Leasing has a bad rap. Why would you ever pay month after month with nothing to show for it? And yet, more and more people are renting their apartments, doing just that.
What do they know that we don’t?
Well, renting an apartment has benefits: You can move when you want (if you have a month-to-month lease!), you don’t have to pay for maintenance, and you don’t have to mow the lawn. However, at the end of your lease, you have nothing to show for it.
Is it just as bad for leasing a car? Yes and no.
For a regular gas-powered vehicle, leasing may not be the best idea, unless you want to have a new car every 2-3 years and don’t mind a continual car payment. During the first few years of car ownership, there is typically very little maintenance past standard scheduled maintenance. You also get to have the latest new car with new technology. At the end of the lease, if you really like your car, you can buy it outright, making those lease payments more of a down payment over time.
For electric vehicles, leasing is ideal. Why? Today’s EVs typically go fewer than 100 miles per charge. This is continually improving though. With improvements in battery technology, 100 miles per charge will be laughable in just a few years from now. How do we avoid this accelerated obsolescence? Leasing.
Purchasing an EV when you drive very few miles per year and you don’t live in a hot climate isn’t such a bad idea. You typically make the price difference between a gas-powered car and an EV in 5-6 years. If you do drive many miles or live in a hot climate, battery life will decrease faster than expected, and your car’s usable range will be less than you may need.
Leasing helps avoid this by giving you not only a new car every few years, but a new battery. This is worth having a continual car payment, don’t you think?