Kurt Verlin
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If You Have a Lease, Honda and GM Want It Back

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If your lease of a Honda or GM vehicle is coming to an end, you won’t be able to sell it to just anyone willing to buy the car, as was the case in the past. Both automakers now require you to sell the vehicle back to them and they may soon be joined by others, including Toyota.

Why the change? Because of the global chip shortage and various other factors, automakers are unable to meet consumer demand for new and used vehicles. They’re in dire need of more vehicles to sell, so they don’t want you selling your leased car outside their network — but you can still buy the vehicle yourself if you so wish.

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“In this unusual market environment, our goal is to make sure our dealers have access to quality pre-owned Honda and Acura vehicles to satisfy the needs of new and returning customers. Customers continue to have the option to purchase their leased vehicle as indicated on their lease agreement,” said Petar Vucurevic, vice president of American Honda Finance Corporation.

GM was first to announce the change, on July 1, and Honda did the same a week later. Now, Toyota says it is reviewing its own policy. Ford won’t be changing its own, as it has no need — it already doesn’t accept third-party lease returns and hasn’t for years.

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Both Honda and GM stated the new policy would run through 2021, at which point it will be reassessed. For now, it will impact lessees hoping to make a quick-and-easy buck out of the equity in their car. Used car prices have skyrocketed in the last few months and many lessees have turned to third parties, such as Carvana and CarMax, to sell their vehicles for more than the buyout price that was agreed upon at the start of the lease term.

All that being said, lessees can still sell their vehicle to a third party — they just have to make the extra step to buy it themselves and take ownership of it first.