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Leasing an electric car

Electric car leases are a great way to get to know the new technology set to dominate our roads from 2030. Interested? Here’s your starter guide to leasing electric cars.

Thinking of leasing an electric car? Our guide covers every step, from deciding if an EV is right for you, to signing your lease contract, to charging and caring for your car. Let's get started.
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Can I lease an electric car?
Pros and cons of electric car leasingAre electric car leases expensive? Do I still have to lease a battery separately? How to lease an electric carElectric and hybrid lease dealsCharging and maintaining an electric car leaseSurvey: try an EV before you buy

Can I lease an electric car?

Yep, electric car leases have been around for a while, and they’re growing in popularity.
Manufacturers are keen to lease electric cars so they can get real-world feedback from drivers. They can use this feedback to improve their batteries and technology in future generations for their cars. And, with the petrol ban coming in from 2030, drivers have a great opportunity to practice behind driving an electric car. Find electric lease cars on Auto Trader.
Audi e tron
Audi e tron

Should I lease an electric car?

Part of the thrill of getting an electric car, especially in this blossoming market, is that you get to be an early adopter of the latest tech.
Car leasing helps make this new technology more readily available to a wider range of budgets, with low deposits and monthly payments often available. As a bonus, car leasing contracts tend to last two to four years, so you’re free to upgrade your electric car on the regular and make sure you’re out driving the latest model with the newest tech. That said, electric car leasing isn’t for everyone. Electric cars can be more expensive to lease and insure (though this can be offset by cheap charging and no tax) and there are some limitations to the charging infrastructure, which we’ll cover below.
Nissan Leaf electric car
Nissan Leaf
Renault Zoe electric car
Renault Zoe

Pros of leasing an electric car:

• There’s a wide range of brand-new electric cars available to lease, with more electric cars set to enter the market over the next few years.
• Electric cars are growing in popularity due to their eco-friendly credentials, but they also offer reduced running costs and huge tax advantages compared to petrol and diesel cars. • Monthly payments for an electric car are fixed, which can help protect you from depreciation or demand slumps when you hand the car back. • For those who have doubts over switching to electric, leasing is a perfect opportunity to try it out. Leasing an electric car gives you the option of trying the latest technology and batteries, without tying your money up in a model that might become outdated soon.
No need to worry about depreciation
One advantage of leasing is that you don’t have to worry about the depreciation in value of your car – as you won’t be selling it.
You don’t need to worry about selling an electric car with older technology or batteries (and the risk of lower market value), you simply upgrade to the next one.
Lower maintenance costs
As electric cars have fewer moving parts than standard petrol and diesel motors, they tend to require less maintenance. This means they’re usually cheaper to service and repair.
Specifically, electric cars don’t have an internal combustion engine (ICE) – which consists of hundreds of moving parts that need regular maintenance. Learn more about car leasing maintenance deals. If you lease a car, you may be offered a maintenance deal alongside your contract. This will cover repairs and replacements caused by fair wear and tear, so you have less to worry about throughout your lease. Some also include servicing and parts so there are no unexpected expenses.
Lower (or zero) tax
If you’re buying a brand-new car, then the first year of tax you pay is based on the vehicle’s carbon emissions. Fully electric cars, which don’t have any carbon emissions, won’t have to pay car tax.
Even the eco-friendliest hybrids, those that emit less than 75g/km of CO2, pay £25 or less for their first year – so for a lower car tax bill, electric or hybrid is a no-brainer. The full list of car tax bands is available here. After the first year, you’ll pay the following: • £145 per year for petrol or diesel cars • £135 for alternative fuel vehicles like hybrids • £0 for fully electric cars So even if you’re leasing a used electric car, you still stand to save on your annual car tax bill.

