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Discussion Starter #1
OK, my kid needs a car to get to school now so that means three people with places to go in the house and only two cars to do it with. The math is not adding up!

I have a new Volt which I love and our trusty old Toyota SUV. I test drove 2016 Chevy Spark EV last week and thought it was an absolute hoot. The thought of owning that thing is really growing on me! The plan is to give the kid the SUV and my wife and I get another car for us.

I have like $10K max to devote to another car. So here's my dilemma, do I go out and spend the $10k on a 3yr lease on something like a Clarity PHEV or a Leaf? I would like to avoid another gas burning car if at all possible.

At the end of three years I would have nothing

OR....

Maybe I should get a Spark EV for $10k drive the heck out of it and still have something to show for it after three years.

The thing that is holding me back is I'm reading stories of battery degredation and making these barely 80 mile ranges look more like 50-60 after three years. Not a total deal breaker but it leaves me wondering about spending my $10k more wisely and questioning the wisdom of buying a used EV.

A few additional facts...
My commute right now is like 40 miles round trip and there is actually L2 at my work (at a buck an hour!).
There are times where I need to go more than 60 miles if I'm running errands so I guess I'd charge at work (read $$$) or swap cars with my wife on those days.
My wife doesn't drive all that much but there are times when she needs to go further than the Spark could probably take her so that means she probably gets the Volt and i'd get the Spark most days.

What does everyone think? Is it a bad idea to get a 3 year old Spark EV?
 

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I'll bet you could find a nice 2012-2013 Volt for around $10K.
 

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I thought about that...my local dealer has a certified 2015 for $15K. A little more than what I wanted to spend though.
Offer him 10K for it.
 

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I thought about that...my local dealer has a certified 2015 for $15K. A little more than what I wanted to spend though.
*If* you had your location shown, I'll bet half a dozen folks here could point you to good buys on used Volts in your neighborhood . . . . but, we have no idea where you live

Don
 

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Range is an issue for you -- forget the Spark.

Lease something nice that has all the latest safety features. In 3 years your driving and financial situation are likely to change again if your kid is in school, and EV and safety technology are going to take another leap. Then look around again.
 

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*If* you had your location shown, I'll bet half a dozen folks here could point you to good buys on used Volts in your neighborhood . . . . but, we have no idea where you live

Don
Yup. I can see 4 under $10k 100 mils from me, and two more under $11k. And that's ASKING, not whatever one actually settles at. Some of 'em even have Voltec left.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yup. I can see 4 under $10k 100 mils from me, and two more under $11k. And that's ASKING, not whatever one actually settles at. Some of 'em even have Voltec left.
Thanks hellsop. I'm in NJ. I went ahead and updated my profile, thanks!

My local dealership has a 2015 for $14.4k certified with 38k miles but I doubt they'd come down to 10K, right?

My wife wants to lease and I can see the lure of it. I just can't get over the fact that I walk away with nothing after three years for about the same cost as a nice gen1 Volt that I get to keep.

With a lease I'm right back where I started in three years - needing another car after my kids (older son 17, younger is 15) have driven the Toyota SUV probably into the ground for three years. I know I'll get much more use out of the Volt way past three years.

Darn I sure wish I could find a nice little Spark with 10k miles, super fresh battery and for like $8-$9k. Probably unrealistic I know, but I just love that thing! A gen 1 volt would definitely be more practical though!
 

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Forum member SussexNJ (who no longer lives there, he’s in Tucson now) has been trying to sell his 26k mile Spark EV. Look for it in CL and EBay, but hurry, if he can;t get what he wants for it, he’s going to sell to Carvana. I think he’s looking for $8500 or something like that.

As for fear of battery degredation, it’s not like a Leaf which has a chintzy little fan. The Spark has a similar water cooled battery like the volt and bolt. It will sap your battery range to warm and cool the battery in the dead of winter or hot summers to protect the battery, but it’s not degredation.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Forum member SussexNJ (who no longer lives there, he’s in Tucson now) has been trying to sell his 26k mile Spark EV. Look for it in CL and EBay, but hurry, if he can;t get what he wants for it, he’s going to sell to Carvana. I think he’s looking for $8500 or something like that.

As for fear of battery degredation, it’s not like a Leaf which has a chintzy little fan. The Spark has a similar water cooled battery like the volt and bolt. It will sap your battery range to warm and cool the battery in the dead of winter or hot summers to protect the battery, but it’s not degredation.
Just took a look on ebay and CL - only two on ebay in AZ and one on CL in VA.

