Cheaper To Lease A Fiat 500e Than It Is A Smartphone?

3 months ago by Eric Loveday 44

Fiat 500e

Electric cars cheaper than smartphones?

So it seems…

We’ve heard of cheap lease deals on the Fiat 500e in the past, but now AutoWeek is making a connection between leasing the 500e and leasing a smartphone. As AutoWeek explains:

In Southern California, it can be cheaper to lease a Fiat 500e for three years than to lease a working smartphone.

Earlier Fiat 500e Lease Deal

The lease AutoWeek is referring to is a “$69 per month for a 36-month lease, with no money down” deal. AutoWeek says that smartphones often cost more per month to lease. of course, smartphones are much cheaper to buy outright than a 500e, but that’s not really the point of the article.

There’s one other point of interest from the AutoWeek lease deal write up. According to AutoWeek, the 500e has an inflated residual of some $19,977 at the end of the 36-month lease. That inflated residual is what drives down the monthly price. However, Fiat 500es coming off lease typically sell at auction in the mid  $4,000 range. Something to ponder. That’s for sure.

Source: AutoWeek

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44 responses to "Cheaper To Lease A Fiat 500e Than It Is A Smartphone?"

  1. Kim Jorgensen says:

    Does anyone know if they make a right hand drive version. I would love to have one in Thailand, my drive to work is around 23 km each way, perfect for the 500e.

    1. Peter (EU) says:

      Australia?
      (or UK)

      1. Assaf says:

        @Kim,

        Take a Leaf.
        They make tons in England, so surely RHD is there.
        Better automaker commitment.
        Great prices on the 107-mile Leaf now, whether new 2017 or used 2016.

        Also, to my knowledge the 500e is offered only in California and Oregon. I haven’t heard of it being sold even in its home country Italy. Check it out: >30 EV types sold in Italy in 2016, none of them Fiats. http://ev-sales.blogspot.com/2017/01/italy-december-2016.html

        Fiat 500e is one of the prime examples for a “compliance car”, a car made in limited quantities and restricted geographic offering, only to avoid paying fines in California and a few other US states. IOW, it’s a cheater EV.

        So to your original question, I’ll be very surprised if there’s even one RHD 500e sold anywhere in the world.

    2. unlucky says:

      They don’t. They don’t sell it outside US CARB states. You can’t even get it in Europe.

      1. Unplugged says:

        The 500e is sold only in California and Arizona.

  2. bro1999 says:

    FCA needs some CARB credits!

  3. Assaf says:

    I wouldn’t lease a 500e even if they paid me.

    1. As long as FCA CEO is out there as the enemy of EVs, I’m not helping the enemy.
    2. I’d think many times before taking a car from an automaker who disses the car’s technology. Seems like a questionable mble.
    3. Even without that, Fiat has (one of the?) worst reliability records of any Western manufacturer, and the 500e doesn’t seem to be an exception.

    1. SparkEV says:

      Most people don’t buy/lease a car for political reasons. Only your reason 3 is reasonable for a very good reason. 🙂

      For me, lack of DCFC is the biggest reason followed by too tiny rear and difficult entry due to being 2 door. But if they offered it for free without any kind of subsidy, I’d gladly try it. I’d use it as grocery cart, now that plastic bags are banned in CA.

      1. Nick says:

        That’s democracy in action!

        In a few years I suspect we’ll look at our use of plastic bags the same way we look back at our use of styrofoam fast food containers today.

        As shortsighted and silly.

        1. wavelet says:

          The are already jurisdictions which try to reduce the amount of plastic bags used by forcing supermarkets to charge for them, somewhat like the deposits for bottles.

          1. Unplugged says:

            California has banned the use of throwaway plastic bags.

    2. KC says:

      I recently leased one. While the reviews of other Fiats (and all Chrysler vehicles for that matter) show lack of reliability, the 500e seems to be an exception with extremely high reliability. I also like that I’m sticking it to Marchionne. He says he loses $14K for each one he makes. I’m assuming he has never driven one or he’d realize it’s the best car Fiat makes!

      1. CLIVE says:

        It is write-off for FCA, so I am not sure why he’d ever publicly complain other than to toot his own horn.

        He is a respectable business man, just comes across very harsh, but his Job is not to win the world, just profit his company. I still think you get more grace and money with a little bit of honey.

    3. Unplugged says:

      1. If you base your sales decisions on what a CEO believes, you’re going to limit your car buying to Tesla.
      2. See above. But also, I think you have a bigger nit to pick about Toyota, who not only disses EV, but provides no EV at all.
      3. Your mere opinion of what the reliability is on the 500e isn’t borne out by any real-life owner experiences. You have nothing to back up what you think is a lack of reliability.

