Customers who are leasing a Tesla from April 15, 2022, should know they no longer have the option to buy the vehicle at the end of the lease contract.
The EV maker has updated the language on its website in the section dedicated to lease-end options under the "Eligibility" chapter as follows.
• All Tesla vehicles delivered on or after April 15, 2022 are not eligible for purchase.
• Third-party dealerships and third-party individuals are not eligible to purchase leased vehicles.
Mind you, the decision does not apply to users who signed a lease contract before April 15, 2022. They will still be able to buy the vehicle when their lease is over, although a purchase fee of $350 applies to cars delivered after April 13, 2019.
If you leased your vehicle before April 15, 2022, you may be eligible to purchase your leased Tesla. Review your lease agreement to see if you qualify.
For those customers who want to own the vehicle, Tesla continues to offer the option to buy it outright with cash or finance the acquisition with a loan.
Previously, Tesla offered lessees the option to buy the vehicle at the end of the lease deal, with one notable exception. Starting in 2019, the automaker denied that possibility to users leasing a Model 3, arguing that it planned to use the vehicles for its upcoming autonomous ride-hailing network.
Tesla offers no explanation for its latest decision, although it's not that hard to realize why it's doing it. Used car prices have skyrocketed since 2020, and electric vehicles make no exception.
Actually, EVs are at the top of the pyramid when it comes to used car values seeing as they are in limited supply, with Tesla vehicles commanding particularly high prices. It's not uncommon to see a used Tesla EV offered up for sale at a higher price than a brand-new equivalent vehicle.
Tesla likely wants to cash in on this and sell the used cars for profit as their lease deals expire or lease them again as used vehicles.
It could also be that the EV maker wants to use the vehicles as part of its long overdue robotaxi fleet, but we wouldn't bet too much money on that given Elon Musk's recent statement that Tesla is planning a dedicated robotaxi with futuristic looks.
This suggests the automaker has moved on from its initial plan of using regular Teslas with full self-driving capability as robotaxis.