Yes, the liquid cooled battery system is the only reason I'd consider the Spark and why I'm not even looking at used Leafs. Even still, I've read quite a few posts on the Spark EV forums about how the batteries have degraded even on 20k-30k mile cars. No idea if this can be attributed to too many quick charges, user neglect, geographic location, etc. but it's enough to make me wonder.

Also read that a big difference in battery design between Volt and Spark is that the Spark uses a much greater percentage of battery capacity than the Volt ever has. I suppose this could explain some of the degredation stories out there. I figured if I got a pretty new, super low miles example I might be ok.
 

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My wife wants to lease and I can see the lure of it. I just can't get over the fact that I walk away with nothing after three years for about the same cost as a nice gen1 Volt that I get to keep.
I have never understood the concept of leasing unless a person has a business they can write the cost of the lease off against. By and large, leasing is a way for people to drive cars they can't afford to own, sorta like buying a mobile home - Never understood that either. If you buy a new one, you're upside down from day one and it keeps depreciating faster than you are making the payments, so you stay upside down the entire time and 10 or 15 years later, you look back at all the money you could have put toward a HOUSE . . . . except by then, it's just GONE

Find a *nice* low miles, used car and BUY it - After you pay it off, you can drive it several more years. Used cars have cheaper registration and tags, cheaper insurance and are a way better deal, dollar for dollar (assuming you are buying transportation and not an ego thing) than any lease

Don
 

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I have never understood the concept of leasing unless a person has a business they can write the cost of the lease off against. By and large, leasing is a way for people to drive cars they can't afford to own, sorta like buying a mobile home - Never understood that either. If you buy a new one, you're upside down from day one and it keeps depreciating faster than you are making the payments, so you stay upside down the entire time and 10 or 15 years later, you look back at all the money you could have put toward a HOUSE . . . . except by then, it's just GONE

Find a *nice* low miles, used car and BUY it - After you pay it off, you can drive it several more years. Used cars have cheaper registration and tags, cheaper insurance and are a way better deal, dollar for dollar (assuming you are buying transportation and not an ego thing) than any lease

Don
Leasing, if you can afford it, provides tremendous peace of mind. In the end, the overall costs of leasing vs. owning are not nearly as bad as most people think. And today, with car safety and technology progressing at an ever increasing rate, it makes even more sense to be driving the newest car you can.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Leasing, if you can afford it, provides tremendous peace of mind. In the end, the overall costs of leasing vs. owning are not nearly as bad as most people think. And today, with car safety and technology progressing at an ever increasing rate, it makes even more sense to be driving the newest car you can.
LOVE the idea of never having to crawl under a leased car in February like I might have to do with a used car, believe me. Any I don't have the big cash outlay. But then again, part of the beauty of buying an EV like a spark or volt - not much to have to maintain either. And I tend to be very gentle on my cars and take good care of them so they last a long time. So I'm torn.

I was looking at the Leaf leases, like 219/month sure but with $4k down! What's the point of that? If I total the car there goes my $4k. No money down lease? OK, bump that monthly lease payment to $300 at least. Man that feels an awful lot like a car loan payment!
 

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LOVE the idea of never having to crawl under a leased car in February like I might have to do with a used car, believe me. Any I don't have the big cash outlay. But then again, part of the beauty of buying an EV like a spark or volt - not much to have to maintain either. And I tend to be very gentle on my cars and take good care of them so they last a long time. So I'm torn.

I was looking at the Leaf leases, like 219/month sure but with $4k down! What's the point of that? If I total the car there goes my $4k. No money down lease? OK, bump that monthly lease payment to $300 at least. Man that feels an awful lot like a car loan payment!
Never look at a lease payment with money down. Those numbers are just for TV ads.

But compare a no money down lease with a no money down loan and you get a better sense of the comparison. For instance, if you take out a 6 year car loan, the payments might start approaching the 3 year lease payments. And after the 3 year lease (and this really depends on the car and the deal) if you really love the car you can buy out the lease and get another 3 year loan to continue paying it off. With my Volt, the deal was so good that if I decide to purchase at lease end, the overall cost would be no more than I would have paid up front. I've leased other cars where the payments were so good, and the residual so high, that at the end of the lease it would have been crazy to buy the car. Those you just hand back the keys and get something new.

If you can accept the fact that it costs 300/400/what ever you can afford per month for a car, then just keep leasing and and enjoy a new car every 3 years, with no thoughts about repairs. I haven't touched my mechanics set in years.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Never look at a lease payment with money down. Those numbers are just for TV ads.

