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Buy or Lease an Electric Car: Kia Soul EV's Case

Whether buying an electric car vs leasing is a good idea or not depends on many factors including your driving habits and needs. Lat's take a look at Kia Sould EV's case when it comes to buying vs leasing an EV.


"Kia Soul EV-ers, Please advise help me. Should we lease or buy? First time car buyer. We have a toddler and another baby on the way, middle class Canadian family, renters with level-1 charging only in our parking garage, but fast charger is a few blocks away. W are going for a new 2019 Soul EV, $31k CAD after all taxes/rebates if we pay cash. I am worried about depreciating value on lower range models, but my husband really wants EV and this is the high end of our budget. Kia Soul EV seems like the best EV due to its size, height and car seat needs. We couldn’t find any decent deals on used EV car market due to government incentives. Are we crazy? Thank you in advance for thoughts. We are buying this week," wrote Lisa Be in Kia Soul EV public group on Facebook and received a number of good responses.

Leasing vs Buying an EV

Check if the lease offers front load any lease cap rebates. "In the United States sometimes it's better to lease first and buy it out when it matures due to the subsidized factor on a lease vs loan. Hence my 2017 Soul EV leased new is only going to be 15k USD out of pocket when all said and done," writes Robert Lee-Olson.

Another user, named Spencer Wilhelm recommends leasing it because you never know what you might want in 3 more years. However, the down size of the leasing is that You are paying for the depreciation on the car when you lease instead of the value. But some people say the depreciation is not too expensive. Another downsize is that you are paying a lot of interest and not owning the car.

"I would lease purely because of the technology and you have a budget. My brother has 3 children as do I and the soul has been fine. We both have them. I only have mine for day and upgrading to the Niro but I love the Soul EV," writes Stephanie Hehir.

Consider The Range in Buying vs Leasing

"Do you need the high range or can the lower range of the last model Soul EV work? You can get used Soul EV a quite a bit cheaper. Around 13k at least here in California, recommends Roger Hsieh.

First, you have to decide if the 111 Mile range will work for your daily commute, writes Steve Heller. "Remember, EV range is an estimate in the best weather. As it gets colder, all electric vehicles lose range. You will be fine with a level 1 charger, as long as your commute is short enough that it can be replenished overnight," recommends Steve Heller in the group. See this good EV Charger Map App and free charging from Torque News.

Check and Compare

Deciding between leasing vs buying when it comes to EVs is a hard question. "I have been advise by a pretty smart accountant that on EVs a lease is better as the deprecation on these cars are 50% or greater and at the end of the lease the buyout is more than the market value. Check Craigslist or whatever and see what they are selling for now vs new. My EV was $65k and I bought it CPO 2 yrs old with 30k on it for less than the half price. Look into it. Perhaps you can get a lower monthly and a higher buyout - which would reduce your risk," wrote Richard Chong in the group.

Few more opinions on buying vs leasing an EV

Ken Contois - I went with extended warranty of 10yrs 200k bumper to bumper. Bought it and when I will upgrade it will have 5yr 100k warranty on it. I would say the resale loss would be less than what I would have paid for a 2yr and then a 3yr lease.

Barbara Carter MacDougall - I paid $44,000 all in for 2016 Soul EV less $8,000 Gov rebates at the time in Ontario December 2015 ($36,000). Just got a quick quote for trade in of $24,000.00 3.5 years old 50,000 km.

Elizabeth Elias - I am a small business owner my vehicle is for my business so I bought mine. However I am in the United States. Two years in a row I have been reaping the many benefits, tax-wise, by owning my car instead of leasing it.

Harold Sogard - If you are getting it new, and if what ever tax breaks and government refunds you can get in Canada apply to leasing as well as buying, then it usually makes financial sense to lease rather than buy. The residual value that Kia Finance calculates in their leases will be significantly higher than the actual cash market value at the end of the lease, so you will in effect be paying a nicely discounted price for "renting" the car during the term of your lease. Another reason to lease rather than buy is that the technology on EV's is changing so rapidly that at the end of a three year lease you quite likely would want to get a new improved EV rather than hang on to an old, essentially obsolete one.

Boliver Allmon III - Lease. Take the extra rebates. Most people should always lease. You lease a depreciating asset and purchase an appreciating asset.

Leung T Kwok - The 2020 Soul EV with double the range is coming out soon. Value of ‘19 & before Souls should be a discount to the new Souls price - maybe 50%. So it depends on what the new Soul will be priced at. Lease if they dealer gives you a good (really low payments) lease deal. I don’t know Canada, but I the US, the tax benefits come directly off the car’s price if you lease.

Also see: Why is Kia Soul EV Selling Under a Decimal Point Compared to LEAF.

I personally prefer buying a used car and paying what I can afford. I don't like to pay an interest. What about you?