The leasing contract for your vehicle expires during the business closure ordered by the government. Here is what to do.

What should I do if I am unable to return my vehicle to the merchant that is closed because of the pandemic? i

If the merchant cannot take the vehicle back because a government order prevents the business from being open, both parties could invoke a case of force majeure. You would then be released from the obligation of returning the leased vehicle. In addition, unless you and the lessor have entered into an agreement to extend the contract, the contract will end on the scheduled expiry date, which means that you will no longer have to make any payments and that you should immediately stop using the vehicle, or only use it to move it out of necessity.

Send a registered letter to the lessor to point out that your contract has ended, that you are prepared to return the vehicle and that you no longer authorize any payments by pre-authorized debits. If applicable, claim a reimbursement of any debit payments collected after the contract has ended. The page on pre-authorized payments explains what do to. Give the lessor a few days to take the vehicle back and indicate that you will maintain the vehicle’s registration and insurance coverage in the meantime, but that you could claim any fees stemming from this maintenance.

It might be a good idea to have the vehicle inspected so that an expert could eventually bear witness to its condition, while keeping in mind that the lessor cannot claim any excess costs for anything that constitutes normal wear.

If the deadline has passed and you still haven’t heard from the lessor, and if you are no longer in a situation in which you can keep the vehicle, notify the lessor by registered mail that you will leave the vehicle at the lessor’s place of business and that you are releasing yourself from any responsibility. Make sure you have a witness and leave the vehicle in the safest place possible.

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Last update : May 6, 2021

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The information contained on this page is presented in simple terms to make it easier to understand. It does not replace the texts of the laws and regulations.