But compare a no money down lease with a no money down loan and you get a better sense of the comparison. For instance, if you take out a 6 year car loan, the payments might start approaching the 3 year lease payments. And after the 3 year lease (and this really depends on the car and the deal) if you really love the car you can buy out the lease and get another 3 year loan to continue paying it off. With my Volt, the deal was so good that if I decide to purchase at lease end, the overall cost would be no more than I would have paid up front. I've leased other cars where the payments were so good, and the residual so high, that at the end of the lease it would have been crazy to buy the car. Those you just hand back the keys and get something new.

If you can accept the fact that it costs 300/400/what ever you can afford per month for a car, then just keep leasing and and enjoy a new car every 3 years, with no thoughts about repairs. I haven't touched my mechanics set in years.
GREAT analogy about buyout of the lease and never really thought of it that way - thank you!. And you hit the nail on the head as I am having a *very* hard time accepting a $300 month payment because I'm cheap and I don't like to owe money! I have some homework to do for learning the ins and outs of leasing. Seems like so many variables they can mess with, residuals, cap cost, fees that get rolled in, money factor, taxes, etc. I'm usually a good negotiator but feel a little out of my league with a lease.

Take sales tax for example...there's no sales tax on EVs in NJ. Does that mean they can still charge me sales tax on the lease even though the leasing company bought the car and presumably did not pay sales tax? So much to learn...
 

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Seems like so many variables they can mess with, residuals, cap cost, fees that get rolled in, money factor, taxes, etc. I'm usually a good negotiator but feel a little out of my league with a lease.
That is exactly why all that junk is present in a lease - To make it as hard to compare the actual costs to buying as they can

Dealers and finance companies LOVE to lease cars . . . . even more than selling them and that's all you really need to know. Two reasons - They can lease a car to people who can't afford to buy it and they make more money on a lease than they do selling cars

Don
 

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Just took a look on ebay and CL - only two on ebay in AZ and one on CL in VA.

Yes, the liquid cooled battery system is the only reason I'd consider the Spark and why I'm not even looking at used Leafs. Even still, I've read quite a few posts on the Spark EV forums about how the batteries have degraded even on 20k-30k mile cars. No idea if this can be attributed to too many quick charges, user neglect, geographic location, etc. but it's enough to make me wonder.

Also read that a big difference in battery design between Volt and Spark is that the Spark uses a much greater percentage of battery capacity than the Volt ever has. I suppose this could explain some of the degredation stories out there. I figured if I got a pretty new, super low miles example I might be ok.
He probably let his ads lapse. I’ll email him to look at this thread.
 

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That is exactly why all that junk is present in a lease - To make it as hard to compare the actual costs to buying as they can

Dealers and finance companies LOVE to lease cars . . . . even more than selling them and that's all you really need to know. Two reasons - They can lease a car to people who can't afford to buy it and they make more money on a lease than they do selling cars

Don
Which is why everybody (except millionaires as they can afford to flush money down the drain) should never, never, not ever lease a vehicle. Ever wonder why the bank buildings are so nice? We’re paying for them.
 

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GREAT analogy about buyout of the lease and never really thought of it that way - thank you!. And you hit the nail on the head as I am having a *very* hard time accepting a $300 month payment because I'm cheap and I don't like to owe money! I have some homework to do for learning the ins and outs of leasing. Seems like so many variables they can mess with, residuals, cap cost, fees that get rolled in, money factor, taxes, etc. I'm usually a good negotiator but feel a little out of my league with a lease.

Take sales tax for example...there's no sales tax on EVs in NJ. Does that mean they can still charge me sales tax on the lease even though the leasing company bought the car and presumably did not pay sales tax? So much to learn...
A lease is technically owing money. If you don’t like owing money, then you should lease nor borrow, but instead pay cash for the car. If you don’t have enough cash, then look for less expensive cars and use grandma’s method to save money (live on less than you make and buy only when you have saved the cash). I could easily get a loan for our next vehicle with a stratospheric credit score, but instead I’m saving up for it.
 

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Last car I bought new I paid $18,000 for including taxes etc. Kept for 27 years for personal and business use, sold to the salesman that sold me my Volt for $2,000. That's less than $600 per year. Where you going to get a lease for that? Car still looked like new when I sold it. I had timing belt replaced twice by Acura ($3,400 total, didn't have time to do it myself). Other than that I changed my own oil and filter (4 times a year when driving it daily, once a year after I retired), change trans fluid twice, two sets of tires, rear set of calipers, rear RTA bushings ($186), couple of windshield wipers and that's it (parts only, no labour). Tell me again how leasing is a good idea.
 
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