Can I Lease a Tesla?

You don't have to buy a Tesla to drive one, but the leasing process is a bit different than you may expect.

Tesla Model S PlaidTesla

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If you're interested in a Tesla, but you’re unsure you're ready to buy one outright, never fear: leasing can be an option. However, leasing a Tesla electric vehicle is different from the standard leasing process with which you may already be familiar. This guide will help you learn everything you need to know.

Tesla model lineup: Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Tesla SuperchargersTesla

How Can I Lease a Tesla?

There are two ways to lease a Tesla: Design a car on Tesla's website; or browse Tesla's existing inventory to find a vehicle near you.

Designing your vehicle guarantees your Tesla will have the features you want. However, you'll have to wait for that car to be assembled and delivered, which can take two months or more. If you lease a vehicle already in Tesla's inventory, delivery is within two weeks, but you can't customize it.

Selecting "lease" as the payment method for your vehicle of choice begins the entirely online process. After placing your order, you can manage your lease via your online Tesla Account.

Tesla Roadster, redTesla

How Is Leasing a Tesla Different from Leasing Other Cars?

When leasing a conventional vehicle, you'd likely find a car, visit a dealership to test-drive it and finalize the lease at that dealer or another offering a better deal. Without standard dealerships, Tesla asks potential lessees to complete the lease online with Tesla as the financier.

Currently, Tesla leasing is only available in just over 40 states (including Washington, D.C). Further, if you took delivery of your leased Tesla on or after April 15, 2022 (or you’re a Model 3/Model Y lessee beginning from any date), you can't purchase it at the end of your lease; you must return it, though you can upgrade to a newer model. The lack of dealerships also means relying solely on Tesla's 140 Service Centers for scheduled maintenance, warranty repairs, or sustained damage. If there are no near-to-you Service Centers, you may have to travel to or have your Tesla towed to the nearest facility.

Tesla Roadster, whiteTesla

What Is the Cost of Leasing a Tesla?

Tesla makes it easy to explore financing options for the exact Tesla model you'd like, thanks to its Financing and Leasing calculator. Just design your optimal car, add in your desired information, and you'll discover the price.

The results are endless, depending on the terms. But let's compare a lease to a loan with a $4,500 down payment and a 36-month term. Tesla asks for a $250 order payment, and for the lease, a $695 acquisition fee, the first month's payment upfront, and the automaker places a 10,000-mile annual mileage cap.

Here's how the monthly lease vs. loan costs currently look for the $48,440 Tesla Model 3 Rear-Wheel Drive compact sedan:

  • Tesla Model 3 Lease: $499
  • Tesla Model 3 Loan: $1,302

And for the most expensive $163,440 Tesla Model X Plaid midsize SUV:

  • Tesla Model X Lease: $2,446
  • Tesla Model X Loan: $4,729

Tesla CybertruckTesla

Is It Smarter to Lease or Buy a Tesla?

Leasing a Tesla can be a good choice for anyone who doesn't drive long distances and enjoys upgrading to a newer vehicle from the same manufacturer after three years. A lease also results in a lower monthly outlay.

Electric vehicle technology, too, is exponentially advancing each year, which means a newer leased vehicle will always feature the latest upgrades. Unfortunately, as noted in the lease-purchase restrictions mentioned earlier, chances are you won't be able to purchase your Tesla at the end of the lease.

However, if you drive more than 10,000 miles annually, you may want to buy your Tesla.

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Elizabeth Blackstock
I’m Elizabeth Blackstock, and after growing up around the Detroit automotive industry, I’ve made it my life’s mission to make information about vehicles accessible for the average consumer. Whether you’re a hardcore auto enthusiast or someone looking for a practical machine for the daily commute, I’m here to help you make your most informed decision.