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Can diminished value be claimed on a leased car in California?

by Jennifer

Can i claim DV on a leased car in CA? ive been told no by three different lawyers and

I have a 2008 Honda civic leased with american honda, 11K in damage, appraised at $7500 by the honda dealer. I owe 15K its worth around 13-14K as of right now. around 12500 @ auction.

If i cant claim one, can i sue the driver that caused the accident? (he was a teenager, driving his parents i should beable to sue both... CA allows small claims to sue for up to 7500 dollars)

all i want is to go sell this car/trade it off i dont feel safe driving a car thats been wrecked pretty badly from the front and i also do not want to be responsible for the excessive wear and tear come the end of my lease term.

Any insight to this would be helpful!


No. We do not believe you can make that claim. Your attorneys are the better source as they have all the facts and circumstances of your claim.

DV is allowed against third parties if they are liable. You must have standing to have this claim, meaning that you must be the owner of the vehicle. Since you are not the owner (it is a leased car, the owner is the leasing company), you are not likely able to have standing to make this claim.

This is unfortunate because it leaves people like you in a very bad spot.

We hope this helps,

Please see our notes on DV here:

Good Luck,

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