Leasing rather than buying a car isn’t for everyone. But it’s the smart choice if you’re thinking about getting an electric car. Leasing now makes up almost 30 percent of all new car sales. Here are five reasons experts say leasing your electric vehicle (EV) is the best way to roll:
You can get tech upgrades faster
Yearly changes in conventional cars are minimal. “But the technology going into EVs is at a rate I’ve never seen before,” says Scot Hall, executive vice president for Swapalease, which matches leaseholders with car shoppers looking to take over a lease. By leasing, you can upgrade to a new car every two to three years, and enjoy advances in battery durability, range and other improvements.
You avoid steep depreciation
If you bought an electric car and decided to sell it even a year later, its value would have depreciated on average about 52 percent from the sticker price, according to data from Edmunds. Normally, cars that lose value quickly aren’t good candidates for leasing. However, carmakers offset the rapid depreciation of electric cars and lower the cost of payments.
Battery quirks aren’t your problem
Since the lithium ion batteries that power EVs are relatively new, there isn’t a lot of data on how long they last and how quickly they’ll stop holding a full charge. GM’s owner’s manual for the Chevy Bolt EV warns of potential battery degradation of up to 40 percent during the eight-year warranty. If you lease for just three years with the typically included 36,000 miles, battery degradation should be minimal.
You’ll get incentives more often
Electric cars are incentive magnets. Federal and state governments seem to want to reward EV owners to support clean energy. In many cases, carmakers also offer leasing specials like cash bonuses to reduce the price of an electric car so the lease payment is more affordable. For example, Nissan recently offered a $9,275 cash rebate to those leasing the 2018 Leaf.
You can scoop up loyalty bonuses
Carmakers also offer both loyalty and conquest bonuses to try to retain customers or lure shoppers away from the competition. According to Hall, these bonuses are higher for leasing an EV than for conventional cars. This means that as you approach the end of your lease, you’re in a strong negotiating position, with more options than you would have with a different vehicle.