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Only Suckers Would Take This Tesla Model 3 Deal

Pricing / 7 Comments

Don't be one of them.

Earlier this month, Tesla announced that its cheapest vehicles, the $35,000 Model 3 Standard, will no longer be available to purchase online. If you want one, you'll have to physically go to a Tesla store or pick up the phone and order one. The reason for this change was supposedly due to lack of demand. Still, the fact that the long-awaited $35,000 Model 3 is already being phased out is annoying for many potential buyers. But what about leasing one? Is it still even possible?

Yes, but it's not easy and it's a terrible deal. Cars Direct discovered how much it costs to lease a Model 3 Standard and the numbers are telling. The cheapest Tesla can be leased from $469 for 36 months with $5,115 due at signing, based on an MSRP of $36,200, including destination. That deal comes with a 10,000-mile yearly allowance, which may not be enough for many drivers.

Want 12,000 miles a year? The monthly payment will increase by $10. What about 15,000 miles? You'll be paying $499 monthly. What's more, there's no purchase option once the lease is up. To summarize, the so-called cheapest Model 3 is really not so cheap to lease. Once you factor in the payment due at signing, the effective cost comes to $611 per month. Compare that to the next Model 3 trim, the Standard Range Plus. Not only does it have better range than the Standard, 240 miles vs. 216 miles, but is also a better overall deal.

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It'll cost you $552 per month for 36 months with $5,248 due at signing, which translates to an effective cost of $698 per month. While that is $87 more per month over the Standard, the Standard Range Plus comes with some features the base version lacks, specifically navigation, heated seats, and streaming music capability. Point being, if you want to lease the cheapest Model 3 possible, you'll have to settle without navigation, and who would want that? It's best to pony up an additional $87 a month and also enjoy that improved driving range as well.