Can You Lease A Tesla?

Let’s be honest, Teslas are cool. No matter what you think about Elon Musk, Teslas are some of the most desirable electric cars in the United States, indeed the world, for a reason.

They look great, they’ve got a whole bunch of neat features, and, of course, they reduce your carbon footprint as they burn no fossil fuels. 

It’s understandable that you’re interested in getting your hands on a Tesla, but they’re not cheap, that’s for sure. So, you might have been wondering whether you can lease a Tesla rather than buying one outright.

The good news is that, yes, you can! Continue reading for more information on Tesla leasing. 

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Discover the ins and outs of how a Tesla electric car operates with my easy-to-follow guide, perfect for non-technical readers.

You Can Lease A Tesla In Most States

The good news for any prospective Tesla owner looking to lease is that yes, Tesla does offer a range of leasing options. However, the bad news is that Tesla does not lease across all 50 states, leasing in just 42 plus D.C. That leaves eight states where you cannot lease a Tesla.

These are, in alphabetical order; Delaware, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin. This means that if you live in any of these states, leasing a Tesla is not an option, unfortunately- at least for now.

It’s likely that as Teslas become more and more common in the coming years Tesla will eventually offer leasing options right across the United States.

What Tesla Is Best To Lease?

Of course, you’ll have your own ideas about what Tesla you’re interested in. As with any product, you should make sure you do your research to ensure that you get the car that best suits your needs. There are currently four options to choose from- two SUVs and two sedans.

You could also choose to have your Tesla custom designed to suit your needs, although naturally that is more expensive and can take two to six months for delivery. 

If you’re looking at leasing a Tesla, though, we’ll assume that affordability is at the forefront of your mind. If that is the case, the most natural choice would be the Tesla Model 3 Sedan.

It’s amongst the best-selling EVs in the world, due in no small part to the fact that it is Tesla’s most affordable vehicle, and is available with the option of All Wheel Drive (AWD).

If you do have your heart set on a Tesla SUV, the Model X is Tesla’s largest offering. It has plenty of storage space and has enough room for seven seats,  which is great if you’re hoping to use your Tesla as a family car.

It has a great range and performance, too, but beware- it also carries the highest price tag of the standard Tesla models. Having said that, I suppose opting to lease instead of buy is a great way to make this car more affordable, if you have only got eyes for a Tesla SUV. 

Something to bear in mind when deciding whether to lease or not is that when leasing you will not have complete freedom to choose the color of your Tesla.

How Much Does It Cost To Lease A Tesla?

Of course, the cost of leasing a Tesla depends on the model. Here, we’ll be looking at the base models on a 36-month, 10,000 miles per year basis, with an upfront down payment of $4,500. 

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Tesla Model 3

You can get your hands on a standard 2021 Model 3, at the terms discussed, for $409 per month. Including the acquisition fee, you’ll need to shell out $5,604 upfront. Overall, that comes to a total cost of $19,919.

Dividing this by the 36-month leasing period gives us the total monthly cost, which averages out to $553 per month. Looking at it in terms of mileage, a Model 3 lease will cost you about $0.66 per mile. This is the very cheapest you can lease a Tesla for. 

Tesla Model Y

Model Y is a reasonably new release,  but it is actually the second cheapest model based strictly on the starting price as standard. You can lease the Model Y, at the terms discussed, for $579 a month.

However, you’ll need to pay $5774 upfront, which includes the acquisition fee. That works out at a total cost of $26,039, or $723 monthly. In terms of mileage, it’ll cost you $0.87.

Tesla Model S

Tesla’s long-range model, the Model S, is going to cost you significantly more to lease than the previous two models, even on the same terms. Leasing a 2021 Model S requires an upfront payment, including the acquisition fee, of $6,443.

The leasing fee is $1,248 per month, more than double the price of the Model 3. The total cost over the leasing period will come to $50,123. This translates to about $1.67 per mile, and a total monthly cost of $1392 per month when you factor in the downpayment. 

Tesla Model X

This Tesla SUV doesn’t come cheap. We’re talking about a downpayment alone of $6,883 followed by monthly installments of $1,688. That comes to a total layout of $65,963 over the leasing period, and works out at about $1,832 per month all told. Per mile, it’ll set you back a whopping $2.20. 

Is It Cheaper To Buy Or Lease A Tesla?

In truth, this is a subjective question. Let’s take the Model 3 as an example. The total cost of a 36-month lease comes out at just under $20,000, whilst the same car costs $44,990. So, it costs just over twice as much to buy outright as it does to lease.

If you think you can stay within the leasing terms, including traveling 10,000 miles or less per year, and sticking with the same model leasing certainly looks like an attractive option.

However, buying outright, though more expensive up front, gives you more flexibility. You can upgrade your Tesla anytime, sell it, or do whatever you want with it.

After all, it belongs to you. With this in mind, you can also do as many miles as you want in it, too.

The monthly payments when buying a Tesla aren’t all that much greater than the terms for a lease, so if you want a little more flexibility and can afford the bigger payments, you should probably opt to buy. 

Wrap Up

We hope this article has helped you to evaluate your options when it comes to leasing a Tesla. As always, though, make sure you do plenty of research before you make a decision! 

Jonathan Rice

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