Lease an electric car

Lease an electric car and you'll have low monthly payments without any worries about its future value

BuyaCar team
Aug 21, 2018

If you like the idea of an electric car, then leasing one makes a lot of sense. You can get a brand new model - with the latest battery tech - for a fixed monthly payment. And as you return the car at the end, there's no need to worry about its future value.

Leasing is a long-term car rental agreement, where you make an initial payment and then a series of fixed monthly instalments until the end. Monthly payments on leased cars are often cheaper than with a finance agreement, but only for brand new models: leasing is not normally available for used cars.

As such, you can usually find a cheaper deals by choosing a used or nearly-new car with lease-type finance agrement, such as personal contract purchase (PCP). This offers low monthly payments and the ability to hand your car back at the end of the agreement, when you'll also have the option to buy the car or - depending on its value - to trade it in for another vehicle.

There are currently 547 nearly new and used electric cars available from BuyaCar, with finance costs starting from £132 per month. Bear in mind that the cheapest models often have rented batteries that you'll need to pay for each month.



Why lease an electric car?

Leasing could have been invented for electric cars because - like mobile phones - they are developing so fast that new and improved versions are arriving regularly. Leasing helps to avoid tying up your money owning last year’s electric car.

For example, battery range is growing all the time. When it was launched in 2011, the Nissan Leaf had an official range of 110 miles. This year’s all-new version has an official range of 235 miles, although you’re unlikely to come close to that in real-world driving.

If demand slumps for older electric cars, then you’ll be protected by leasing, as your payments are fixed. If the car’s worth less than anticipated, then that’s a problem for the leasing company when you return the car.

Taking out PCP finance on a nearly new or used car also makes sense for the same reasons. As it offers the option of returning the car at the end of the agreement, you don't need to worry about its future value.


Leasing an electric car for business use

Electric cars make a lot of sense for business users because they qualify for the lowest rate of company car tax.

Since April 2018, a lower-rate taxpayer has had to pay £747 a year in company car tax for a Nissan Leaf Acenta; that rises to £1,116 for a petrol-powered Nissan Qashqai Acenta.

Leasing an electric car makes financial sense for companies too because payments are fully tax-deductible, as they are with all cars that emit less than 110g of carbon dioxide per kilometre.


Leasing an electric car battery

With some lease deals, leasing the car is only part of the story. You may also to have lease the battery as a separate item, whether you get a new or used car.

The previous version of the Nissan Leaf was available as a cheaper Flex model because the battery wasn’t included. The same is true for the Renault Zoe, which only comes with a battery if you upgrade to a model badged ‘i’ - a premium of £5,600 when new.

Battery lease costs aren’t cheap, with prices for the Zoe starting at £49 per month for earlier cars, or £59 for the latest model with a larger battery, badged as Z.E. 40. Both of these prices limit you to 4,500 miles per year; you’ll need to pay more if you travel further

These prices will come on top of the cost of the car itself: current used Renault Zoe deals start at £7,795 or £132 per month on BuyaCar.

Regardless of who you lease the car from, a leased battery is guaranteed to hold at least 75% of its charge over four years or 100,000 miles. If it doesn’t, Renault will repair or replace it free of charge. That’s better than the guarantee offered if you buy the battery with the car: Renault guarantee that it will hold at least 66% of its charge or the battery will be repaired or replaced.

Other manufacturers, including BMW, Tesla, Jaguar and Volkswagen include the battery in the price of every car.


Cost of leasing an electric car

Uncertainty over the future value of electric cars has made leasing them expensive; leasing companies haven’t wanted to be left out of pocket by getting a car back that’s worth very little

The situation is changing, as electric car sales rise and the vehicles become more familiar, but recent Nissan Leaf deals still started at just under £300 a month.

Second-hand Nissan Leafs currently cost from cost from £153 per month on BuyaCar.

The BMW i3 starts at £268 per month

Best electric cars to lease

VW e-up, above

Look beyond the Yorkshire expression and here’s the perfect city car: nippy, compact and practical, and able to enter clean-air zones free of charge. The battery is included in the price and guaranteed for up to eight years. The car’s high purchase price means that it’s much more economical to lease.

Renault Zoe

Latest Renault Zoe deals from £7,795
Finance from £132 per month

This is an ideal electric hatchback thanks to its roomy interior, conventionally attractive looks and Z.E. 40 high-capacity battery, which provides more than 150 miles of range in real-world driving. You’ll need to add battery leasing costs to most cars, which increases the cost of running them.

Nissan Leaf

Latest Nissan deals (current model) from £22,590
Finance from £334 per month

A good example of how quickly electric car technology progresses, the new Nissan Leaf has a much longer range than its predecessor, as well as more advanced technology and a contemporary design.
It’s still not cheap to lease when new, but you won’t face expensive fuel bills, and deals typically include a generous 10,000 mile allowance. previous-generation cars are looking increasingly good value, with prices from £9,790 or £153 per month.


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