How Much to Lease a Tesla? Compare All Models

Article Summary:

Tesla leasing can be a good option if you can’t afford to buy a Tesla outright or if you want to test drive it before purchasing. You can lease a Tesla by ordering it directly from the manufacturer or by visiting a physical Tesla dealership. Teslas are available to lease in 42 states, plus Washington D.C. The Tesla Model 3 is the cheapest to lease, followed by the Model Y, Model S, and Model X. Tesla also offers lease-to-buy options. When considering whether you should buy or lease a Tesla, it’s worth looking at things like resale value, tax credits, insurance costs, applicable state taxes, and more.

Teslas are one of the most popular electric car brands in the United States, in part due to the company’s constant innovations and new ideas and designs. Tesla ownership is out of reach for most people, so it’s no surprise that one of the main complaints consumers have about Tesla is the cost.

Leasing a Tesla can be a more affordable way to procure some sort of ownership over a luxury electric vehicle. Before signing a lease, it’s important to think about the state of your credit report, how many miles you plan to put on the car, and how much you can afford for your down payment.

How to lease a Tesla

You can lease a Tesla by ordering it directly from the manufacturer. This allows you to customize your car and upgrade it to include better performance and battery range specifications. However, you’ll also likely have to wait up to two months before your chosen Tesla model can be delivered to you.

You can also lease a Tesla by visiting a physical Tesla dealership. You might not be able to customize a car you find there, but you will be able to lease it much faster than if you ordered it online.

What you need to lease a Tesla

Unfortunately, you can’t just walk into a dealership and sign a lease agreement immediately. Before offering an agreement, dealers must ensure you actually can lease a Tesla by reviewing your credit and financial statements. At this point, you’ll also need to decide whether leasing a vehicle is the best option for you.

  • Credit. Be aware of what’s on your credit report and what your current score is. Since Tesla requires at least one hard pull of your credit report before agreeing to a lease agreement, a higher credit score will give you a better chance of getting favorable lease terms. If your score is below 650, for example, you might have a difficult time signing any Tesla lease deals.
  • Mileage. Leases come with strict mileage limits, so it’s important to calculate the estimated mileage you plan to put on the Tesla before agreeing to the lease terms. If you have a long commute, you may want to consider signing a lease with a higher mileage limit.
  • Down payment. By putting down more money at your lease signing, you can help offset some of the monthly payments associated with leasing a Tesla. Additionally, if you’re using a loan to help pay for the lease, a larger down payment can help you negotiate lower interest rates and minimize interest charges.

Pro Tip

Tesla’s financing and leasing calculator can help you figure out different pricing scenarios for buying or leasing a Tesla model. It also allows you to design and customize your Tesla and incorporates that price into the leasing options.

Where am I able to lease a Tesla in the US?

Teslas are not currently available to lease in all 50 states in the U.S., but they are available in 42 states, plus Washington D.C. Use the map below to determine whether your state allows you to lease a Tesla.

Teslas are not available to lease in Delaware, Michigan, Wisconsin, Kentucky, New Hampshire, Nebraska, Mississippi, and Oklahoma due to dealer franchise laws. These states are colored in red.

Tesla monthly payments

The monthly payment options on a Tesla vary depending on which Tesla model you want to lease. Currently, Tesla has four models available to lease.

Model 3Model SModel XModel Y
Starting monthly payment$519$1,472$1,717$766
APR5.37%5.92%6.57%6.06%
Down payment$4,500$7,500$7,500$4,500
Term lengths36 months24 and 36 months24 and 36 months36 months
*All monthly payments calculated for a 36-month lease for 10,000 annual miles.

Each of the Tesla models listed above has lease options for 10,000, 12,000, and 15,000 annual miles. A large annual mileage will increase your monthly payment and the amount due at signing.

Pro Tip

Lease payments that exceed 15% of your monthly income might be too expensive for you to keep up with over the long term.

Can you lease to buy a Tesla?

