MediaNews Group / Reading Eagle via Getty Images
- A report by USA Today told the story of several expiring lease customers who had problems returning vehicles to dealers during the corona virus pandemic period .  Some dealers would not take the vehicles unless the customers had leased a new one, while others simply said they had no space for other vehicles.
- Many automakers have offered lease extensions and deferrals for leases.
As it turned out, automakers that gave customers the option to extend the lease by one month during the Coronavirus pandemic were more than a gesture of good faith – many dealers don't want the cars back at the moment. A report by USA Today found 10 people with expired leases who, when returning their vehicles to the dealership, found out that the dealer would not take them with them or that it would be difficult to return them.
Several customers have said that if they rented another they could return their vehicle. The resounding message, however, was that the dealer lots were full and that they had no place to park the returned leased vehicles. Customers said they had problems with dealers of BMW, Volkswagen, Kia and Lexus vehicles.
Space is not only a problem for dealers, but also the value of a used and previously leased vehicle. The wholesale value of a used car is currently the lowest in years. If a customer returns a vehicle now, the dealer – or automaker – is likely to accept a greater loss than expected as the value of used vehicles decreases. However, if the customer holds the lease longer, the value can go up and the losses can go down.
Many automakers offer lease extensions or deferrals to protect customers in cars and from missing payments. In addition, automakers offer great incentives to get people to continue buying cars despite the COVID-19 pandemic that has strangled the economy.
New car sales declined in the first quarter of the year. In March alone, sales declined by around 35 percent due to the spread of COVID-19 and the closure of non-essential business areas. Nonetheless, JD Power expects sales to bottom in April and predicts an increase in sales in the coming months.