Bmw dealers refusing lease end

Did you give them the VIN for your car? If there is an accident history or just poorly optioned, I could see why they would not want it. When I worked for BMW, we wouldn’t take lease turn ins with severe damage history or poorly optioned for our location (i.e. no heated seats or RWD) if the lease didn’t originate with us.

And as @Mike_Ezginder said, just ask for a lease extension. It will not be free, but BMW will give you a 1 to 3 month extension without any problems and you can schedule your turn-in in advance.

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BMWFS cannot make a dealer do anything! I am not sure who suggested this but I have dealt with BMWFS many times in regards to complaints about my local dealer. BMWFS can only make a suggestion to the dealer since the dealer is independently owned and operated. The only BMW dealer that I know of that is directly owned by BMW is BMW of Manhattan, and even them BMWFS has no say in making that dealer do anything either. The only thing BMWFS can do is provide a call to the dealer to try and nudge them. The dealer does not have to accept and does not have to call you back or explain anything. BMWFS is pretty much useless in regards to dealerships.

It will cost you a full year of DMV registration

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What does one do if you can’t find a dealer to ground the car? Seems a bit ridiculous if BMW has no way to get a leased car back to them.

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I had not thought about that. I would try hard to turn it before registration is due, especially in Cali where you may easily be out ~$500…

When I turned in my Jaguar in the spring, they came to my house and picked it up. Similar situation, no dealers were accepting returns and AutoVin wasn’t inspecting. Actually worked out well for me as I managed to dodge a charge for bald rear tires (may have been a fluke).

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Don’t call ahead. Just show up with a smile and a nice bottle of scotch.


Update: BMWFS called me back to say they spoke to the originating dealer, and apparently now all I need to do is just show up there and they will accept the return any time I want. BMWFS extended my lease for a week gratis as a grace period also, so I shouldn’t pay anything here. Going to see what happens this weekend…it’s a 90 minute drive out there.


Did you ask if you could return it somewhere closer?

Wow…how generous of them. You get to drive 90 minutes to turn your car in when there are dealers closer. I thought manufacturers were trying to make every store the “same.” Hence, the BMW of (Blank) instead of having a real name on the dealership. Seems like they only want the dealer to be your neighborhood dealer as long as they are selling the car, but not taking it back.

“Hi I’d like to schedule my lease turn in and a meeting with a salesperson to get into a new BMW.”


When I turned in my Audi a few weeks ago I didn’t even need to make an appointment, just showed up, said I have a lease return, and I was on my way in about 10 mins.

I would be tempted to try the same thing at a few of the closer BMW dealers before I drove 1.5 hrs out of my way. Worst they can do is say no.


Exact same scenario last week with my Audi lease return. They actually seemed annoyed when I tried calling them beforehand and just told me to show up.

No issues there.

Worried about this too - turned in my BMW lease on the 30th. Ended up sitting in my car in the service garage for 40 minutes waiting for the least inspector to come out. It was always ‘10 more minutes.’

Even though at pre-inspection they told me it was going to cost $300 disp. fee and $300 for a scuffed rim, I didn’t get charged for anything. Plus they paid for lyft lux to get me home. Hoping I don’t get a check in the mail but who knows. Was 2k under my mileage but doubt that had any bearing on it.

Wait, why were you waiting for the lease inspector? Aren’t you supposed to just drop off the car?

That’s what I thought was supposed to happen. Told them I had a pre-inspection done but they wanted me to wait to have someone take a look at it.

That’s odd. Didn’t have that issue at all with Audi. And never really heard this about other leases.

Final update: I returned the car by driving to the originating dealership.

I did first pull into my local dealer unannounced. They rejected me swiftly, though politely. They explained that as a policy matter (dating back to pre-covid times) they no longer accept lease returns they didn’t originate. Specifically they said that once BMWFS stopped requiring them to, they didn’t need to in order to run a good profitable dealership, so they stopped accepting lease returns.

During my 90 minute drive to the originating dealer I passed two other BMW centers, and in real-time called both from the freeway. Neither was willing to accept the return.

When I got to the originating center, despite being told by BMWFS to just show up, they first tried to tell me that I’d have to come back because I didn’t have an appointment. When I dropped the GM’s name who BMWFS spoke with, they said give me a minute, came back and took the return. It was all of ten minutes. They did not have an inspector there at the time, so they just took custody of the car and said they will have Autovin come inspect later since I didn’t do a pre-inspection at my house.

This experience is of course not what they promise when you lease, that you can return to any BMW center. In reality, it’s only at the originating center where it’s truly your option. Any given center can refuse to accept you, any time. I’d be sympathetic to all this given the covid thing, but it’s pretty clear to me that in SoCal the dealers are generally moving to only accept their own leases irrespective of the pandemic. I literally spoke with 8 different centers to try and find someone closer who’d take the damn car.

While BMWFS was actually pretty great on the phone, it took me something like twelve phone calls between different dealerships and BMWFS, plus then a full weekend afternoon with three hours of drive time, to do a simple lease return. And at this point I expect despite the car being immaculate they’ll try to hit me with some bogus charges. This is a pretty terrible customer service experience.

I will not be leasing another BMW.


The inconvenience is unfortunate.

Are you saying that you spoke to someone at BMW Financial Services before you signed the lease, and they told you that you could return it at any BMW dealer, and that’s what your contract says?

Check your lease agreement. The one I signed in 2019 says this:

If you are relying on what you were told by the dealer at the time you initiated the lease, well, they have no power to verbally modify the terms of the agreement between you and the leasing bank.

I am looking through my contract to see where this is stated but no luck… Can you point it out since I am genuinely curious given your experience… Did BMW promise or was your originating dealer a little bold in their statements?

The only meaningful thing I did find was on BMWs lease end site…

“Please note that the only BMW Center required to accept return of your vehicle is the BMW Center where the contract originated.”