There have been a host of articles lately discussing auto lease turn in issues many leasees are facing in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis gripping the community. Many dealers are flat out refusing to take back many leases, or only giving buyers the option to extend their lease for another couple months, at the owners expense, rather than take back the lease. There is an excess amount of inventory on the market, creating a problem for the dealers, as they face floorplan and loan covenants they are close to breaking, due to weakened demand for new and used auto sales. With the country set to possibly start reopening May 1st, hopefully the dealers will begin to start taking back their leases soon.
The saga of car leases expiring during the coronavirus pandemic has ensnared Jenna Figueroa.
Forced to work from her home in Southern California and driving less, she said she planned to share her husband’s car and return her leased Kia Sportage SUV. The week before the lease was set to end on April 11, Figueroa said, she called the dealership from which she leased the car to schedule a time to drop it off.
“They told me they didn’t have any spaces available because their lot is full,” said Figueroa, 34, who works for a hotel management company in Orange County. “They told me the only way I could do a lease return was if I leased a new car. They literally told me that was the only option I had.”
Figueroa called Kia Motors Finance, and a representative told her the dealership must take the car back and agreed to call the dealership on her behalf.
“When (the representative) came back on the phone with me, she said the (dealership) manager hung up on her so she didn’t know what to do,’’ said Figueroa, who provided copies of her email correspondence with the dealership and said she called two other Kia dealerships that refused to accept her lease return.
This is only a small example of the cases that are starting to flood in of lease turn in issues.