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Tesla Finally Announces a Lease Program for the Model 3, Model S, and Model X

Car and Driver logo Car and Driver 4/12/2019 Daniel Golson
a red car parked on the side of a road: Tesla's new lease program has finally been announced, with the Model 3, Model S, and Model X all being eligible.© Tesla Tesla's new lease program has finally been announced, with the Model 3, Model S, and Model X all being eligible.
  • Tesla has announced a new leasing program for the Model 3, Model S, and Model X.
  • This news came along with the admission that Tesla has essentially canceled the $35,000 Standard Range Model 3, apparently before any had been delivered.
  • The leases are for 36 months and 10,000, 12,000, or 15,000 miles.

Up until now, Teslas have only been available to be purchased, either with cash or through financing. But now, alongside the announcement that it has yet again reshuffled the Model 3 lineup, essentially killing the "$35,000" Standard Range model and upping prices across the board, Tesla also has announced that it has finally developed a leasing program.

Research

All Model 3 leases are 36 months, with annual mileage options being 10,000, 12,000, and 15,000 miles. The down payment must be at least $3000, with just over $4000 also due at signing at minimum-that number fluctuates depending on miles and spec. The Tesla configurator has a lease estimation tool for the three remaining Model 3 trims, and we've broken down a few of what we think are the key configurations, using a $3000 down payment for each.

  • Standard Range Plus, no options, 10,000 miles/year: $504 per month, $4199 down
  • Standard Range Plus, no options, 15,000 miles/year: $535 per month, $4230 down
  • Standard Range Plus, fully loaded, 15,000 miles/year: $703 per month, $4398 down
  • Long Range, no options, 10,000 miles/year: $674 per month, $4369 down
  • Long Range, no options, 15,000 miles/year: $712 per month, $4407 down
  • Long Range, fully loaded, 15,000 miles/year: $880 per month, $4575 down
  • Performance, no options, 10,000 miles/year: $843 per month, $4538 down
  • Performance, no options, 15,000 miles/year: $889 per month, $4584 down
  • Performance, fully loaded, 15,000 miles/year: $1031 per month, $4726 down

While Tesla's press release only mentions the Model 3, a quick look through the brand's configurator reveals that the Model S sedan and the Model X crossover are available to lease as well. The lowest minimum down payment for both is $7500, at which point the cheapest Model S lease is $1203 per month and the cheapest Model X is $1283 per month, both with more than $9000 due at signing and terms of 10,000 miles per year for 36 months. (The Model S and Model X can both be leased for 24 months, too.) For all three cars, there's a $695 acquisition fee, and the first month's payment is due when you pick up the car. Leasing isn't available as an option for the Model Y on Tesla's site, likely because the crossover is so new and not actually on sale yet.

Interestingly-and maybe annoyingly for potential customers-Tesla says that leased cars will not be available to purchase once the lease has run out. The company said this is because "with full autonomy coming in the future," Tesla plans to use returned lease cars for its "Tesla ride-hailing network." That way, Tesla wouldn't have to build brand-new cars for that service, saving both money and production capacity-although Tesla did not give that as the reason.

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