There are some truly insane deals to be had on new cars right now as the year comes to a close. After a lot of research, test drives, and spreadsheet number crunching I narrowed it down to buying a new or used Mk7 Volkswagen GTI or leasing a new 2020 Hyundai Ioniq Electric. In the end, I chose the financially responsible option and the one that allows me to save up and put a true sports car in my garage faster. This new car should cost me less than $200 per month all-in to drive for the next 3-years 30,000 miles, a truly impressive electric car lease deal worth considering.
I hadn’t planned to get a new commuter car for my wife for at least another 6-months, but my hand was forced a bit. I woke up from a dead sleep at 5:50 am on a Saturday morning to a metal cutting sound in front of my house. It took me about 2-seconds to realize that thieves were stealing the catalytic converter from my wife’s 2009 Toyota Prius, a common crime and target vehicle right now. Since the car bluebooks for about $1,300 and repairs would have been considerably more than that, it was time to go car shopping.
Choosing a New Commuter Car
I already have a fully overland/off-road built Lexus GX460 for big trips and off-road adventures. It gets dismal fuel economy, runs premium fuel, and doesn’t fit in parking garages, so doesn’t work well as a local commuter for my wife when I’m not using it. My wife’s commute, 3.5 days per week, is about 5 miles round trip, and when the weather is nice she bike commutes.
The must-haves for this second vehicle/commuter: decent fuel economy, be small and easy to parallel park, have good safety features, fit a child seat easily (family expansion is likely soon-ish), have easy access to the back seats (ie: easy to load a kid in a car seat), and be reliable. The preferred, but not required things we’d like out of this vehicle: be fun to drive (extra bonus if it tempts me to take it to a track day), have a nice interior, have a manual trans, and have low maintenance costs.
After test driving a few vehicles (i3, STI, A3 e-Tron, GTI, Velocetor N, Ioniq Electric) my wife and I both agreed that a GTI was the best combo of fun and practical that we could afford and both would love to drive. The issue was that we stumbled upon the most insane lease deal (thanks to the heads up from our good friend and AutoWise EV guru Nick Schoeps) on the 2020 Hyundai Ioniq Electric car.
Electric Car Lease Deal I Couldn’t Refuse
After driving the Ioniq EV we realized that it is nearly the same size and shape as the Prius that we were replacing, but was fully electric, the Limited model was loaded with every creature comfort/tech/safety feature known to man (besides a heated steering wheel), and was actually pretty nice to drive. To be clear, I HATED nearly everything about the Prius to my core, so there was no chance we’d get another one of those. While the Ioniq is close in some regards, it is better in all regards.
The national Hyundai lease deal being advertised on the 2020 Ioniq Electric was $169 down and $169/month for 36-months ($6,084 total), for the base SE model car. The two dealerships local to me in Portland, OR advertised $1,999 down and either $69/month ($4,483 total) or $39/month ($3,403 total), depending on the dealership, for the Ioniq Electric SE. They also offered the same down payment with either $99 ($5,563 total) or $69 ($4,483 total) per month on the top-spec Limited model. The big difference between the national campaign and buying the car in Oregon (and being an Oregon resident) is that the state offers a $2,500 lease incentive on new electric vehicles that the dealer rolls into their price.
In the end, we chose to go with the $1,999, $69/month, 36-month, 10,000 miles/year lease deal on the 2020 Ioniq Limited. It’s hard to pass up paying $69 a month to essentially rent a $40,000 car that has little to no maintenance costs and insanely low ‘fuel’ costs. We also found big ways to drop the downpayment amount, but there were other upfront and ‘hidden’ fees to also consider.
We wrote a check for about $1,600 dollars, handed over the keys to our old beat Prius that was missing a catalytic converter, and drove off the lot in a brand new fully optioned $40,000 electric car. Let’s dive into the numbers and see how good this deal really is, as I’m the first to admit that I’ve never considered leasing a car. I’m generally on the buy and modify/upgrade program.
Up Front Money
Upfront the lease deal for us was a $1,999 down payment plus the taxes, title, tags, and other dealer and state fees. While the down payment number was the same between the two local dealers, which are only about 15 miles from each other, the costs of the total fees were considerably different. One dealer was charging a bit over $1,700 for the fees, while the one we went with (which also offered the considerably lower monthly payments) only charged us $1,119 for all the fees.
Bottom line, it’s probably worth your time to do a quick comparison shop and know ALL the fees upfront before signing on the dotted line.
As insane as it sounds, we really are just going to pay $69/month to lease this car. That is a VERY low number to drive such a well-optioned vehicle.
