Some drivers who have expiring car leases say they’re being told they can’t bring vehicles back because there’s nowhere to put them.
Dealerships and banks are offering -- and in some cases pressuring -- people to extend the leases on their vehicles because they just don’t have the storage space to keep any more cars.
Sales of new and used cars have declined massively, creating a surplus.
But just like you couldn’t keep a car beyond the term of your lease, banks can’t force you to keep one beyond the lease expiration.
Experts say, don’t panic if you find yourself in this situation. A lease is a contract, so while you have responsibilities, so does the bank that owns the car.
A person leasing a car can’t be forced to keep a vehicle if the lease has expired.
Attorney Robert Starr specializes in car litigation and says if your lease is up and the bank or dealership is refusing to take the vehicle back, you still have responsibilities while it’s in your possession like registration and insurance.
But you should send a certified letter to the bank making clear the lease term has expired and your objection to being forced to keep the vehicle.
“And say, ‘Look, I don’t want the car anymore and I don’t want to be responsible for it and you need to take it back. If you refuse to take it back you will be responsible for any of my damages.' So even if they don’t make you continue making lease payments if you are continuing to insure the car, pay to have it parked, keep it registered -- any of those damages you are absolutely entitled to recovery from.”
Until a proper exchange of the vehicle has taken place, registration and insurance protects you in case anything happens.