Electric car leasing with no deposit
In this article, we’ll explain whether you can get an electric car lease with no deposit and explain how an elmo EV subscription might better suit your needs over a traditional car lease.
- Very few leasing providers will let you lease an electric car with no deposit.
- You’re usually required to pay an upfront payment to secure your car, which goes toward your lease.
- Those few companies who do lease cars with a deposit will charge you a much higher monthly payment. The deposit amount varies depending on the provider, the value of the car you choose, your mileage allowance and the length of the lease.
- Subscriptions are a great alternative to leasing and there’s no deposit to pay.
Can you lease an electric car with no deposit?
Leasing (or Personal Contract Hire – PCH) is a way of ‘hiring’ yourself a new car over a long-term period that often works out cheaper than some purchase finance agreements. Most leases require an upfront deposit, which you pay at the point of booking, to secure your car.
Electric car leasing with no deposit is rare. Most leasing companies will want between 3 and 12 months’ worth of payments upfront, which form your deposit. This deposit does not go toward paying off your lease and is mostly a payment to secure your car. For example, if your monthly lease was £500 a month and the company wanted 6 months’ worth as a deposit, you’d need to pay £3,000 upfront before you receive your car.
There are a few companies that will let you lease with them without a deposit, but these are few and far between.
How much are electric car lease deposits?
Leasing deposits are required before you take delivery of your car, which is dependent on manufacturer availability. Delays in manufacturing mean it’s not uncommon to see 9-18 month delays on new vehicles, meaning you’d need to keep your old car for longer, or rent/purchase another car for the interim. A lease deposit can range between 3-12+ months’ worth of your monthly lease payment, for example:
- If a city car costs £300 per month on a 48-month agreement, you could be asked to pay anywhere between £900 (3x the monthly payment) and £3,600 (12x the monthly payment) upfront.
- A more expensive premium car costing £950 per month on a 36-month agreement could mean a required upfront deposit of between £2,850 and £11,400.
Some leasing companies will offer ‘no deposit’ options, where your upfront payment would include the first month of your lease as well as an administration fee, which could be anything between £180-£380. These no deposit leasing options however, are few and far between.
That’s where a car subscription may be a better alternative to leasing for you.
Want to lease an electric car without a deposit?
Subscriptions are a great alternative to leasing a car because they’re: more flexible, generally all-inclusive (meaning lots of things that usually cost extra, like insurance for example, form part of your monthly subscription payment) and crucially here, they don’t require an upfront deposit.
You’re also not restricted by manufacturer lead times – so, cars are readily available. At elmo, you could get a car delivered to your door within just a week.
What are the main benefits of a car subscription vs leasing?
Car subscriptions are generally more flexible than leasing as the minimum terms are much shorter. Most car subscriptions will offer minimum contract lengths of between 1-12 months, rather than the 2-5 years for a lease, after which you can keep the car as long as you wish.
At elmo, our shortest minimum term is 60 days, and you can swap your car or stop your subscription at any time afterwards with just 30 days’ notice. If your situation changes often, or you like switching cars frequently, a flexible car subscription may be better suited to you.
All our subscriptions at elmo include as standard: the cost of the car hire, comprehensive insurance, vehicle excise duty, servicing & maintenance, breakdown cover & tyre maintenance and the congestion charge.
No deposit required
Unlike most leases, there’s no deposit required for our car subscriptions.
Your initial payment upfront is your first months’ subscription and the delivery fee, as we deliver cars directly to your door.
Here are some examples of electric car leases we found online with cars in stock ready to go (as of November 2022):
Fiat 500e Icon (42kWh)
MG5 EV Estate (Long Range)
Tesla Model 3 (Long Range)
Lease vs Subscribe
This is where subscription really comes into its own. In order to get a Tesla (in that example above) for under £750 per month, you need to pay over £6,500 upfront. Subscriptions for the same Tesla may have a seemingly higher monthly payment, but when you factor in there’s no deposit and it’s all-inclusive, subscriptions are price competitive.
That’s why we break it down across our website, where you’ll find ‘Lease vs Subscribe’ tables like this:
Renault ZOE GT Line+ EV50 (rapid)
- Upfront payment
- Minimum commitment
- Total monthly cost
- Vehicle monthly payment
- Upfront payment**
- Breakdown cover
- Vehicle Excise Duty
- 36 months
- 60 days
* Compared against leading lease deals at 10,000 miles a year.
** Split monthly over 36 months.
*** Lease vs elmo comparison guideline only. May vary depending on model.
Here’s what it means it this example:
- In order to get an elmo subscription competitive lease, you’d need to pay £1,157 upfront deposit (which doesn’t go toward your monthly payment) and be tied into a contract for 3 years
- You’d have to arrange the insurance, servicing and maintenance, breakdown cover and vehicle excise duty (albeit free currently) yourself
- The elmo subscription is less per month, includes all the extras as standard and only requires £618 upfront – £499 of which is your first months’ subscription, and £119 is delivery to your door
- This table also doesn’t include public charging access (which you can add to your subscription for a little extra), or the discount you could get on a home charger through elmo and our partners at Easee. It’s rare for leasing companies to offer either of these
It can get confusing, but if you’re prepared the break down the costs of leasing vs a subscription, in most people’s cases, the subscription is the more affordable, more flexible and easily accessible option.
We compare some of the key differences between these two popular mobility options.
Why do car leasing companies require a deposit?
Car leasing companies often order you a brand-new car when you sign up, which is why it can sometimes take months before your lease car arrives (and is why you should check to see if the car is ‘in stock’ before committing to a lease). The deposit is essentially your way of saying you’re committed to the order and are usually non-refundable once your car is on order. Deposits are also not refunded at the end of a lease, nor do they go toward your next car (if you were to lease again).
Is leasing a car good value for money?
That depends on your circumstances! The cheaper monthly payments often require a large upfront payment. If you’re in a position to pay a large initial payment, then the monthly figure can often seem attractive. But, remember to factor in the other outlays you’d need to pay for (and arrange) yourself, i.e. insurance, breakdown cover, servicing & maintenance and so on.
Are car subscriptions better than leasing?
It depends on your lifestyle, needs and situation. If you’re looking for ultimate flexibility, with a lower commitment and far cheaper initial payment than most leasing agreements, subscriptions are the way to go. They’re less hassle to set up, too, with the subscription company handling all the insurance, breakdown cover and vehicle excise duty set up, as well as covering the servicing and maintenance of your car throughout your subscription.
Plus, subscriptions mean you can change your car when your needs change. Got a baby on the way and your small city car won’t do for your growing family? No worries – swap it for a bigger one. Not sure if the car you want will be unnecessarily big in the long run? Downsize after your minimum subscription term – it’s not a problem. Maybe you just like changing your car a little more often? Subscriptions offer the best bits of leasing over purchasing a car outright, without any of the hassle or huge deposits.