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