By on July 10, 2012

Browsing TrueCar’s top lease deals for July, 2012 yielded an interesting find; a lease deal on the Chevrolet Volt that specifically excludes HOV-lane qualified versions.

A previous blow-out special in February, 2012 involved the “Quad $0″ lease deal, and specifically excluded HOV-capable Volts, as a means of clearing out excess inventory that caused the plant to idle for a period of time. While the Quad $0 program offered a $0 security deposit, down payment, cash due at signing and first month’s payment, monthly payments worked out to between $369 and $425 a month, and only allowed 12,000 miles a year. The deal was only available in California as a means of clearing out models that didn’t quality for the HOV lane.

The new deal cited by TrueCar offers a lower monthly payment ($299) and up to 36,000 miles. Chevrolet’s own website, using ZIP codes in both the Los Angeles and Miami areas (just for comparison), offer a 24 month, $249 per month lease with $2,479 due at signing and 12,000 miles per year. Both leases specifically exclude the “PCV” low emissions version that qualifies for PZEV status. Lease deals like this may help spur some more Volt sales in other parts of the country, but given the importance of HOV access in California, it likely won’t help much in those parts. Inventory for the Volt, as of June 1st, is at 90 days supply, up from 71 days on May 1st.

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38 Comments on “$299 A Month For 36 Months With $1,399 Down Will Get You Into A Chevrolet Volt, But Not The HOV Lane...”


  • avatar
    NotFast

    Chicago area – $2479 down, $259/month, 24,000 miles per year – 2 year lease. Makes me wish I needed a car right now,

  • avatar
    NN

    wow, hopefully they move a bunch like this, if it fit my needs and I was in the market I’d be really looking at it.

  • avatar
    sunridge place

    Derek-Its not 36,000 miles per year…its 36,000 miles over 36 months. Still 12,000 miles per year.

    In the 24 month example, its 24,000 miles over 24 months….still 12,000 miles per year.

    Price on lease went down because leasing examples are now using Preferred Pricing instead of MSRP per the Chevy summer sell down promotion offering Supplier Pricing for Everyone on 2012′s.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      …per the Chevy summer sell down promotion offering Supplier Pricing for Everyone on 2012′s…

      Where is that? No where on Chevy’s site – just built a 2012 Equinox and not one penny on the hood.

      The only Chevy cars with cash on the hood are the 2012 ‘bu, the 2012 Imp’, and the ‘guberment tax credit on the Volt (if you want to get technical).

      No cash on the hood for 2013 ‘bu, Cruze, Sonic, Camaro, or Corvette.

      Suburban, Tahoe, and Traverse have cash on the hood, along with the Silverado. None for the Equinox.

      But there is no supplier pricing for all deal out there.

      • 0 avatar
        sunridge place

        watch the rotating banner on the home page for the offer….its just Chevy…not all brands.

        or go to chevy.com/confidence

        i’m sure the build your own etc will be updated soon…it started today.

  • avatar
    magicboy2

    Considering most people are saving like $100/mo in gas with a Volt, this makes the lease effectively $199/mo. That kind of money is a steal for a car with the features and ride quality that a Volt has.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    And you could get a $199 deal on a nice car like an Accord or a Sonata and ride in comfort and style.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    “And you could get a $199 deal on a nice car like an Accord or a Sonata and ride in comfort and style”

    No one is trading in their BMW or Lexus for an Accord and cetainly not a Sonata. But they are for a Volt. You’ve obviously never spent time a Volt to make such a ridiculous statement.

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      I have spent time in a Volt and currently drive an Accord, and agree with his statement.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      In the past 8 years we’ve traded in one BMW for an Acura TSX, which led to the next one going in favor of a Honda Civic Si, and the last one just went in favor of a Honda CR-V. Other BMWs that were bought new by my friends were traded on a Subaru Legacy 3.6R, a Lexus IS250, a Toyota Tacoma, and a used Chevy Trailblazer. I do know someone that considered trading their lemon of a Mazda 3 for a Volt, but I talked some sense into them and they bought a better car with lower ownership costs instead.

      • 0 avatar
        Volts On Fire

        “I do know someone that considered trading their lemon of a Mazda 3 for a Volt, but I talked some sense into them and they bought a better car with lower ownership costs instead.”