Cons of leasing an electric car

Leasing an electric car can be a great way to drive a brand-new car for less, but there are some points to consider before you sign a lease contract.
• If you don’t keep up with your monthly payments, then the car could be taken away. • If you wish to cancel your lease before the end of the contract, you may still need to pay the full costs of the leasing agreement – you won’t be able to simply end it and walk away. • Many contracts include extra charges excess mileage and wear and tear, you may have to sign up for a maintenance package too. • You’ll never own the car, so won’t have any equity from selling it. Before signing up for a car lease, take your time to research. You can learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of leasing in our guide to PCH leasing. You can also speak to the lease provider if you have any questions or need anything clarifying. It’s important to check your leasing contract before you sign, so you know how much you’re paying and what it’s all for.
Charging an electric car
Charging an electric car
EV Dashboard
EV Dashboard

Are electric cars more expensive to lease?

Generally, electric car leases cost more than petrol or diesel car leases. This is partly because there are fewer electric cars in production, so supply doesn’t quite meet demand.
As more electric cars are made, and the infrastructure to support them improves, expect to see prices change to reflect their popularity and availability. Electric cars also use newer, more expensive technology – which is reflected in the price. Check the features of an electric car (we’re talking hi-res displays, park-assist cameras, that sort of thing) and see if they’re worth paying a little extra each month. Just don’t overstretch your budget, as this technology becomes more common, it’ll get cheaper. There are great, affordable lease deals on all sorts of cars and the most important thing is making sure you can meet the monthly repayments.

Do I have to lease an electric car battery separately?

With some older electric cars, you may have to lease the car battery separately. This will be clearly flagged before you sign up, so you won’t end up with a car sat on your drive and no battery.
Why do some car leasers offer the battery separately?
Leasing an electric battery separately was more common in the earlier days of electric cars, when the battery technology was rapidly changing.
Customers didn’t want to be saddled with an old and outdated battery, so manufacturers like Renault and Nissan gave them the chance to lease one and trade it in (free of charge) for the latest upgrade after a few years. Knowing they could replace their battery without having to buy a brand new one also helped settle customers’ range anxiety (the fear that an EV’s battery will run out of charge and leave you stranded on the roadside), and eased fears that their battery would be depleted to the extent that their car would be worth much less if they tried to sell it. Leasing an electric car battery proved a popular idea, as the Renault Zoe is historically one of the most best-selling electric cars on the market.
Will I have to lease an electric car battery separately?
Nowadays, you’re more likely to lease a battery separately in a used car lease deal. Some new cars do still offer separate battery leases, while manufacturers like BMW, Jaguar, Tesla and Volkswagen just include the battery in the car lease price.
If you choose to lease a battery with a new electric car, then look at the guarantee it comes with. Renault, for instance, guarantee any leased battery will hold at least 75% of its charge for four years or 100,000 miles. If it doesn’t hold its charge, then they’ll repair or replace it for free.
Volvo XC40 EV
Volvo XC40 EV

How to lease an electric car

Applying for an electric lease car is the same as applying for a petrol or diesel one. You find a car you like and confirm your order with the lease provider, then:
• You’ll send of proof income, address and ID, plus a finance form • They’ll perform a credit check to make sure you can afford the monthly repayments • You’ll pay the deposit (normally equivalent to three, six or nine monthly rental payments) upfront • You may also pay an arrangement fee • You’ll set up a monthly direct debit • They’ll contact you to arrange delivery We cover all the steps, including what paperwork you’ll need and how to fill it in, in our guide to starting a car lease. Make sure you read the small print of any contract to understand exactly how much mileage you can do each month, plus any other stipulations such as servicing the vehicle, terminating the contract early, and what will happen if you miss payments.

What happens if I miss my monthly payments?

If you’re at risk of falling behind with payments, contact the lease provider to discuss your options. They may be able to amend your contract – for example extending it so you have smaller monthly payments to make.
Should you continuously miss payments, the lender may repossess the car and this could negatively affect your credit report with a default. You can visit sites like the Money Advice Service for free, impartial advice on what to do.

Can I end my leasing contract early?

Most lease contracts include an early termination clause. The details vary, so always check your contract before you sign.
Tesla Model X
Tesla Model X

Electric and hybrid lease car deals

Leasing an electric car can dramatically reduce your impact on the environment and your annual outgoings. Here are some of the best electric and hybrid car lease deals available on Auto Trader.

