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Honda's the latest to refuse lease buyouts to rivals, following GM's lead

Want to sell your Honda lease to Carvana, Vroom, CarMax or any other rival dealer? Tough luck.

Hondas and Acuras must go back to a Honda or Acura dealer, and that's final.
Jon Wong/Roadshow

The days of turning in your leased Honda or Acura to a rival dealership or third-party company are over. Honda on Thursday announced it will no longer work with rivals when it comes to returning or buying out leased vehicles. All Honda and Acura vehicles must return to a proper Honda or Acura dealership. This move leaves Carvana, Vroom, CarMax and rival brands off the table.

Honda's move comes amid the global semiconductor chip shortage and the automaker's vice president of American Honda Finance Corporation said in a statement, "Our goal is to make sure our dealers have access to quality preowned Honda and Acura vehicles to satisfy the needs of new and returning customers." Essentially, Honda wants first dibs on off-lease vehicles since inventory for new and used cars remains tight.

This move also comes as used car prices skyrocket due to high demand for vehicles as pandemic restrictions continue to ease across the US. Numerous lessees turned to third parties, like Carvana and others, to make a quick buck on vehicles worth more than their agreed-upon lease buyout prices. Honda's policy puts an end to that as well. To be clear, Honda and Acura lessees are still free to pull the lever and buy out their lease with either brand at any time, but a rival brand or company is no longer permitted.

Honda is the latest to invoke this kind of policy, following General Motors and GM Financial. As of July 1, the US automaker and its finance arm also won't work with rivals when it comes to lease returns and buyouts. Like GM, Honda said it will reevaluate the policy next year.