Electric vehicles (EVs) are fast becoming a part of the motoring mainstream – about 141,000 alternative-fuel vehicles were registered in 2018, and the number is set to rise this year. They offer a pleasing blend of reduced costs, cutting-edge technology and conscience-salving eco-credentials.
Instead of buying one outright, there are a host of reasons to consider driving an electric car through a car leasing deal, giving you access to the latest models, tech features and advancements in battery range.
Here are six of the best reasons to lease an electric car.
1 Maximise your buying power
Leasing an electric car means you can avoid the higher price tags that these vehicles often command. For a modest deposit and affordable monthly cost, you can drive a cutting-edge vehicle without scratching around for the money to buy one outright.
Bear in mind that lots of electric vehicle owners currently have to rent their car batteries, so leasing the whole vehicle is often the logical next step.
As John Wallace, director EMEA fleet operations and global major accounts for Volvo Cars, says: “The benefits of leasing really lend themselves to electric cars. At the moment, they have a relatively high initial purchase price, because the technology is still evolving.
“At Volvo, we expect EVs to reach price parity with petrol- and diesel-powered cars in 2025. But with leasing, you pay the cost of ‘usership’ rather than the full purchase price, meaning you can make your money go further.”
And with electric technology developing so quickly, new and improved models of electric cars are hitting the market at a rapid rate. Leasing for a fixed period means you avoid tying up your money in a car that may quickly become outdated.
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2 Reduce running costs
A further financial boost comes from the miniscule running costs associated with many electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles. The cost of recharging is nothing compared with the cost of a tank of petrol or diesel, as Lisa Saunders, a human resources director for a quarry company, has found with her Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.
“I can travel to and from work in electric mode on a single charge,” Ms Saunders says. “I only fill up with petrol every few weeks, and the cost of electricity feels negligible in comparison with what I used to spend on fuel for my old diesel car.”
Alan Kidd, senior editor of motoring magazine Drive, agrees. “You can lease an EV for the same money per month as a similarly priced vehicle with a petrol or diesel engine,” he says. “And of course you enjoy the financial benefits of not having to keep fuelling it up.”
3 Burnish your eco-credentials
Perhaps the most pressing reason to drive an electric car is a desire to do your bit for the environment. With zero or minimal tailpipe emissions, these vehicles are less polluting than their petrol- or diesel-powered equivalents.
A concern for the environment certainly inspired Natalie Wainwright, a senior economic development officer at Somerset County Council, who has been driving a Nissan Leaf since July 2016.
“I’ve loved driving relatively guilt-free,” says Ms Wainwright. “As part of my personal commitment to reducing carbon emissions, the Leaf has been a worthwhile investment.”
4 Enjoy the thrill of early adoption
For some owners, the biggest incentive to buy an electric-powered car is that it represents the very cutting edge of automotive technology. The innovative character of electric cars is often reflected in their styling, with examples from the likes of Toyota, Mitsubishi, Renault, BMW and Nissan having futuristic, other-worldly designs.
This is only set to continue, with vehicles such as the PoleStar 2, Skoda Vision E and Honda Urban using the new electric market to trial highly creative and eye-catching designs.
Even better, says Mr Wallace, you can try the latest innovations with no risk: “As the contract period is typically two to four years [on a car lease], you can take advantage of new technology without having to worry about the hassle of reselling the car at the end as that is the responsibility of the leasing company.”
5 Keep on top of maintenance
Anthony Barker, a landlord and farmer in Devon, believes a big strength of electric vehicles is their ease of maintenance.
“My Renault ZOE is very easy to maintain, because it has fewer moving parts than a conventional car,” he says. “What is more, consumables such as brake pads last a lot longer on electric cars, because they tend to use regenerative braking. That leads to a further cost saving.”
Mr Wallace makes the point that most lease companies provide the option of signing up to a maintenance package, and some even roll in other costs such as insurance, so that the monthly payment is more like a subscription.
In exchange for this additional monthly charge, you can cover the cost of servicing and parts – meaning there are no unplanned expenses for the duration of the agreement.
6 Benefit from slower depreciation
Electric cars are the future. The internal combustion engine is on its way out.
“The latest EV tech is gaining widespread trust,” says Mr Kidd. “People are very quickly coming to terms with EVs and plug-in hybrids, which means depreciation is slowing on such vehicles.”
The result is affordable monthly charges for lease customers, whose agreements are worked out on the basis of their car’s depreciation. Combined with the other reduced costs associated with electric motoring, there is every incentive to embrace the future sooner rather than later.
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Browse their extensive range of here or simply speak to one of their expert leasing consultants on 0118 920 5130.