Consumers are delaying their off-lease returns as COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders have shuttered dealership doors and limited consumer movement. Some auto lenders, such as Chase Auto, are allowing consumers to automatically extend their lease up to six months if they continue making monthly payments.
An estimated 251,000 leases delayed returning to market in March out of 414,000 that were scheduled to mature, according to JD Power. Another 275,000 are expected to delay in April out of 348,000 set to expire. All in, the industry could experience a total of 525,000 pent-up sales in “May and beyond.”
Between May and July an additional 1.07 million lease contracts are scheduled to mature.
Thomas King, president of data and analytics at JD Power, told Auto Finance News on Monday that the federal shelter-in-place directives may mean those lessees will not take out new leases or will extend their existing leases in greater-than-usual numbers. President Donald Trump on Sunday extended the nationwide shelter-in-place directive to April 30.