Tesla vehicles can no longer be bought at the end of their lease

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With used-car prices skyrocketing, Tesla is no longer allowing customers to buy cars at the end of leases.

“All Tesla vehicles delivered on or after April 15, 2022, are not eligible for purchase,” according to new language on the company’s website first spotted by Electrek. “Third-party dealerships and third-party individuals are not eligible to purchase leased vehicles.”

Certain customers who leased a vehicle before April 15 may still be able to purchase it at the end of the lease, Tesla noted. This is typically an option with other automakers, but this isn’t the first time Tesla has withheld it.

2022 Tesla lineup (Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.)

2022 Tesla lineup (Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.)

When it introduced widely available leasing options in 2019, Tesla wouldn’t let customers leasing the Model 3 buy the cars. At the time, Tesla said it planned to use the cars in its “robotaxi” autonomous ride-hailing network. But that network—and the autonomous-driving technology needed to make it happen—never materialized.

In the meantime, used EV prices have surged compared to the same time last year. Increased demand and lack of inventory due to supply-chain issues has driven up prices across the board, with used Tesla prices seeing some of the biggest spikes.

A flood of used Tesla Model 3s returning from lease over the past year didn’t seem to at all help

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make used Teslas more affordable, as average prices remained propped up by robust demand nationwide.

2022 Tesla lineup (Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.)

2022 Tesla lineup (Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.)

At the same time, periodic price increases have made new Teslas more expensive. Brand-new, the Tesla Model 3 now costs more than a third higher than a year ago.

While used and new prices have risen, there are other ways to get behind the wheel of a Tesla. California-based Autonomy offers a monthly Model 3 subscription, and Hertz is adding the Model 3 to its rental fleet. Uber drivers are also eligible to rent a Model 3 from Hertz, which is likely as close as Tesla will get to its promised robotaxi ride-hailing fleet for the foreseeable future.

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