What to Do if Your Lease Expires During Coronavirus | Edmunds
|edmunds.com 25 Mar 2020 at 20:44|
With over 1 million car leases expiring in the coming months, many people face the question of how to safely handle their lease return or whether to return their vehicle at all as the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, pandemic continues.
What if you are in a high-risk group and don t want to leave your home? Or what if the dealership isn t open? Some states have enacted strict stay-at-home or shelter-in-place measures, limiting the sorts of businesses that are allowed to remain open. These measures have affected the sales departments at a number of car dealerships around the nation.
We contacted a number of the top automakers to see what steps they are taking to help people whose leases are ending soon. Those we couldn t reach, we collected the relevant statements from their financial services websites. Here are some of the responses we received or what automakers have posted on their websites. We ll continue to update this article as we learn more.
While we are seeing some automakers, such as Porsche, offer deferred lease payments, most lessees will have to decide between (1) turning their lease in and leasing or buying a new vehicle or (2) extending their existing lease for a fixed term or on a month-to-month basis.
You ll note that many automaker finance companies want customers to contact them directly by phone to discuss their options. Calling will take longer than usual since many customers have similar concerns, plus the companies are likely running lower-staffed call centers as part of national social-distancing recommendations. Keep this in mind and please be patient with call center employees who are trying to help.
Keep in mind that if you choose to extend your lease, you ll likely have to pay for another year of vehicle registration even if the extension is only for a month. This shouldn t make it a deal-breaker, but make sure to factor that into your calculations and check with your state Department of Motor Vehicles on exact fees.
The first thing to do is figure out how to safely return your leased vehicle. If you don t feel comfortable visiting a dealership, call to find out if the dealer is willing to pick the car up from you. Some companies, such as Mazda, are explicitly offering home pickup with the caveat that you ll be billed later for any costs assessed in the post-lease inspection process.
Whether you re dropping off in person or having your vehicle picked up, .
If you can t be without a car, you ll also need to arrange for your next vehicle. Check out our comprehensive guide to buying a car online , so you can minimize your time out of your house. We ve also collected a list of .
Once you ve selected your car and completed as much of the process online as possible, be sure to ask if the dealership can deliver the car to your door .
Audi Financial Services has released no statement but provides a number specifically for lease-end inquiries:
1-866-277-8191 , 8 a.m.-10 p.m. (EST) weekdays
BMW posted this short message on its website: "For those who have a lease expiring soon, contact a BMW Financial Services Customer Advocate to discuss your options."
BMW Financial Services: 1-800-578-5000
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, which includes Fiat, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram and Alfa Romeo, posted the following on the Chrysler Capital website: "If you need help or have questions regarding your Chrysler Capital account resulting from the coronavirus outbreak, you can reach us by phone. We have programs in place to help customers experiencing difficulty due to the impact of the virus. However, we also ask for your patience as higher than normal call volumes may result in longer wait times. We will get to your call as quickly as possible."
Chrysler Capital: 1-855-563-5635
Ford posted this short message on the Ford Credit website: "If you have been affected by COVID-19 or a natural disaster, access your Account Manager on the website. Or call a special hotline ... to discuss options."
Ford Credit coronavirus hotline: 1-800-723-4016
Genesis issued this statement in a news release: "To give current Genesis lessees options during these uncertain times, Genesis Finance has existing policies that allow customers to extend their lease. For example, if their lease term is coming to an end, and they are unable to acquire a new vehicle at this time, these options are available to all Genesis Finance customers, especially those impacted by COVID-19. We encourage Genesis Finance customers with lease maturities in the next 60 days to work with their retailer through email and/or phone to discuss their options."
Genesis Finance: 84-GENESIS-7 ( 844-363-7477 ), 8 a.m.-9 p.m. (EST) weekdays
General Motors, which includes Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC, posted this on its website: "One-month lease extension: If you are unable or choose not to return your vehicle, we will process a one-month extension to allow you additional time. No need to contact us — if we don t hear from you 10 days after your original termination date, we will automatically extend your lease for one month. You will receive notification at the address we have on file for you. Later, if more time is needed, we will work with you on a solution that meets your needs. Review the lease extension guidelines before deciding to extend your lease. Some dealerships may close portions of their operations or have limited store hours. Contact your local dealership for details."
GM Financial: 1-800-284-2271 or text "INFO" to 53721
Honda has said its solutions will differ case by case but is offering 10-day grace periods for some customers. The automaker didn t comment on what would happen outside the 10-day period, so make sure you stay in touch with the company. The phone number varies by state, so click the following link to , available 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (local time) weekdays
Hyundai released a statement saying, "Hyundai Motor Finance has existing policies that allow customers to extend their current lease, including those customers impacted by COVID-19. We are closely monitoring the news about coronavirus (COVID-19) and are intent on ensuring our customers and dealers are cared for during this global health crisis."
Hyundai Motor Finance: 1-855-463-5378 , 8 a.m.-9 p.m. (EST) weekdays
Lexus posted the following message on its Lexus Financial Services website: "If you’ve been affected by COVID-19 and would like to discuss payment relief options, please call us. As our team members work to support our customers, wait times may be longer than usual. If you prefer, you may contact us via our Support Center after logging into LexusFinancial.com."
Lexus Financial Services: 1-800-874-7050 , 8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays
Mazda is offering a choice between a six-month lease extension or a lease pickup at your home. The lease inspection will be conducted at a later time, so if there are any excess wear-and-tear fees, you d presumably be billed at that point. Arrangements should be made with Mazda s lease termination specialists.
Mazda Capital Services: 1-877-506-1198
Mercedes-Benz posted the following message on its website: "Our thoughts are with everyone impacted. If necessary, and when you are ready, please reach out to one of our qualified team members to discuss your situation. We are committed to assisting customers experiencing hardships. Our customer care centers remain open, but we ask for your patience as we are experiencing higher than normal call volumes and extended wait times."
Mercedes-Benz Financial Services: 1-800-654-6222
Nissan said, "For customers with expiring leases who might have difficulty going to a dealership due to a facility s closure or guidance by local officials, Nissan is offering a few options. This includes extending a current lease on a month-to-month basis until circumstances improve, facilitating the return at another nearby dealership, or even picking up the vehicle directly from the customer s home."
Nissan Motor Acceptance Corp.: 1-800-778-4211 , 8 a.m.-7 p.m. (EST) weekdays
Porsche issued this statement in a news release: "Porsche Financial Services is offering up to a six-month extension on lease contracts that are scheduled to mature through April 30, four months longer than the regular extension period, to give customers peace of mind that their mobility needs are secured."
Subaru told us, "We are working with lessees to extend their leases and will arrange to pick up the vehicle from their homes."
Subaru Motors Finance: 1-866-401-9743
Toyota posted this message on its Toyota Financial Services website: "If you’ve been affected by COVID-19 and would like to discuss payment relief options, please call us. As our team members work to support our customers, wait times may be longer than usual. If you prefer, you may contact us via our Support Center after logging into toyotafinancial.com."
Toyota Financial Services: 1-800-874-8822 , 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (local time) weekdays
Volkswagen told us: "Customers can login to their account and send a secure message to request to have their lease extended. Lease extensions up to six months are available. At the moment, at-home lease turn-in is not available."
Volkswagen Financial Services: 1-800-521-0171 , 8 a.m.-8 p.m. (EST) weekdays
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