Reading Time: 3 minutes

YOU might know a little bit about car leasing. You know that you lease a vehicle for a designated period, like two or three years, and you give it back at the end of that time.

You also might have a lease-to-own opportunity. This means at the end of the lease period, you have the option to buy the car, less the money you have paid during the lease.

If you have a company car, it works a bit differently. We’ll go over some differences between company cars and personal vehicle leasing right now.

What Happens if You Get in a Collision?

Some companies give you a vehicle as a perk. Often, you need to be a high-level executive to get a car. The company might offer you a flashy vehicle to court you if you’re on the fence about joining them versus a competitor.

If you get in a car wreck when you have a personally-leased vehicle, you’ll contact your insurance company after you check for injuries. If you were driving your company car when the accident happened, you’d need to call the company instead.

They will contact the insurance provider. From there, the steps will be similar. The insurance provider will reach out to you and ask you about what happened.

Regardless of whether the accident happened when you were in your personally-leased vehicle or the company one, be careful what you mention to the insurance provider over the phone. It’s best not to admit any wrongdoing, even if you think what took place was your fault. That statement can come back to hurt you later if the other driver brings a civil suit against you.

What About Vehicle Maintenance?

If you have a personally-leased vehicle, you’ll need to pay for things like gas, maintenance, and the various insurance policies your state requires. If you have a company car, the company will likely pay for all of that. If you need to get the car fixed, you bill the company, and they will take care of it.

Occasionally, you might work for a business where you need to handle car maintenance and so forth. That’s uncommon, though.

The reason the company usually pays for everything having to do with the car is that a company vehicle is a significant perk they won’t give to every employee. If they decided to give it to you in the first place, they’d probably think nothing of paying for repairs to keep you happy. They want to retain you as a worker.

Things You Can Do in a Personally-Leased Car You Can’t Do in a Company Vehicle

You should probably avoid certain activities in a company car that you might attempt in your personal vehicle. For instance, you may not want to take the company car on a cross-country trip to see some relatives.

The business you work for might stipulate that you should only drive the car around town. You certainly shouldn’t drive it over the border into Canada or Mexico. Your company won’t be too happy if anything happens to the vehicle while it’s on foreign soil.

You also won’t want to speed or do anything reckless in a company car. That’s not to say you want to do such things in your personally-leased vehicle either, but you should at least endeavor to take good care of a company car. Don’t smoke while you’re in, drip ketchup on the seats, or anything along those lines.

Can You Keep the Vehicle?

You should also understand that if you stop working for that company, you’ll almost always need to return the vehicle. It’s a perk, and you can’t keep it as part of a severance package in almost all circumstances where you and the company part ways.

You won’t have the option to buy it when the lease runs out, either. You can enjoy it while you have it, but at the lease’s end, you’ll have to give it back to the dealership, so don’t get too attached. On the bright side, if you’re still working for that company, they might allow you to trade it in and get a lease on a newer, fancier model.

You won’t ever get yourself a company car if you’re a grocery store clerk, but if you’re a CEO or something similar, you can probably expect to get yourself a high-end vehicle to drive around town. Make sure to take excellent care of it, and that goes for personally-leased cars as well.