General leasing questions related to value loss

I thought I understood this, but just wanted to make sure in case any of these issues pop up.

  • If I lease a vehicle, I’m protected from the potential downside if I end up in a car accident and even though the car is fixed, its value ends up lower due to CarFax, correct?
  • Related to this, even if I’m leasing a vehicle, if I do get into such a car accident, can I still sue the driver at fault for a diminished value claim? (I’m in VA so those types of claims are valid.)
  • If I decide to buy out a leased car that’s been in an accident at lease end, do I have any leverage to buy it at lower than residual value / payoff price?
  1. Yes as long as you fix the vehicle up to OEM specs before you turn it in.

  2. Yes, you have a residual that is now too high since you have a wrecked vehicle.

  3. You can always try to negotiate based on anything you would like. Some will, some won’t.

  1. Yes. Just about all leases these days have gap insurance built in. You sign the deal for a lease, pay nothing down, then a tree falls on your brand new car right after you put the pen down, you are out nothing except your insurance deductible. As far as fixable damage, as long as it passes end of lease inspection, you should be good.

  2. Not sure about this one.

  3. I’m gonna say no, but some leasing companies are willing to negotiate the buyout price regardless of accident history. Especially for EVs (except Ford Credit. They suck).

You don’t sue, you just request diminished value from the other driver’s insurance. Not sure if you can get it on a leased vehicle, but don’t see why not to try.

Since you are not the owner of the vehicle i don’t think you can sue for (or ask for) DV, that would be the vehicle owner, ie the leasing company.

Yeah, agree with @conanohasselhof. I thought about the same and now see why it would not work on a leased car - the owner would be eligible for DV.

I tried getting DV in my lease and was turned down because I didn’t own the car. If anything it would go to BMWFS.

Which is odd, because how would the lessor even know to go after it?

They didn’t. You don’t have to let them know.