Dodge the depreciation: Five EVs that cost less to lease than they’ll lose in value

Image of James Kelly
Author: | Updated: 08 Mar 2024 09:48

With EVs hitting the market thick and fast, the road to electrification is accelerating. But it’s not all smooth sailing. Technology is constantly evolving, and when it comes to residual values electric vehicles continue to prove tricky to track.

At the time of writing, EVs actually lose value at a slightly slower pace than petrol and diesel models. But depending on the report you read, you can still expect between 50% and 60% of their original value to be wiped off in the first three years or 30,000 miles.

It doesn’t make sense to own something that dramatically loses value like a brand-new vehicle. This is why leasing makes so much sense when it comes to new cars. And then this got us thinking: would it be possible to lease a car for less than its total depreciation over the course of three years?

Real-world depreciation examples

We took a look at the latest depreciation data and then compared residual values after three years/30k with the total lease costs. We used like-for-like vehicles and trim levels over three years and with the same mileage allowance to ensure we could calculate things as accurately as possible*.

We already know leasing offers lower upfront and monthly costs than PCP. The following examples demonstrate how it can help you avoid costly depreciation too.

Audi Q4 Sportback 50 e-tron quattro

Audi Q4 e-tron Sportback

52% value loss over three years

P11d value

Total lease cost at 36 months / 30,000 miles

Value lost at 36 months / 30,000 miles

Lease cost vs depreciation cost

£56,485

£23,366.12

£29,372.20

£6,006.08

Save £6,006.08 on depreciation costs by leasing

First on our list is the Audi Q4 e-tron – specifically in Sportback form. With an official range of 300+ miles and Audi’s premium interior, it’s popular with those after an EV capable of comfortable, long-distance cruising.

What most people won’t think about though, is the fact it will lose approximately 52% of its value over the first three years and 30,000 miles of its life. That means the car will cost you less over the lease period than it loses in value.

Compare Audi Q4 e-tron lease deals

Tesla Model 3 2024 front

Tesla model 3

52% value loss over three years

P11d value

Total lease cost at 36 months / 30,000 miles

Value lost after 36 months / 30,000 miles

Lease cost vs depreciation cost

£42,935

£18,538.60

£22,326.24

£3,787.64

Leasing saves £3,787.64 on depreciation costs by leasing

With a P11d of £42,935, the Tesla Model 3 proves excellent value on the face of it. Again though, it’ll lose more than 50% of its value over the course of 36 months and/or 30,000 miles.

The result? £22,326.24 in depreciation, compared to a total lease cost of around £18,539.60.

Compare Tesla Model 3 lease deals

Volkswagen ID.3 lead

Volkswagen ID.3

53% value loss over three years

P11d value

Total lease cost at 36 months / 30,000 miles

Value lost at 36 months / 30,000 miles

Lease cost vs depreciation cost

£39,700

£17,190.88

£21,041

£3,850.12

Save £3,860.12 on depreciation costs by leasing

Another fine choice for those after a practical and affordable electric family hatchback. Volkswagens typically hold their value well, but the ID.3 is still expected to lose approximately 50% of its value.

In 150kW Pro form, that means around £21,041 will be wiped off its list price over three years. A lease of the same vehicle, however, will cost only £16,190.88 including initial rental and any fees.

Compare Volkswagen ID.3 lease deals

Nissan Leaf lead image front view on forecourt

Nissan Leaf

68% value loss over three years

P11d value

Total lease cost at 36 months / 30,000 miles

Value lost at 36 months / 30,000 miles

Lease cost vs depreciation cost

£30,440

£9,592.79

£20,699.20

£11,106.41

Leasing saves £11,106,41 on depreciation costs by leasing

The Nissan Leaf is getting on a little, and this is reflected in the rather scary residual values after three years. Yes, you read that correctly: the Leaf loses almost 70% of its list price.

That means in three years, it’ll be worth less than £10,000. In total you’ll lose £20,699.20 in depreciation. However, if you lease one instead you’ll pay just £9.692.79 for the privilege. Not only is this an astounding 10k saving on depreciation, but it is around the same as the vehicle will actually be worth.

Compare Nissan Leaf lease deals

BYD Atto 3 side profile

BYD Atto 3

51% value loss over three years

P11d value

Total lease cost at 36 months / 30,000 miles

Value lost at 36 months / 30,000 miles

Lease cost vs depreciation cost

£37,640

£16,345.20

£19,196.40

£2,851.20

Save £2,851.20 on depreciation costs by leasing

As a new brand, the market isn’t entirely 100% on where it stands with BYD’s residuals yet. As such, it surprisingly hold a little more of its value than established rivals like Volkswagen and Tesla. However, with a 51% loss over three years, you’ll still lose £19,196.40 of its list price over this period.

A lease on the same model could cost you £16,345.20 – still a great way of avoiding that pesky depreciation.

Compare BYD Atto 3 lease deals

Jag_I-PACE_22MY_S_Exterior_20.04.21_001

Jaguar I-Pace

65% value loss over three years

P11d value

Total lease cost at 36 months / 30,000 miles

Value lost at 36 months / 30,000 miles

Lease cost vs depreciation cost

£69,940

£31,963.84

£45,461

£14,497.16

Save £14,497.16 on depreciation costs by leasing

Jaguar hasn’t particularly been well known for great residuals, and unfortunately its I-Pace is no exception. You can expect the EV400 R-Dynamic to lose approximately 65% of its value over three years.

With a list price of £69,940, that’s a huge £45,461 sunk into depreciation. The total lease cost of the same vehicle over three years and 30,000 miles? £31,963.84. A great saving over PCP, and even more impressive when depreciation is taken into account.

Compare Jaguar I-Pace lease deals

*P11d data and residual values sourced from the latest available data, representative total lease costs sourced at random from the latest (9+35 10K) offers on Leasing.com, correct as of 06/03/24. Prices can change at any time.

Previous Post Next Post
Not sure what car you want?
  • Easy-to-use tool
  • Save time and money
  • Meet your match
Find your dream car

Related Deals

  • Volkswagen Id.3

    150kW Business Pro 58kWh 5dr Auto

    Volkswagen Id.3 150kW Business Pro 58kWh 5dr Auto
    Personal Contract Hire
    6+47 5k Miles p/a
    Initial Payment: £1,870.32
    £311.72
    p/m inc. VAT
    View
    Deal by: DreamLease
  • Volkswagen Id.3

    150kW Business Pro 58kWh 5dr Auto

    Volkswagen Id.3 150kW Business Pro 58kWh 5dr Auto
    Personal Contract Hire
    3+47 5k Miles p/a
    Initial Payment: £999.06
    £333.02
    p/m inc. VAT
    View
    Deal by: DreamLease
  • Volkswagen Id.3

    150kW Business Pro 58kWh 5dr Auto

    Volkswagen Id.3 150kW Business Pro 58kWh 5dr Auto
    Personal Contract Hire
    9+47 6k Miles p/a
    Initial Payment: £2,689.11
    £298.79
    p/m inc. VAT
    View
    Deal by: DreamLease
  • Volkswagen Id.3

    150kW Business Pro 58kWh 5dr Auto

    Volkswagen Id.3 150kW Business Pro 58kWh 5dr Auto
    Personal Contract Hire
    1+47 5k Miles p/a
    Initial Payment: £348.91
    £348.91
    p/m inc. VAT
    View
    Deal by: DreamLease