Although Tesla used to offer lease-to-buy options, as of April 2022 that is no longer the case. There’s no specified reason this leasing option ended, though it could be linked to an increase in used car prices and a shortage of inventory. The current leasing options Tesla offers include turning the vehicle in and walking away, extending the lease for up to six months, or upgrading to a new Tesla.

Leasing to buy can be a useful option for a few reasons. For you, you can drive the car on a trial basis to ensure you want to buy it. You can also use your monthly lease payments as a way to boost your credit before purchasing a car.

Should I buy or lease a Tesla?

Tesla leases are somewhat different than leases for regular cars because there’s only one supplier you can buy them from. This means you can’t shop around to find the best deal, and there’s not much room for price negotiations.

Due to the high purchase price of a new Tesla, leasing can be a viable option. That said, there are several important factors to consider when deciding whether you want to lease or buy your Tesla.

Tax credits

Typically, tax credits for owning an electric car are only available if you purchase it outright. Depending on the state you live in, you could receive as much as $7,500 in tax credits for buying an electric car. This incentive would not be available if you leased.

Resale value

Teslas in particular have a high resale value, which you can only take advantage of if you own the car. They have low maintenance costs and don’t break down as much over time as traditional gas-powered cards, meaning their quality holds for a longer period.

However, you don’t have to worry about your Tesla depreciating in value if you lease it since you won’t technically own it.

Insurance costs

Tesla has higher insurance costs than most electric cars, so the premium your insurance agency will charge you is important to think about before you sign a lease. If you lease a new Tesla, you may be required to maintain higher levels of insurance coverage than you would if you owned it outright. Additionally, you must also list Tesla Lease Trust as an additional insured party on your insurance policy, which could further drive up your rates.

Despite higher insurance premiums, keep in mind that every Tesla lease comes with gap insurance for the vehicle. This added feature could make a big difference should you get in an accident while driving a leased Tesla.

Take a look at some of the vendors below to get a better idea of your insurance rate for a leased car.

Will there be a hard pull of my credit when I apply for a Tesla lease?

There will be at least one hard pull of your credit report when you apply for a Tesla lease. However, for some applicants, additional inquiries may be needed in order to find the best credit terms and lease agreement possible.

You can submit your credit application any time after you place your vehicle order. But keep in mind that credit approvals are valid for up to 90 days. This means if your delivery date falls after your credit application expires, you may need to start a new application.

What is the cheapest Tesla to lease?

The cheapest Tesla to lease is the Model 3. As Tesla’s most affordable model, it is also the cheapest to purchase. However, the Model 3 also has the shortest battery range, and its base model doesn’t come with as many technological bells and whistles as those of other Tesla vehicles.

Key Takeaways

  • When deciding whether you want to lease a Tesla, it’s worth considering the status of your credit report, the mileage you plan to put on the car during the lease term, and the amount you can put down for a down payment.
  • Teslas are available to lease in 42 states, plus Washington D.C. They aren’t available for lease in Delaware, Michigan, Wisconsin, Kentucky, New Hampshire, Nebraska, Mississippi, and Oklahoma due to dealer franchise laws.
  • The Tesla Model 3 is the cheapest Tesla to lease, followed by the Model Y, Model S, and Model X.
  • Tesla used to offer lease-to-buy options, but this is no longer true as of April 2022.
  • Due to the high purchase price of a new Tesla, leasing can be a viable option instead of buying a new Tesla outright. Benefits like tax credits, resale value, and insurance costs are worth considering when deciding whether to lease or buy.
View Article Sources
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  4. Can You Lease a Car and Then Buy It? — SuperMoney
  5. What is the Best Time of Year to Lease a Car? — SuperMoney
  6. Can You Buy a Car Before The Lease is Up? — SuperMoney
  7. How to Buy Out a Leased Car in 5 Steps — SuperMoney
  8. Can You Lease a Used Car? — SuperMoney
  9. A Complete Guide to Choosing the Best Auto Insurance — SuperMoney