Many automakers' captive finance lenders are restricting off-lease buybacks by third parties amid the chip and inventory shortage, though a small number continue to give consumers and dealers flexibility.
"We are disappointed by policies that restrict a customer's ability to engage in the car buying and selling process that they desire," CarMax wrote in an email to Automotive News this month.
The national used-vehicle retailer said it keeps a running tally of such rules on its website and at its stores, and it recommended customers check with their lessor before trading in a leased model.
The company said it can't purchase a vehicle leased through: Nissan Motor Acceptance, Infiniti Financial Services, American Honda Finance, Southeast Toyota Finance, GM Financial, Ford Credit, Mazda Financial Services, Volvo Car Financial Services U.S., Lincoln Automotive Financial Services, Acura Financial Services, Hyundai Motor Finance, Kia Motors Finance and Mercedes-Benz Financial Services.
Mazda, however, said its captive finance arm does permit third-party lease buybacks, "per the terms of their lease agreement, without any other restrictions."
And Mercedes said customers could arrange a buyout by a third-party retailer.
"In terms of exercising the lease purchase option, Mercedes-Benz Financial Services does not provide quotes to non-franchise dealers," Daimler Mobility spokeswoman Melinda Mernovage wrote in an email. "However, a customer may request a purchase option quote at any time, and we will accept a payment on a lease purchase from any verified payment source."