• Feb 25th 2010 at 9:57AM
  • 27

Instead of paying $109,000+ for a Tesla Roadster, how does $1,658 a month sound?

That's the cost for Tesla's new 36-month leasing option for the Roadster or the Roadster Sport, but the devil is in the details. Without calculating in tax or license or registration or anything like that, those monthly payments mean lessees will pay $58,030 over three years plus $12,453 due at signing (which covers the first month, a $9,900 down payment, and the $895 acquisition fee) for a total of $70,483. After the three years, you can pay a $350 fee plus "any excess wear and use as set forth in the lease agreement and excess mileage charges of $0.25 per mile for miles driven in excess of 30,000 miles over the life of the lease" and walk away (what?!) or chose the purchase option, about which Tesla hasn't given details.

With Roadster production catching up with purchase orders, there is very little wait time for anyone who wants to get behind the wheel of a Roadster today. Tesla says that its stores have "a limited selection of Roadsters available now so you can drive one home after finalizing your lease" and that they can deliver one "within days" even if you don't live close to a store.

*UPDATE: Tesla clarified to AutoblogGreen that the cost to buy the Roadster after leasing it for three years would be $45,603, so that makes it a total of $116,086 for a vehicle with an MSRP of $111,005.

[Source: Tesla Motors]


Tesla Offers Leasing Option for Iconic Roadster

Launches Tesla Motors Leasing

SAN CARLOS, CA (BUSINESSWIRE) -- Tesla Motors, producer of the world's only highway-capable EV, is now offering the option of leasing the groundbreaking Roadster and Roadster Sport. Tesla Motors Leasing will allow more people to enjoy the Roadster's uncompromising design, engineering, and service with the benefits that leasing provides.

Tesla Leasing allows customers to take immediate delivery of a new 2010 Roadster or Roadster Sport with a three year, 30,000 mile contract and with monthly payments as low as $1,658 (see below for details). The relative low cost of electricity vs. gasoline and the low maintenance needs of Tesla's electric motor add to the benefits of leasing a Roadster over a conventional car. The cost savings compared to a similar gas powered car could be $131 per month based on an estimated 833 miles driven per month based on EPA fuel economy tests. At the end of the term, customers have the flexibility to purchase their Roadster or pay a fee and walk away.

"We are committed to continuously improving and enhancing the Roadster, offering a leasing option means even more people can drive this exciting and groundbreaking car," said John Walker, Tesla Vice President of Sales.

The Roadster is the only production car that is faster than many sports cars and more energy efficient than any hybrid. It is quickly becoming the choice amongst discerning drivers who demand performance with a clean conscience.

The Roadster has an EPA range of 236 miles per charge, double that of any other commercially released electric vehicle. It can be charged in any conventional 120 or 240V outlet. The Roadster produces zero tailpipe emissions. It does not need regular oil changes or exhaust system repairs. Roadsters have no spark plugs, pistons, hoses, belts or clutches to replace.

Tesla customers also benefit from the Tesla Rangers, Tesla's pioneering mobile service squad. Tesla Rangers make house calls for annual inspections, firmware upgrades and other services, so customers can enjoy hassle-free service from their home or office. U.S. customers pay $1 per roundtrip mile from the closest service center, with a minimum charge of $100.

Lease financing is available on Tesla Roadster vehicles. Monthly lease payments of $1,658 (excludes sales or use tax) for 36 months based on MSRP of $111,005 (includes destination and documentation fees). $12,453 due at signing includes $1,658 first month's payment, $9,900 down payment, and $895 acquisition fee. No security deposit required. Excludes tax, title, license, registration, and any locally applied fees. This lease offer is subject to credit approval and is for well qualified customers only. Not all customers will qualify for this lease program. Lessee must cover insurance. At lease end, lessee will be liable for disposition fee ($350.00), any excess wear and use as set forth in the lease agreement and excess mileage charges of $0.25 per mile for miles driven in excess of 30,000 miles over the life of the lease. Lessee acquires no ownership interest unless purchase option is exercised. Visit a local Tesla showroom or contact Tesla Motors directly for details and vehicle availability. For more information call 650-413-6300. All figures presented are estimates only. Actual selling price may vary.

More details on Tesla Motors Leasing can be found at: www.teslamotors.com/leasing

About Tesla

Tesla's goal is to produce increasingly affordable cars to mainstream buyers – relentlessly driving down the cost of EVs. San Carlos, Calif.-based Tesla sells cars online and has delivered nearly 1000 Roadsters to customers in North America and Europe. Tesla has showrooms in California's Silicon Valley and Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, Boulder, South Florida, Chicago, London, Munich and Monaco. The Tesla Roadster is faster than many sports cars yet more efficient than a hybrid

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      When you put it that way...

