Leased Mini Cooper Totaled (Not my fault) Do I negotiate?

Hey there,

I got rear-ended Dec 26th 2020. The other person’s insurance has been slow-moving I only got a rental car two days ago and finally got the estimate for the damages of my car today.

I had called my dealership to check if they could get the inspection of my car done while it’s there since my lease ends in March and they said they definitely could and that they had just finished the estimate of the car repair and it came down to about 15K which they were going to notify the insurance about.

A few hours later I got an email from the insurance company that said:

We will pay for the total loss of your vehicle:

$17570.00 Actual Cash Value (ACV)

$1669.15 tax at 9.5%

$67.00 Vehicle License Refund (VLF)

$19,306.15 Total amount payable, with XXX Insurance Company Retaining the salvage of the vehicle. First dollar does go to the lease company. We do need your lease company payoff department contact information along with your account number ASAP. So we can secure the final number and a Letter of Guarantee for payment.

You will need to secure your personal items form the vehicle and advise the shop you are releasing the vehicle to XXX Insurance, so we can move it to a storage free location.

We will only be able to provide the rental an additional 5 days.

The residual value of my car is currently $14,590 and next month is my last payment.

I’m confused because my dealership said the cost would be 15K but here I’m seeing 17K. I’m assuming “First dollar does go to the lease company” means the 17K would go to my leasing company. Would the $1669.15 and $67 go to me? Could I just purchase the broken (though not that broken) vehicle for $15K and keep the rest of the fundsc for a new car? Confused as to why my dealership didn’t mention it being totaled and seemed on board with moving forward with the repairs.

Also wondering should I negotiate for a higher amount with this insurance company? I was left without a car until 2 days ago and now they’re saying I can only have it for another 5 days. Wondering if I should negotiate a higher rate to cover the days I’ve been without a car and the days I will continue to be without a car (will probably have to get some Uber/Lyfts). Also, wondering if I should negotiate for them to pay for my car registration that is due.

Basically want to make sure I’m getting the best deal I can get. I will also need a new lease, hoping with the same dealership, so trying to make this all work in my favor.

Thanks in advance!

that sucks that you’re Mini got totally (and presumably that you’re ok).

But get your dealer payoff amount from the bank- that’s what the insurance company is asking for and how you will see if there’s positive equity for you. The RV applies when you ground the lease at term. You won’t have to pay the last payment if you get it grounded and paid off now (before last payment).

The dealership sounds like they said that it would cost $15k to repair it, but insurance is valuing it at $17.6k.

Whatever your dealer payoff is- that’s what the insurance $ will go to. Any remaining balance should go to you.

Insurance company isn’t going to pay for your registration that is coming due- you don’t need to pay it either.

That sounds like a pretty good deal regardless. So get your dealer payoff amount to confirm.

You could also sue for diminished value, Although depends on what the car is worth prior to the crash.
They deny this alot but then you just file a small claims court case against the person who hit you, Who will turn that over to the insurance who will pay you.
You got hit don’t let them railroad you into signing off …

If the insurance company is offering more than the payoff with 1 month left, it’s not worth the prolonged headache IMO. Take the positive equity and more on.


There wouldn’t be diminished value on a total loss. DV is when the car is repaired and now the value is lower than pre-repair. Insurance is already awarding value of car as if it was not wrecked. That is how a total loss works.


Think of it this way, if you weren’t planning on getting another product from the same brand, now you’re dodging disposition fee :grin:

Glad to hear OP is okay :ok_hand:


Thanks so much for your responses. @calbear-- the $14,590 is the dealer payoff amount that was given to me by my dealership. Is that what you mean? They said that that is what I would have to pay if I were to buy the car. Is there another number I should be looking for? The guys at the collision center had separately told me it would cost around 15K for the repairs.

Also, should I call Mini and make sure I would get the remaining balance? I’ve heard that some dealerships choose to keep the remaining balance though if they are hoping to get keep me as a customer that would be a strange move. I am considering leasing another Mini through them. I just wonder how common that is.

Also–does the limited 5 days left with the rental car seem reasonable? I haven’t had a car since Dec 26th because they’ve been so slow-moving, so I’m surprised they are being so strict with how long they are willing to give me this loaner for…considering negotiating for more time with the loaner as I figure all of this out, though feels like I need to move quickly to keep the numbers where they are.

thanks again.

Actually was just sent this from the dealership. They aren’t aware that I got into the accident I’m realizing (they have their own collision center that I figured would transfer the info) so this is the breakdown I was given. Seems like $16,374.49 is the actual price which I’m assuming would be the same price given to me in the situation I’m currently in? Screen Shot 2021-01-22 at 10.16.43 AM|690x491

Tax would be owed, but not the fees (well, unless the finance company has a buyout fee, which is possible, but certainly not DMV). Your purchase would be from the finance company who owns the vehicle, not the dealership. Insurance will find out how much is owed to finance and send them that check, then send you any remaining balance.

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The dealer payoff may be different from your personal payoff. Some banks like Audi FS will not disclose the dealer payoff to the lessee- only the non-branded dealership can get that quote.

So you would need to have the insurance company find out what that exact amount is.

If they are buying out your car, then IMO, 5 days rental car is pretty standard.

At this point, the car is done with. You should be just trying to tie up the loose ends as quickly as you can and get into whatever your next ride will be. Don’t let the existing dealer hold you back- figure out what you want and then, get to work on finding a deal that you’d be happy with.

If it’s the same brand- maybe your existing dealership may want to provide you with a loyalty discount, but if you didn’t get a unicorn type deal before or have an amazing sales experience, keep your eyes open.

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If you traded in the car what’s it worth?

You should personally sue who hit you for the rental car,.