Contract law | OLG on rescission of leasing contract

Contract law | OLG on rescission of leasing contract

Contract law | The Braunschweig Higher Regional Court has ruled in a judgment (case reference: 7 U 566/20) that the lessee is generally entitled to repayment of the leasing installments already paid when a leasing contract for a car is rescinded, whereas the lessor can demand compensation for use for the kilometers driven in the meantime.

In the specific case, a company as lessee sued for rescission of the leasing contract due to a defect in the leased vehicle and demanded repayment of the leasing installments paid. The defendant, for its part, claimed compensation for use and in this context claimed 0.67% of the new price per 1,000 km driven. This lump sum was based on a total mileage expectation of 150,000 km. The percentage factor had been entered by the brokering car dealership in a form provided by the defendant and signed by the plaintiff’s managing director when the vehicle was returned. Under the “Percentage factor 0.67%”, the form contained a further field “Compensation for use”, which the dealership had not filled in. The defendant was of the opinion that the percentage factor was bindingly determined by the signature of the plaintiff’s managing director.

However, the Braunschweig Higher Regional Court ruled that this agreement was not valid. The signed declaration is a general terms and conditions so that the regulations are subject to content restrictions and must be formulated clearly and comprehensibly. In the opinion of the OLG, the defendant had violated the transparency requirement pursuant to § Section 307 para. 1 P. 2 BGB by only filling in the “Percentage factor” field and not the “Compensation for use” field. This wording does not make it clear that it is the basis for calculating the compensation for use. Instead, the court used the “linear calculation method” to calculate the compensation for use, in which the purchase price of the vehicle is set in relation to the expected remaining mileage and multiplied by the actual mileage. Taking into account the statistical average for the vehicle in question, the court assumed a total mileage of 300,000 km, which led to a significant reduction in the claimed compensation for use.

Source of information: Press office of the Higher Regional Court of Braunschweig, press release dated 08.03.2022


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