      I would think I could get a better car loan through my credit union if I didn't get laughed out of there for wanting a $100k+ car.

      I bought my current car after someone else leased it for 2 years and I still have it 14 years later. If the price of a used Tesla is $40-$50k, I might have to buy my mid-life crisis car early.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Cost of entry is low. Lease payments can be written off 100% if it is a 'business' vehicle (buy it for promotional purposes).

        This is great for the people who like the car but are scared to be an early adopter -- scared of the long-term viability of the technology, the viability of the company, etc, and just aren't willing to make a $110k purchase. Leasing a car takes all of that out of the equation.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah I'm much more interested in the used teslas as well...
      • 5 Years Ago
      And, unless you have $109k tucked away in liquid, you'll be paying interest on that loan as well, making the lease even more attractive.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Like I said before, looking at interest isn't a home ownership versus renting issue, it's a saving up versus getting a loan issue. Even if you include ~5% interest on a 30-year loan, all it does is increase the payback time to about thirty years, after which the owner will still save ~$9k/year. In terms of home maintenance we've spent maybe ~$100/year since we bought about five years ago. If we count home improvements (new paint, tile, carpet, misc items) at ~$1500 last year then we're at ~$400/year.
        • 5 Years Ago
        You've a magic house.

        I think we've both said our peace. No need to continue back and forth on something so off topic.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Doh, wrong place for this.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Meh, they don't mind much. They even leave up some of the business spamming. In terms of the house, I just do most of the work myself, barring stuff like septic tank pumping.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Pretty pricey transportation, but I'll bet it has fuel cells beat all to hell!
      • 5 Years Ago
      " "any excess wear and use as set forth in the lease agreement and excess mileage charges of $0.25 per mile for miles driven in excess of 30,000 miles over the life of the lease" and walk away (what?!)"

      Err, that's how pretty much all leases work, guys. I assume you've never leased a car ? :)
      • 5 Years Ago
      If i had to guess lotus is prepping to start making electrics too. They have their European version of the Elise tuned to 134 horsepower, which is exactly 100 kW. I'm not holding my breath or anything, but that sounds like they are getting ready to adopt it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "how does $1,658 a month sound?"

      It sounds a lot like my mortgage. The difference being one of these is building equity and the other isn't.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "The equity doesn't just disappear after 7 years. "

        Correct. However if you look at the interest to equity ratio of your payments, you'll discover that you put almost nothing toward equity in the first seven years. It's only during the later part of the loan that you actually put substantial amounts of money into the equity.

        The profit is made by the increasing value of your home. If it's crazy high (lead to our recession), then you can make money in seven years vs renting/saving. If it's realistic, you won't.

        I'll also throw in that if you're paying $600/yr for maintenance, you've a magic house. :)
        • 5 Years Ago
        roflwaffle, I wrote a nice long response, but decided it was straying off topic (more than we already are). To simplify it greatly, the excess cost needs to be less than the amount going toward equity. Because the average length of home ownership is 7 years, that doesn't typically happen.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Unless housing is grossly overpriced I don't see how it's cost effective to rent. If I have ~$120k I can make ~$3600/year on it in a CD or something, but I'll have to pay ~$1200/month in rent versus buying a house outright w/ that same amount of cash (Comparable houses). Taxes of ~$1200/year impact the final result too, but overall I'm looking at a ~$9000/year difference (I'm setting aside ~$600/year for maintenance) in cost between renting and owning, so in ~15 years the difference in costs has paid off the house and every year after that I'm saving ~$9k/year. I imagine that if home costs are still inflated in a region that wouldn't hold true, but that isn't the case where I am.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The equity doesn't just disappear after 7 years. If I buy a house, live in it for seven years, sell it and buy another house for about the same cost, and live in it for another 7 years, then that doesn't change the situation much because I put all the equity I built in my first house into my next house less selling/moving costs. The biggest cost for most people is the interest on a loan, but that isn't an ownership versus rental issue so much as a getting a loan versus saving up issue.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Quote Nozferat: "Homeownership is the scam of the century. ... After costs, taxes, fees, maintenance, etc....no write-off, nothing will make up for those losses."