The only “hidden fees” that caught us off guard when we went to sign the paperwork was the lease termination fees. Those amounted to $400 to turn in the car or $300 if we would want to buy the vehicle at the end of the lease. The word of mouth agreement is that they waive the $400 fee if you buy or lease another vehicle with them at that time, but this is nowhere in the contract you sign.
I have no clue if I’d buy or lease another vehicle from them at the end of this, but I do know that there is little to no chance that I’ll want to buy this car at the end of the lease. EV tech is just moving too fast for me to be interested in owning this car for more than 3 years. What that means is that I have to expect to pay another $400 when I hand Hyundai the keys back to this car at the end of the lease.
It’s known that maintenance on an electric vehicle is very low, but it is extremely low with this lease. As everything is new and I’m only planning to drive the car 30,000 miles or less, consumables like tires and brakes should not need replacing. The cabin air-filter and tire rotations are included with the lease free of charge.
The only service or maintenance fees I could find that I’ll need to pay during this lease is an inspection at the dealership at 15,000 miles. The “service” involves a full inspection, a new cabin air filter, and a tire rotation. The 15,000-mile service on the Ioniq Electric is $99.95 at my local Hyundai dealer. As long as you stay under the 30,000-mile cap of the lease you won’t need to do more than the one paid visit to the dealership service department, as pretty much everything else should be covered under warranty.
You might need to buy some windshield washer fluid, wiper blades, and car cleaning supplies, but that’s about it for the 3-years of ownership.
It is unlikely that we’ll ever have to use a charger besides at our house to keep this car going, because of the places we plan to go with it and the 170-mile range that it offers on a full charge. If I do use a fast charger somewhere, that could slightly increase my “fuel” costs. Electricity is relatively inexpensive in Oregon and it should cost no more than $846 to operate this vehicle for 30,000 miles.
Something I already scheduled to do is the addition of a 240-volt line and 50 amp plug in my detached garage, specifically to add a level 2 EV charger. I figured this would help future proof the house a bit, and would charge up review vehicles that regularly get dropped off in my driveway for my job here at AutoWise. The electrician costs for this are about $2,300, and a Juicebox Level 2 40 Amp charger costs about $600. I’m getting this all installed in 2020, as there is a Federal tax rebate on home EV infrastructure this year, which will save me 30% on these costs. In the end, this EV infrastructure should set me back about $2,030.
The Ioniq Electric comes with a Level 1 charger, for any standard 110 outlet, which does not require any of this additional faster-charging infrastructure. You could easily not spend these couple of grand if you didn’t need the quick charge capabilities or already have the wiring required in your house/garage.
Insuring A New EV
Crazy enough, the full coverage low deductible insurance rate on this brand new $40,000 car worked out to less than $2 more per month more than the $1,300 Prius we had. For my wife and I that equates to $579.46 to insure the Ioniq Electric Limited per year, or $1,738.38 for the 3-years of the lease.
Reducing Up Front Spend Further
To reduce our upfront costs we traded in our old Prius, which was missing a catalytic converter, for $1,000 trade-in value. This is probably more than we could have received for it as scrap or through a private sale.
My wife is a Nurse Practitioner working at an urgent care facility, so we also qualified for a $500 first responder discount.
Total Vehicle Ownership Costs
Here’s a breakdown of all the ownership costs for this 2020 Hyundai Ioniq Electric Limited for my wife and I over the 3-year 30,000-mile lease:
- Money Down: $1,618 ($1,999 down + $1,119 fees – $1,000 trade-in – $500 first responder discount)
- Monthly Payment Costs: $2,484 ($69/month x 36 months)
- “Fuel” Costs: $ 2,876 ($846 for electricity + $2,030 EV charging infrastructure)
- Insurance Costs: $1,738.38
- Maintenance Costs: $99.95 (15,000-mile inspection)
- Lease Termination Fee: $400
- Total Leased Vehicle Ownership Cost: $9,216.33 ($256/month) or $7,186.33 ($199.62/month) without extra EV charging infrastructure
There shouldn’t be any surprise costs, as this is a new car under warranty and an electric car with little in the way of consumables. These known total ownership costs, which are quite inexpensive, allows me to better plan for the future.
For me, this means the ability to stash money away to hopefully soon buy a third car, a purely fun car. My 996TT search continues!
(A good resource I found to compare the ownership costs of buying a gas car versus an electric car is this Online EV Calculator. It is specific to Oregon residents but will give you some numbers to consider, no matter where you live. Another great resource, which can help you find the latest lease deals on EVs, is Ev-Vin.)