The technology for electric cars is moving fast. Longer ranges and faster vehicles seem to appear on UK roads each day. Getting behind the wheel of a new electric car can be pricey, so is leasing an EV the answer?
Leasing an EV is much the same as leasing a traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) car. Depending on your situation, that car you want to drive, and how often you’ll want to upgrade your wheels, car leasing may or may not be the best answer.
At the end of the day, you know your situation best. When deciding if leasing an EV is right for you, consider the pros and cons of leasing, the type of EV you’d like to drive and charging options too. If leasing an EV isn’t the best option for your situation, buying a used EV could be a better choice.
The pros of leasing an EV
Leasing an EV can put a car that may otherwise be too expensive for your budget, well within reach. The latest models, equipped with the best technology could be yours – on loan – for a fraction of the buyer’s price.
Predictable monthly payments mean you know exactly where you stand with the cost of leasing an EV. Cheaper running costs also make leasing an EV more attractive than owning or leasing a traditional ICE vehicle.
All leased EVs come with a cable that lets you charge from a standard three-pin electric socket in your home. However, that’s not a good long-term solution for keeping an EV battery in tip-top condition. Instead, you’ll want to get a home charger installed if you can.
If you lease an EV, you’ll still be eligible for the UK government’s EV Chargepoint grants. These grants will pay £350 or 75% of the charger installation costs. You’ll need to lease an EV before applying for the grant.
We’d recommend checking out the best home EV chargers before deciding on the EV you want to lease too.
When leasing an EV, your road tax and manufacturer’s warranty is all taken care of. You can also opt to up your monthly payments to cover regular servicing and maintenance checks that fall outside of the warranty.
The cons of leasing an EV
Leasing a car basically means loaning that car for an agreed amount of time. When the time is up, you get to hand it back and walk away. There are, obviously, a few terms and conditions around handing the car back.
One of the biggest concerns about leasing an EV is the definition of ‘good condition’ when it’s time to return your wheels. Who determines fair wear and tear? After all, if you’ve leased your car for three years, it’s not going to look the same as when it got delivered.
The BVRLA provide specific details for returning a leased vehicle. They define what ‘good condition’ means and what comes under fair wear and tear. Leasing companies have to abide by these rules. Equally, if you’ve leased a car, you do too. Any damage that falls outside of the BVLRA guidance will need to be paid for.
Because of the strict rules on returning a leased car, it makes sense to take out additional insurance. That adds to the monthly cost of leasing an EV.
Having an accident in a leased car can lead to extra trouble too. Car insurance covers you for the market value of your wheels at the time of an accident. If the car is under a year old, that shouldn’t cause too much drama.
If you’re into the second year of an EV lease, or more, you may need to dig deep. You’ll be responsible for paying the difference between the insurance payout and the leasing company’s write-off value. Check the write-off value before you sign your EV lease.
Heading abroad can be difficult in a leased car. It doesn’t matter if you’re leasing an EV or a traditional car, you’ll need to make sure you have permission from the leasing company before you cross the channel for a quick getaway to Europe.
Leasing agreements include agreements on the number of miles you can cover each year in your car. If you go over the agreed mileage limit, you’ll need to pay a penalty. This could be fixed fees charged in increments of excess mileage, or it could be charged per mile. Whichever, these penalties can get pricey.
If you fall in love with your car, at the end of the lease, you might be able to buy it. However, this isn’t always the case. You may need to walk away from your dream EV. Tesla is one manufacturer refusing to sell their EVs to leaseholders at the end of the agreement period.
Leasing an EV can put you behind the wheel of an electric vehicle without having to own it. You will still be responsible for the car though, and out of pocket if you don’t take good care of your wheels. In some cases, leasing may be better than buying an EV. However, more often than not, owning an EV outright will give you more options for the same amount of responsibility.