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In praise of leasing the Model 3

jesusbowls

Member
Dec 11, 2019
59
33
Albany, NY
Leasing is generally not a financially-optimal strategy, but I really love the "perqs" of leasing, which basically all boil down to not caring about the long-term performance of the car. The benefits are:

1. Known / guaranteed financial cost over 3 years, and no need to have to deal with selling or trading in a car.
2. Complete "ownership" of the vehicle occurs within the 4yr/50K manufacturer warranty.
3. Pedal to the floor all the time when accelerating up to cruising speed; 5 months in and I'm no less thrilled with each 0-60 run (my kids love it, too!).
4. Leave climate-keeper on all the time during the day, which means I can keep things like cigars in the car without worrying about interior temps that are too hot or cold.
5. Charge to 95% at my office every day, because why not?

The only non-financial downside for me is that it doesn't make sense to customize the car to my liking. If I owned the car, I'd sell the 20" factory wheels in favor of lighter and better-looking 18" wheels (like the ones I use for my snow tires), and I'd probably do some cosmetic tweaks like blacking out the chrome and maybe even getting a body wrap.
 

AGARubberDuck

Member
Nov 19, 2019
59
80
MN
What happens if you put more than 50k miles on in the 3 year period? I'm under 2 years and already at 56k mi.
Then you pay for more miles up front. Or pay more for the extra miles on the back end. Or in my case, spread the miles out over multiple cars and not get tired of them as quickly. (3 years is a LONG time to drive the same car IMO)
 

SammichLover

Banned
Dec 8, 2018
2,618
1,649
Yup
What happens if you put more than 50k miles on in the 3 year period? I'm under 2 years and already at 56k mi.
This. It only took me under 15 months to roll past 50K. That was with about 2 months spent above 47K, so mostly just how trip taking happened to worke out, could easily have been very close to 12 months.

There's a pretty good thread here within the last month with an exhaustive walking through of criteria on evaluating lease vs purchase.
Right, I would do the same thing, but if it is the case that frequentafrequent acceleration is not good for the long-term health of the car, then the leasd makes that a non-issue.
This seems really unlikely, although there's probably suspension issues with hard corners and/or rough roads. The frequency of the upper arm "creaky" issue suggests that that part was, at least initially, being designed/built at the edge of tolerances so things that put a lot of stress on that part. Acceleration will be some modest extra stress there but unlikely to be a major factor in wear on the bushings.
 

AGARubberDuck

Member
Nov 19, 2019
59
80
MN
Heh, I know there are people like you out there, but I haven't ever kept a car I bought new less than 10 years... ever...
Absolutely sound financial choice, but only by comparison. I bought a new car in Feb 2007, 21 miles on the odo. Sold in May 2009 with 172k miles on the odo. I lost 95% of the car's initial value in those 27 months.

These days I'm closer to 25k miles per year, own a business, and have the unfortunate curse of becoming bored with cars frequently. Leasing has some great tax advantages, and requires me to hold on to a car longer than I would otherwise.
Also as the OP states, I can charge/drive it as I see fit, not concerning myself with the longevity implications. Beyond that, the zero F's given about things like door dings, light scratches, crappy QC from the factory is extremely liberating. yeah, this one goes though the automated car washes. Sorry not sorry to whomever gets this car next. I'll have paid my dues.
 
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RayK

Active Member
Apr 5, 2016
2,218
2,214
San Jose, CA
Also as the OP states, I can charge/drive it as I see fit, not concerning myself with the longevity implications. Beyond that, the zero F's given about things like door dings, light scratches, crappy QC from the factory is extremely liberating. yeah, this one goes though the automated car washes. Sorry not sorry to whomever gets this car next. I'll have paid my dues.
This is exactly why I would never consider buying a used car that was once part of a rental fleet :) .
 

Stickboy46

Member
Feb 27, 2020
236
227
Kansas
Absolutely sound financial choice, but only by comparison. I bought a new car in Feb 2007, 21 miles on the odo. Sold in May 2009 with 172k miles on the odo. I lost 95% of the car's initial value in those 27 months.

These days I'm closer to 25k miles per year, own a business, and have the unfortunate curse of becoming bored with cars frequently. Leasing has some great tax advantages, and requires me to hold on to a car longer than I would otherwise.
Also as the OP states, I can charge/drive it as I see fit, not concerning myself with the longevity implications. Beyond that, the zero F's given about things like door dings, light scratches, crappy QC from the factory is extremely liberating. yeah, this one goes though the automated car washes. Sorry not sorry to whomever gets this car next. I'll have paid my dues.

You didn't lose 95% of the value due to 27 months .. you lost it because of 172k miles haha!
 
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Polie

Member
Apr 24, 2020
9
11
Washington
I also own cars until they fall apart. I have had my Tesla for 10 weeks and it feels like magic. I did put my Tesla on a diet (I stopped eating in cars) But I have a friend who buys a car and then immediately begins a 2 year search for the next one...
 

hcdavis3

HCD3
Supporting Member
Mar 3, 2019
2,292
1,498
02571
I also own cars until they fall apart. I have had my Tesla for 10 weeks and it feels like magic. I did put my Tesla on a diet (I stopped eating in cars) But I have a friend who buys a car and then immediately begins a 2 year search for the next one...
Sounds like me. Trading in my 2018 M 3 LR RWD for a 2020 model 3 AWD
 
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SageBrush

REJECT Fascism
May 7, 2015
12,550
16,581
New Mexico
I've noticed that the people who lease cars are also those who seek extended warranties and insurance. Overall, they are paying more in exchange for a reduction in risk volatility. It is not by chance that these offers attract those with cash flow or debt problems.

Beyond that psychology, I personally think that the main disadvantage of leases is a reduction in future choice. For some people that is actually something they want and are perversely willing to pay for it
 
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DBV1

Member
May 11, 2020
277
282
Amherst, OH
The way technology is changing with electrics, leasing definitely makes sense. I can’t believe how much it has changed in 3 years and how it will change even more in another 3 years and their will be a lot more competition too. :)
 
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SageBrush

REJECT Fascism
May 7, 2015
12,550
16,581
New Mexico
The way technology is changing with electrics, leasing definitely makes sense. I can’t believe how much it has changed in 3 years and how it will change even more in another 3 years and their will be a lot more competition too. :)
My wife prefers our 7 year old LEAF we bought in Jan 2017 for $6,300
I prefer our 2 year old Tesla Model 3

I'm pretty sure that in a couple of years she will *continue* to prefer the LEAF. It gets her around town securely, quietly, without fuss, for ~ $30 a month total costs (insurance is outrageous :) ). And now that her primary destination is getting L2 charging the LEAF may have enough battery to last a *long* time.
 

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