Leasing a Tesla Model 3

Never thought I would consider leasing a car, but it’s about my girlfriend. She is self-employed and has currently a VW Polo (2006) with 250.000km and a couple of issues (heating and air conditiong doesn’t work anymore and some wierd noises with the front right wheel). We came to the conclusion that it’s not worth anymore spending xxxx CHF on repairing it, so she needs a new car. She drives 140km/day and probably around 36.000km/year. We thought about 2 options:

A) Buying a used car for ~20k with 2 years of warranty left.
B) Leasing a Tesla Model 3 for 5 years without a first downpayment and without intent of keeping it afterwards.

As her father owns the block, there wouldn’t be an issue for installing the 530 CHF Wall Charger from Tesla. Which would give her the ability to charge it at home during the night (0.09 CHF per kWh). The Tesla Model 3 Dual Range in black including 8 tires costs 59’180 CHF. Leasing rate would be 760 CHF per month (40.000km/year). Warranty of battery/motor up to 8 years or 200.000km, so covered for the planned 5 years of driving it. So I made the following calculations, assuming she drives 180.000-200.000km in 5 years:

A) Buying a used BMW 1 for 20k and selling it afterwards for 7k will result in a value losing of 217 CHF per month. Gas will cost her 240 CHF per month. Insurance/tax 150 CHF per month. Tires, services and possibly some repairs 150 CHF per month. As she is self-employed she’ll be able to reduce her taxable income with all these costs, resulting in net costs of 80% or 605 CHF net per month.

B) Leasing the Tesla for 760 CHF per month. Charging it for 60 CHF per month. Insurance/tax 150 CHF per month aswell. Basically no service needed, just replacing tires after 2 years, so expexted 100 CHF per month. In total 855 CHF net per month.

We did a testdrive yesterday and this car is just amazing. It’s way above something like a BMW 1 or Mercedes A-class in my opinion. Probably closer to a BMW M3 or Mercedes C-class. So it’s not really a 1:1 car comparison but rather just a comparison of costs and if it makes sense.

Here is a good review if you care to watch: https://youtu.be/kbulCM90w8w

So what do you guys think? Would it make sense to lease the Tesla?


Why does it have to be either-or - a BMW or a Tesla?

A couple years old Mazda3 can be found for 15000CHF(-ish), leased for less than 300/month (yes you can also lease a non-new car - and not necessarily lock in your money), and it is well built, well equipped and - as almost any Japanese car - more reliable and will last you longer than any of those two. :slight_smile:


I’ve been considering leasing because then you don’t have $60’000 of your capital trapped in a car. If you buy a car for $20’000 you should also consider alternative cost of that. $20’000 invested in stock could yield 6%, so $100 per month, but of course it’s only the expected value, with huge volatility.

What do you mean without downpayment? I didn’t actually find out how it works with leasing, but don’t you have to pay some money up front?

OK, how do you arrive at 775? 760 + 150 + 100? Btw my friend pays 1’200 per year for his Model 3 insurance at Helvetia.

Compare apples to apples. Mazda 3 vs Model 3, that’s not a fair comparison :slight_smile:

I agree, Mazda 3 is a much better car. :clown_face:
At least the numbers match LOL

Not necessarily - it is usually your mechanism/decision to reduce the amount to which the interest over years gets applied to.

Yeah but still you have to consider the much higher maintenance costs? And like Bojack said it’s not really a fair comparison…a Tesla 3 is on a whole other level. But we thought about buying the Mazda3, wouldn’t change a lot in terms of total costs I came up with the BMW I guess?

Well it’s like renting it. You don’t make a 1st initial payment, you just get to drive the car for 5 years for 760 CHF per month and give it back. Or pay 15k to keep it afterwards. But with 200.000km and no warranty on battery anymore it would make more sense to give it back and take a new one.

775 CHF because she is self-employed and can deduct all these costs from her taxes. In Basel it’s taxed at 22.5%. But you are right, 80% of 1070 is 855 CHF! Lol.

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Not much different indeed.
All costs (including tire change, service, insurance w/ full kasko+parking) except for gas turn to a bit less than 500CHF/month for me.
But I am buying it out at the end for residual value which is about 50% of what the actual market value will be - which I haven’t put into the calculations.

