Repairing body damage on leased BMW

I’m at the very beginning of a lease on a 320i and had my front bumper banged up while it was parked tranquilly on the street, minding its own business. It goes without saying that the offender left no note, so I’m on my own on this one.

This is my first lease, so I’m not sure the best route to go. Do I need to document the damage and repair? Do I need to go through a dealer to get the repairs made? Do I need to go through insurance––even if it may be cheaper to pay out of pocket at a non-authorized body shop? How can I ensure that the repairs are up to the standards required at lease turn-in?

I’m sure there are many other considerations that I haven’t thought of. What’s the best way to approach this––especially since I can imagine that the car will be dinged up many times more over the term of the lease?

I would find a local BMW indy and fix it out of pocket if it’s not too much.

Couple of things: Is the damage only cosmetic? Is it only to the plastic portion of the bumper and not the metal car body? Is the damage less than your deductible? If your deductible is $500 or less probably not. If it’s $1000 then it might be.

If you decide to get it fixed at a body shop I would not recommend using the one your insurance recommends. Go to maybe 4 or 5 places and pick the one that you like and tell them you’re taking it there.

One other piece of advice: if it’s early in the lease and it doesn’t bother you that much and you don’t want to bother with insurance - wait a year or two to have it fixed because most likely something else will happen 6 months or a year from now - from some other light scratches or chips to another accident or another car hits you, etc.

Also dealers don’t do body work, they recommend a body shop they deal with, or sub the work out to a body shop and mark it up. Very very few dealerships might actually have a body shop they actually own.

One other piece of advice: if you pay full price for a replacement bumper it will likely not come painted at all, and painting it will cost as much as the bumper if not much more. Rather than doing that find a used bumper in good condition with the exact same paint color. Many people even remove perfectly good bumpers to do styling upgrades and will sell their existing parts. This is actually better because it comes painted from the factory, not a body shop. This is assuming the underlying subframe and other bits aren’t damaged however.

Thanks, bfourey. The damage is cosmetic: some dings and a deep scrape on the plastic bumper.

I’ve worked with a body shop before that does excellent work, but my worry about not going through authorized BMW channels (and paying the huge markup—or having my insurance do so) is that the dealer could claim that the work wasn’t good enough at turn-in, regardless of the quality of the work. Is this something that actually happens?

Yes they can . Best is to repair at their facility via insurance, that way your insurance takes care that you get right price… Secondly if it’s less than 1000 or 500 your rate won’t be impacted as I have worked with actuaries and know a bit of formulas that goes in calculation of hikes …

Have you tried scratch x

Well if you file an insurance claim they might find out so probably best to cross your i’s and dot your t’s and find out where you should go. If you’re paying out of pocket they would never possibly know unless the work is horribly done or they’re getting out the magnifying glass.

This is a little off-topic, but since it was mentioned: Can my insurance rates go up here? Someone hit my car while it was parked and drove off!

Any time you file a claim with insurance, you risk the possibility of your rates going up on next renewal. It’s not a guarantee, but it’s not out of the ordinary either.

You can take it any where you want to fix it as long as the work is good. If you’re replacing the bumper just make sure it’s oem. If it’s small damage, under 1000, I would pay out of pocket unless you got one of those expensive insurance company w/ 0 deductible.

How annoying is this damage for you personally? You mentioned that you are at the very beginning of the lease. Can you continue to drive like this for the remainder of the term? You dont know what the future may bring. What if a year from now the same thing happens - you will pay again? Bumpers will eventually get scratches any way. I think it may be a better idea to think about that once you are at the end of your lease. May be you will have equity in the car and will be able to sell it without fixing, may be you will decide to buy the car at the end of the lease, etc.

Typically your rates will not go up for a not at fault accident claim. You would be responsible for your deductible. If you can live with the damage it will probably be cheaper to turn in with the damage. BMW will have a maximum charge per damaged part of the vehicle. A scratched bumper might be a few hundred (I do not know the exact amount). If your re leasing you might even get that amount waived by the dealer your buying from.

Hey man. I think that the best option for you is to go to the insurance company, I think that they should repair your car, if you have all the needed papers. I had an accident on my BMW too, and it was in a really bad shape. I couldn’t even start the engine. Fortunately, I have found a guide on how to jump start a car, and it worked. I went to the insurance company after that, and they have fixed everything.

I hit a board on the road in my leased 2015 Lexus GS. The board put a long dent and scrape on the 2 left doors of the car. I claimed the damage on my Geico insurance because it was well over the $500 deductible. The car was repaired at a non Lexus dealer but a very reputable shop that does good work. When the car was inspected and turned in at the end of the lease there was no issue. As long as the repair is done properly there shouldn’t be an issue at lease turn in. No matter where you get it repaired. If you use and independent shop, as I did, make sure they have a good reputation and do excellent work.

Also, If you use your insurance for the repair then you have some recourse if the repair is not done to your satisfaction. Most insurance companies guarantee the work done on their behalf. If it’s not done correctly then the ins. co. will step in to help make it right.

Don’t bump 2 year old threads