        Good for you, CJ!!

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        The guy has an MBA and is CFO of a midsized company, so it really pained me to have to do the math for him. At least he understood when I showed him the figures, which some people can’t wrap their heads around to save their lives.

  • avatar
    scrappy17

    They do not advertise the residual value in the lease deal. Anybody have an idea what it is?

  • avatar
    thalter

    What’s to keep you from driving one of these in the HOV lane? Is there any way to tell a PCV Volt from a non-PCV Volt?

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      The state will know, and it won’t issue the HOV lane stickers to those who own the wrong cars.

    • 0 avatar
      Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

      They go by VIN, so unless you counterfeit your VIN they’ll know.

      I still wonder why they can’t retrofit the pre-PCV cars, though as I don’t need access to HOV lanes I don’t personally care a whole lot.

    • 0 avatar
      Volts On Fire

      Barring an officer taking the time to run your VIN, the only way to tell a PCV Volt is just badging or placarding, right? What’s to prevent someone from simply counterfeiting those items?

      Yeah, it’s technically illegal and you run a slight risk of getting caught, but so what? It’s California.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    As some of the other comments suggest, a lease deal for the right buyer (i.e. someone who can manage to operate mostly within its electric-powered range) might be pretty attractive, for the savings in gasoline. 12,000 miles/yr. for a car like this makes perfect sense. If you’re a high-mileage driver, this is not the car for you. You want a hybrid or a diesel. And the nice thing about the lease is that GM assumes the depreciation risk. If the car depreciates like a stone, you can buy it at the end of the lease period cheap. And, if it doesn’t, well, you’ve had a cheap ride for 2 or 3 years.

    • 0 avatar
      rudiger

      That’s one of the things I don’t get. One would think that a high-mileage driver is ‘exactly’ the person who should be most interested in an expensive alternative fuel vehicle since, the more one drives using the alternative means of propulsion, the sooner the break-even point of price-premium paid versus gas savings.

      • 0 avatar
        jpolicke

        Because the car has an electric-only range of 35 miles. So if your usage is, say 140 miles a day, 75% of the time you’re driving a vastly overpriced gas powered Cruze. You’re going to take a long time to break even, if ever. The ideal user has a daily drive about equal to the electric-only range. The problem with that, though, is the less you drive the less gas you would buy anyway, which makes payback at least as long and iffy.

  • avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

    I assume it’s more profitable to offer a lease than to move the cars to other markets that don’t need the HOV dispensation? I wonder what relationship (if any) that has with anticipated depreciation..

  • avatar
    el scotto

    http://www.dmv.virginia.gov/webdoc/citizen/vehicles/cleanspecialfuel.asp#qualify gives a list of HOV eligible vehicles in the Old Dominion. VA HOV lanes defined: http://www.commuterpage.com/hov.htm. Now stay to the right on the Metro escalators.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      I lived in Alexandria in 2004-2005 and the HOV lanes were already clogged with Priuses and Civic Hybrids. I suspect they’re completely useless now. Is it just me, or is the list redolent with gimmicky luxury cars that are worse for the environment than pretty much any 1.8 to 2.4 liter sedan you can buy?

      • 0 avatar
        el scotto

        @ CJ, the only times I’ve been in HOV lanes was from the Pentagon, 395 South, to Springfield in the afternoon. You could actually roll pretty well, but with DC being DC, traffic that can change in a heartbeat. In a Prius driven by a retired Army Sergeant, go figure. Our locales seem to cross, I’m in Charlottesville now, lived in Alexandria 2007-2010, and lived in San Diego in the early 80′s. I do have pics of me walking down the GW Parkway during snowmagedon.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        I know a Marine helicopter pilot that was probably one of the first people I saw with a 2nd generation Prius. Initially, a hybrid provided a very good return in quality of life for NoVa sufferers.

        The first time I visited San Diego was in 2002, but I get the impression it was a pretty colorful place in the early ’80s. How do you like Charlottesville?