        Are you flipping kidding me? The "scam of the century?" This has to be the dumbest thing I've read on autoblog.green since Greg Blencoe stopped posting... (as I tend to skip anything written by Gore)... Is that the scam where when you pay off your morgage in full, you can live in the house for the rest of your life and ONLY pay property tax and maintenance? And then the scam continues when you die and you can pass on that property to the person of your choice, or your favorite charity? And those taxes that you post about, you must be talking about the ones that I get to deduct on my income tax form each year, along with any interest on my morgage (if I still have one). And "nothing will make up for those losses?" Unless you got yourself upside down in a loan due to falling property values, you GAIN equity every month, you don't lose anything. And EVEN IF you went upside down in the loan, as long as you keep paying your monthly payments every month, eventually you will not only right your ship, but at the end you will OWN THE FREAKING HOME!" The only losses came if you took out a morgage that you couldn't afford to pay each month, and then on top of that your house depreciated in value and you couldn't sell it for what you paid for it, but you can hardly call poor personal choices and unfortunate investments the "scam of the century." And even in these cases, many people just walked away from their poor choices, and let the bank forclose on them, leaving them not much worse off than if then had just been renting the whole time.

        Let me fix your statement for you... "Renting a place for longer than a couple of years is the scam of the century!" Your money doesn't build any equity, your rent money pays the taxes and possibly interest for someone else, but you don't get to deduct those taxes or interest on your income tax form, and you NEVER own the place and will have to pay rent until the day that you die. Oh yes, and if inflation becomes a problem again at any time in the future (unsubstanable national debt and continuing deficits make this likely), while my morgage payment (if I still have one) stays the same, your rent will rise every year to keep up with inflation. And when you finally do die, after spending the last of your golden years working as a greeter at a big box store trying to make enough money to keep paying that rent, you won't have anything to leave to your loved ones or favorite charity, because you've been squandering your treasure helping someone else meet the morgage for the place you are living, and or paying for their golden years and country club membership with your monthly rent payments.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Nozferat, for once I agree with you. The numbers are rather complicated, but the end result is not as good as they would have you believe. I really don't believe the old saying that apartment dwellers are "throwing their money away". As you suggest, I didn't buy a house for financial reasons. I bought a house because I wanted a house (and I'll never go back).

        None of that negates that house payments do build equity. Leasing a Tesla does not.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Building equity??

        Homeownership is the scam of the century. If you want to buy a home because you like to have your own house, I can understand that.

        But as an investment, it's nowhere close to what people make it out to be. After costs, taxes, fees, maintenance, etc....no write-off, nothing will make up for those losses. Everyone thinks the last 6 years of homeownership are somehow the norm.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I put a reply at the bottom of the page, feel free to respond to that if interest.
        • 5 Years Ago
        You sir are one of the many fools out there who've bought into the "I need to buy a home because it's going to make me wealthy" scams.

        What makes you think being a renter makes anyone less wealthy? What sort of dumb and stupid assumption is that? Where do you get this bullsht from? I wonder what you'll be paying for in your golden years? Your property tax payments or your monthly country club payments? After all...all that interest you've paid for the last 30 years...it's got to add up to something right?

        Let me see...renting for a $1000/month or buying for $3000/month with $120 out of my pocket...geez...what makes more sense.

        • 5 Years Ago

        You should post your long response...I'd love to hear it also!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Mhmmm. So I could rent a Tesla Roadster for less money than renting a Porsche GT3 and dive electric while I wait or the Model S in 2012? Intriguing...

      Most tech CEOs that I know rent their vehicles. This is a great move for Tesla and will help move many units.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think the lease is a great idea. Electric cars going mainstream with lease products now, cool.

      • 5 Years Ago
      This screams "Executive Perk". If you are an executive in a high-powered position in a major business, it is pretty common to have your company lease a car for you. The company pays the lease, so $1,658 wouldn't be coming out of anyone's monthly salary.

      For comparison, go to the Porsche website and build out a base 911 GT3 (112K dollars). Select the 36month/36,000 mile lease and the payment is $2,100.

      So it's in line with other cars in the same price range. It is a smart move for Tesla to open up a new market for their products. Good for them.

      If you aren't a high power executive, this lease isn't for you. Don't be a hater just because you can't afford to pay to play. This car isn't for you, it's for the same crowd that would buy a 911 GT3 or the like. Wait for the Model S if you are a typical BMW 535i buyer. If you typically buy used cars, you will have to wait until electric cars are used too. That's life, it isn't a flaw with the Tesla.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Hhmmm......Tesla or Porche GT3? Porche.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I would like to see a conversion done with a budget as much as the cost of a Tesla.
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