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So let’s say 500 CHF for repairing and keeping the Polo, 550 CHF for the Mazda3, 600 CHF for the BMW 1 and 850 CHF for the Tesla 3? :thinking:

Don’t forget the alternative cost!

OK, I see. And how much more would it cost to keep the car after 5 years? I mean, currently the Model 3 is the slowest depreciating car on the market, only losing 10% in the first year. If it still holds 50% of its initial price after 5 years, it will be worth 30’000. If the amount to keep is lower than that then I would consider it.

By the way, soon I will borrow a Model 3 from a friend for a whole year. After that, I will pay him 0.50 CHF for every kilometer I drove. So if I do 1000 km per month, that’s 500 CHF cost. I guess that’s a really good deal, or?

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You can buy the car after 5 years for 15k. But I’m not sure if it will be worth 30k by then?

Have fun with the car! It’s really great.

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I went to Tesla website and checked:



So I guess you’re considering the “operating leasing”. Any idea what the 20’000 km means?

But you see, the regular leasing does not say anything about 15’000 CHF. First you pay 10’000 CHF and then 21’897 at the end. So that’s over 30k, but we should count it all using discounted cashflows and alternative cost.

20.000km means you are allowed to drive 20.000km/year. If you drive more than that and return the car after 5 years, they will charge you with 0.25 CHF for every km you drove more. Could be expensive.

I was in the garage yesterday. They offered 760 CHF per month with 40.000km/year and no initial payment, just the monthly leasing rates.


Cool, so you got a similar rate like on the website, but with a double “allowance”. 40’000, that’s a lot. I made 3’300 in my first month with Model 3 and I saw whole Austria :slight_smile: .

Still, I would run the numbers for regular leasing, just to be sure.

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A little off topic, are you sure of these costs? In my canton they are:

  • night transport 4.55 ct/kwh
  • night energy 5.45 ct/kwh
  • various taxes and compulsory contributions 4.65 ct/kwh
  • total costs= 14.65 ct/kwh

daily total is 18.55 ct/kwh

I was struggling with the same decision as I have to change my car, but I’ve concluded that the Model3 is too small for my needs. The model Y would be ok but it’s going to cost 65K
Anyhow, with current prices, I still think Tesla is a lifestyle buy.


I agree with you.
If you are into going electric, I would very seriously consider a Kia Niro EV / e-Niro - has great mileage and seems to have plenty of room (probably still a bit shorter than the Y).

I don’t get, so a BMW 3, Audi A4 are not lifestyle buys, but Tesla is?

I checked it out and can’t believe you’re serious.

  • This Kia in the Style version costs 50’000 CHF, Model 3 long range 60’000.
  • Add the style pack and other options that come standard in Tesla and you’re looking at 55’000 CHF.
  • The engine has 150 kW, compared to 258 kW in Tesla
  • FWD vs AWD
  • 64 kWh battery with 455 km range vs 75 kWh battery and 560 km range
  • no access to supercharger
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They are, new at least.

jcd was talking about size - Model 3 is out of comparison, he was looking at Model Y.
I just offered a (relatively affordable) alternative in terms of size - he can also take a look at Jaguar I Pace for a higher price. :grin:

I agree in certain aspects (e.g. Supercharger access) it doesn’t compare, but the value of that is on each one of us to weigh. :slight_smile:

P.S. Tesla 3 Long Range is even less (in its basic form, w/o Autopilot etc.) - 55000CHF it seems.

True. With no custom color or wheels. And I expect that a base model Y (but still long range) will get under 60’000 CHF once available. They will produce it in Germany in a factory that will implement some efficiency improvements, that Musk is “excited about”.

I would say that there is no better car for the same price as Model 3 or Y, when you include fuel and maintenance. And if you buy a cheaper electric car, you sacrifice a lot in order to save a little.

Yes they are as well. 2nd hand is the best :grinning:

I fully agree with you, other manufacturers are not on the same level and prices are high. Tesla is actually unbeatable in the EV world. Lets wait when they will cost 30k for Long Range.