  • avatar
    Philosophil

    EV’s may not be selling, but E-Bikes seem to have become quite a hit, (at least around these parts). It’s actually an interesting phenomena, especially among seniors and other less mobile sorts. Someone should write an article on the sales of E-Bikes as an urban vehicle (nudge-nudge, wink-wink)

  • avatar
    el scotto

    CJ, moving from Alexandria to Charlottesville was like getting out of jail. I grew up near a college town, so the peace-hippy-love types were expected. Thanks

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      I couldn’t take the traffic calming or any of the other politics, so I had to go back to San Diego, which is relatively conservative. Dry and beachy too

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    Electrics move far quicker on lease deals vs. finance deals.

    The economics of these lease arrangements still stink to high heaven. But if you’re willing to experience a five-figured divestment of your savings, there are far worse ways to go about it.

    • 0 avatar
      myleftfoot

      So do you recommend buying a Volt or Leaf and risk the depreciation?
      To me, depreciation in the first three years is about the same as a lease. I know ttac in the past has predicted killer depreciation for ev’s. From reading your posts in the past, I would value your opinion.

      • 0 avatar
        Steven Lang

        If you are in one of those states where the tax credits amount to $12,500 instead of $7,500, you can build up a pretty decent case for buying the Volt or LEAF.

        However doing so isn’t quite an economic proposition. BMW’s are bought for their performance. Versa’s are bought for their low cost of operation.

        With the Volt and the LEAF, you are buying a technology that focuses on minimizing gas consumption… and you pay a small premium for it up front.

        The depreciation issues on both vehicles are minimal at this point. I wouldn’t have a problem with either one. But if depreciation costs are a big issue for you, then just buy a ten year old car instead.

  • avatar
    Astigmatism

    Dear lord:

    “The versatile 2012 Dodge Caliber five-door compact utility vehicle combines a swoopy coupe-like profile with the functionality of a sport-utility vehicle but at the price of a compact sedan. With fuel economy ratings of 24 mpg city / 32 mpg highway (with five speed manual transmission) or 23 mpg city / 27 mpg highway (with CVT automatic) and a starting price of $18,130 (including destination) the 2012 Dodge Caliber offers new car shoppers an affordable, small-footprint vehicle with the right amount of attitude that’s also fun to drive. And it’s impossible to beat that 0% finance rate!”

    The poor marketing intern who was forced to write that paragraph has since been locked in a padded room without his shoelaces until they figure out what psychiatric course could help with the shame.

    • 0 avatar
      threeer

      After driving it’s cousin (Jeep Compass) for a week, “Fun to drive” is about as far away from reality as they come. I’m trying to decide if this (hey…”It’s an upgrade” was what the lady at Budget said with a straight face…compared to what? A coffin?) or the new Nissan Versa sedan I have this week is the worse rental…a true toss-up. Makes me really appreciate the Ford Fiesta I had three weeks ago…

  • avatar
    el scotto

    I’m starting to like how the Volt looks. The ones I’ve seen in the wild look aggressive and kind of edgy, at least you know you’re looking at a Chevy. Yeah, I know this is all subjective.

  • avatar
    Disaster

    The math on leases rarely works out. This one runs $12,163 for 3 years. Buy a Cruze for $18,000 and sell it in 3 years for $12,000 (with 36K miles in today’s used market you’d even get more.) You are at $6,000. Even if you say you’ll never use a drop of gas over the 3 years and you assume gas is $4 a gallon that is only $4,800 of gas. Now, don’t forget, electricity isn’t free. In fact, in California, if you go over a certain amount it can be as expensive as gasoline. However, lets assume you aren’t from California and only use $1,800 in electricity to fill up you Volt over 3 years. That puts you at a gas savings of $3,000. The best you can do is pay an additional $3,000 for the pleasure of driving a Chevy Cruze with one less seating position.

    P.S. The math gets more and more in the favor of buying as you hold onto the car longer. This is why I got off the lease merry-go-round.

  • avatar
    Disaster

    By the way, the Altima…the next “deal” on the list, is $7055 for two years. That is about twice as expensive as it would be to buy it and keep it 6-7 years. Also, I find I enjoy a car more when I own it…treat it better…don’t just wait around for the lease to expire so I can get something new.

  • avatar
    KixStart

    How does GM compute the “transaction price” on a lease? Do they set it to MSRP? Is this a way of burnishing their “transaction price” statistics?


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