are the steps you should take:
- Call the police. Dial 9-1-1 and report the theft. The police will want to know all identifying details, from model and color to license plate and Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). Because you won’t have the stolen leased car to read the numbers from, you need to have such information written down and carried with you in your wallet or purse or saved on your phone.
- Call your insurance provider. This is the company that will be paying for the car if it’s not recovered. It’s important to have the right insurance; with a stolen leased car, you’ll probably have gap insurance to cover the full value of the car. Personal items that were in the car but not covered by auto insurance may be covered instead by your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance.
- Call the leasing company. They need to know that the car they own was stolen.
- Find another car. If the stolen leased car is not found within 30 days (or is found, but totaled), the insurance will pay the leasing company for the car. That means your lease is over, and you’re free to start a new lease on a different car.
One way to replace a car that gets stolen mid-lease is to take over the lease on a car with similar terms. That way you’re not committing to an extended lease period and don’t have the higher monthly payments that might come with leasing a brand-new car. To learn more about taking over a car lease, please contact us at Swapalease.com.
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