Bmw dealers refusing lease end

Hi I’m located in SoCal and every single bmw dealership is refusing to accept my lease return because of Covid. Is there any dealerships that will accept a return? I am a frontline worker and will not be able to return to my originating dealership because it is too far.

I had a similar issue with Mercedes a few years back. Try a bigger dealership, they may care less.

Call BMWFS customer service and ask them to call a few nearby dealers to accept your lease return. I did it before.

I’m in the process of returning a BMW, as well, but luckily my local dealer (less than a mile away) didn’t give me any smack. My originating dealer is far away.

Any authorized dealer should accept it so call them back and let them know you’re dropping it off. It’s absolutely nonsense they don’t want to take it just because they don’t want to do paperwork or simply deal with it.

If they still say no, call BMWFS and let them know to call them.

Did you get the pre inspection and final inspection done, and if so, who did it?

BMWFS told me that dealers do both pre inspection and final inspection which I thought was weird. I’ve always been accustomed to a third party coming out to my house to inspect the vehicle and once that’s done I just grounded the vehicle at my nearest dealer…

I wonder if the dealer inspection mandate is due to COVID-19? I thought they’d use Auto-Vin, can anyone confirm, thanks.

Dealers have their genius team do lease end inspections and returns. It is quick and painless and well documented.

My guess is dealers are refusing returns because they’re tight on storage space. It is taking BMWFS a lot longer with COVID to get cars picked up and moved to auction, so unless it is a vehicle the dealer wants for their lot, they may push back.

I believe only the selling dealer is obligated to take it back, but historically any BMW dealer will ground a lease return because it is an opportunity to sell another vehicle…

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I literally just got back from my local dealer down the road for the “pre-inspection” which is basically a guy (prob from their genius team) who was older btw, walks around the car, checks tires, body and starts it up (looking for service or check engine lights)

He said, “you’re fine” you don’t have any charges, but it’s really not up to him I guess . He told me I could just call to make an appt to drop off the car when I was ready and after dropping it off (grounding it) apparently BMW does the “final inspection “

They would give me a receipt for the return, make me fill out the usual odometer statement etc …

He told me Autovin does it, as well, as I mentioned I was accustomed to having a third party company come out to me to do the inspection and then I would just turn it in. BMWFS last week told me the dealership does it now, so go figure…

Yep, as soon as I walked in and asked for the gentleman who does the “pre inspections “ the receptionist asked immediately if I had leased the car there and I said “Nope” . Was waiting for them to give me the usual “oh you need to go back to your original dealer” but I was ready to go bananas on them but luckily I didn’t have to explain that they’re obligated to take my lease return regardless of where I initially leased it from :blush:

Then I got caught up for a sec as I saw a 2021 dravit grey 750il come into the parking lot as it was getting delivered to the dealership and drooled over myself

Source? I have always thought it is a courtesy, not an obligation.

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I ran into this today when calling around asking for a lease return. Called 4 different LA area centers and all refused to do the return saying they have too much inventory already. Going to call BMWFS tomorrow and see what happens.



The language is there online under Lease Return. Something along the lines “Once you’re ready to return your BMW simply return to your nearest authorized BMW center”.

This has been discussed so many times across different brands. They have to take it back, but they just don’t want to deal with the time lost of having to store your car on their lot, fill out paperwork, while BMW comes to flatbed the car to auction.

Go and tell them you want to release another BMW from them and see how fast their tone changes . “Oh you leased this car from Mars?, sure we’ll take it back, we have plenty of storage out back”.

Just think about it logically. I lease a car in NY and move to Cali. Once the lease is near end, every single dealer in CA says, “nope, this car is from NY, sorry buddy but you’re going to have to take this car back cross country”. That would be a real crummy situation for anyone.

Just received a call , actually 3 calls from AutoVin …coming to my home on 01/04 to do the Pre Inspection on my X3 …hope I don’t have an issue getting rid of it right after …4th BMW and my LAST ! Just tired of driving basically the same car for over 12 years ! LOL

What matters is what the BMWFS lease agreement says.

Mine’s in a drawer 2,000 miles away or I’d check, but if I recall, it says (roughly) that at lease-end you’ll return it to a place designated by the lessor.

I talked to BMWFS today. They said that they are definitely NOT able to make any dealer other than where you originate take the lease return. This is very surprising and not all consistent with what they’ll tell you under normal circumstances obviously. But when push comes to shove, it’s just the originating dealer that is obligated to accept return.

Amazingly, when I called my originating dealer they were -also- unwilling to accept the return for another 2-3 weeks given they don’t have any staff to take it. Which is past my lease expiry. So I called BMWFS -again- and they said they are going to reach out to the originating dealer direct and see what’s up.

More to come…


Wow…makes you think twice about ordering OOS…

My BMW was first leased in Cleveland, transferred to NJ, and will be returned in Arizona in April. Called BMWFS today to confirm it can be turned into any BMW dealer. They confirmed. I asked what happens if they refuse to accept it. They said try 2 or 3 of them and if they give you a problem call us and we will see if we can convince them. I’m not shipping this back across the country to Cleveland, so I’ll be as persistent as it takes when April rolls around. I imagine motioning as if you’re going to lease another one there would help.

You showed up or called?

ask for free extension from BMWFS if your dealer still dragging its feet.

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There’s a few things going on here. This is from the SoCal area…

  • Most dealers are out of room. New car shipments are 3x at year end while the sales pace is not 3x higher. Some dealers renting expensive space just to store lease returns and trade ins.

  • There are many dealers in our area that are working with 50% of their usual staff due to covid. That’s a legitimate strain on operations and ability.

  • Residuals were high 3 years ago, and the buyouts on most models are high even with manufacturer assistance. So they aren’t gaining inventory which is good, they’re just doing more paperwork.

Our dealership has a 3 story building so we’re not out of space, and we can take lease returns no matter where they were purchased. Not every dealer has that ability, though, and I understand where they’re coming from.