What makes a good electric car lease deal?

When looking at electric car lease deals, consider the following factors:
• The monthly price offered by lenders (just remember, your final quote is subject to your credit rating) • The spec and tech of the car • The electric car’s range – newer EVs may be more expensive to lease, but have better range and need less charging Always make sure you can make the monthly repayments and check the contract thoroughly before you sign. Find electric car lease deals on Auto Trader.
Home charging
Home charging

Insuring and maintaining an electric lease car

Electric car lease insurance

As electric cars use newer and more sophisticated technology, they may cost more to insure than petrol or diesel models. You should shop around and compare car insurance quotes to find the best deals.
As the lease car is the property of the lease company (you’re classed as the car’s keeper, not the owner) they may require you take out a comprehensive insurance policy. Learn more about car insurance policies.

Electric car lease maintenance

Electric cars tend to be cheaper to service if you keep them in good condition. As they have fewer moving parts and more streamlined operations, they don’t need as much work doing. A standard EV service will include an annual gear oil change and checks for the brakes, suspension, drivetrain and battery health.
If there is anything wrong, EV motor parts are easier to replace, and don’t usually deteriorate as fast.

Charging an electric lease car

You have two main options for charging your electric lease car: charging at home and charging using the public network.

Charging a lease car from home

A dedicated home charging point makes it much cheaper to charge your car, and you can leave the car to charge overnight in a lot of instances. To get one, you’ll need to be able to park your car somewhere private off-road, like in a garage or on a driveway.
Learn more about charging from home.

Charging a lease car in public

If you can’t install a charging point, or need to charge when you’re out and about, you’ll need to use public charging points. There are around 32,000 charging points in over 11,000 locations across the UK.
Prices and charging times vary depending on the type of charger (there are slow, fast and rapid) and the charging network. Learn more about public charging points.
Hyundai Kona EV
Hyundai Kona EV

Survey: Would you consider a ‘try-before-you-buy’ scheme for a new electric car?

Our recent survey found that 70% of the 2,025 UK drivers asked would be interested in leasing an electric vehicle for two or three years before they commit to buying one outright. This ‘prolonged test-drive’ would give them opportunity to get to grips with the features and technology; and dispel any lingering doubts they have about EV technology.
For more on leasing, download the full ‘Long-Term Test Drive’ report here.
Tackling EV uncertainty
Of those asked, 73% said they’d consider buying an electric car in the next four years, though 40% had doubts about whether an electric car would suit them or that electric cars were all they claim to be:
• 51% said range anxiety put them off buying an electric vehicle, even though the average electric vehicle can travel roughly 100 miles on a single charge. • Similarly, a lack of available charging points across the UK (49%) and in local areas (48%) was cited as an issue despite there now being more than 19,000 charging points in the UK. • Other common concerns were the cost of the electric car itself (44% of respondents) and how long it would take for the batteries to recharge (42%). That said, our market research has found a whopping nine out of 10 consumers are worried about the impact of petrol and diesel cars on the environment and support schemes to help motorists to go green.
Leasing could help you make the right EV decision
A try-before-you-buy approach, where leasing essentially acts as a prolonged test drive, would give most drivers enough time to thoroughly trial an EV model and get answers for their concerns. As most leases last two to three years, this gives drivers the time they need to fully get to know the vehicle and understand their feelings about it.
In the case of EVs, this would provide plenty of time to help drivers dispel any worries, become accustomed to the technology and see how accessible and easy charging can be. It’s also a fraction of the price of purchasing outright, so if after two years you’re not sold, you can simply return the vehicle. Leasing is an increasingly popular choice among those considering traditionally fuelled cars, too. Of those asked, 38% said they had previously been nervous to buy a new car outright, and 66% thought think leasing a car before purchasing it outright was a sensible idea as it would help them to be sure the car is right for them. Our research also covers the most important factors UK drivers consider when purchasing a new car, including good fuel economy (65%), low maintenance costs (56%), and how enjoyable it is to drive (55%). Download the full report for free.

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