  4. przemo_li says:

    What’s the base price of that car?

    That’s $13k for a car. Some more from after lease auction.

    They supposedly lost $10k at full price tag… right…

    All that is also cheaper then buying ZEV credits from Tesla too.

    No way that make any sense to me. Ideas?

  5. Wait, didn’t the Fiat CEO tell people not to buy the 500e because it causes Fiat a loss of $10,000 each car?

    Don’t support a company that’s​ blocking the future of emission-free transportation!

    1. bro1999 says:

      That “$10k loss per car” was probably before factoring in the value of CARB ZEV credits.

      It probably is, at worst, a break even deal for FCA after factoring in ZEV credits. You’d think the production costs of 500e’s would have come down since Sergio made that plea.

      1. CLIVE says:

        Correct !

    2. Unplugged says:

      I’m pleased to see you have reduced your car buying to one company. That doesn’t fit most of the public’s car buying desires because they can’t afford a Tesla today.

  6. Kosh says:

    I’ll take the one in white… er, uh, orange.

  7. disappointed says:

    Let’s look at a Tesla comparison.

    A man with a family of 6 could lease 6 fiats 500e one in every color for his family and still have money left over for a mortgage payment.
    And you can park 2 fiats in the space you need for 1 Tesla.

    1. CLIVE says:

      No sure where you live but you are not buying a house with peanuts.

    2. Koenigsegg says:

      I’d rather be in a Tesla supporting Elon and the future of humanity than in a POS italian Fiat supporting some shmuck that doesn’t give a sh*t about the future of humanity or the actual car I have in general rofl

      1. CLIVE says:

        I hear you, and I agree wholeheartedly.

  8. Murrysville EV says:

    “Cheaper To Lease A Fiat 500e Than It Is A Smartphone?”

    Umm, that’s not a good thing. All the glee over cheap EVs is misplaced. A product which doesn’t hold its value, or has to be given away just to clear the shelves, does not bode well for the future of this market.

    1. Nemo says:

      It doesn’t have to be given away. It’s made to be given away. Compliance car. Fiat doesn’t want to make it. What customers might want, doesn’t enter into it.

  9. Jeff` says:

    I bought a used 2015 Fiat 500e with 12K miles on it for $9,000 last December and just love it. Although I have it as a second car, I want to drive it whenever I can. It is the most fun car I have driven. In South Florida where it is warm and flat I never get less than 100 miles of range with combined city/hwy driving. I thinks this is one of the best deals out there.

  10. Brett says:

    Where are these lease deals? I guess if I ask this article becomes an advertisement. But is there a URL to a forum with info on these lease deals? Anything easier than calling every dealer in California. 🙂

    1. Spoonman. says:

      EV-Vin.blogspot.com usually compiles these.

      1. Brett says:

        Thanks! 🙂
        I’ll check it out.

    2. KC says:

      If you are in SoCal, Google Fiat of Orange County. They are definitely still offering the deal. They say “$0” down but you do have to pay the tax, title and documentation fees and $2500 up front. That totals around $3300. You get a $2500 rebate back from the state 30-90 days later and they’ll tell you how to apply for the rebate.

  11. hpver says:

    In California’s San Joaquin Valley you can literally drive some EVs for free if you get the right lease deal. Local and state rebates will cover the entire cost, and occasionally then some.

    But even with these crazy good deals, adoption is low here (though growing). A big part of the reason for that is the prevailing local political ideology. Very conservative leaning people, many of whom believe EVs are glorified golf carts and simply won’t inform themselves about the issues or the rebates and deals to be had. It never ceases to amaze me how an ideology can blind people to something that would in most cases be a significant benefit to them.

    1. M3 reserved - 500e+Spark leased -- ?Bolt/Niro says:

      My brother and friends have 4 Spark EVs that CV+State+Fed are paying them to drive for three years already.

      We have the Fiat500e coming up on 30k; may actually renew a new one if can get the $69 deal while awaiting our M3. Works out fine for our local needs and soon to be 15 yo.

      If you haven’t driven the 500e, it’s a fun little car!

    2. Brett says:

      With the $2500 California rebate on EV Leases, like for the Leafs. Do you get that money for a Lease, or does that go to the dealer?

      I’m trying to figure out if that $2500 covers at least partially, after the fact, what the dealers require as a down payment on leases.

      1. unlucky says:

        If anyone gets it, you do. The dealer cannot roll it in because not everyone gets it (it is means tested).

        You will get it a few months later. So you can’t use it as your down payment. Of course it could offset your down payment as long as you can endure the intervening time before comes in.

      2. menorman says:

        The rebate goes to you. Also, Fiat has been doing these lease deals with no money down, so someone can literally make money by leasing one, especially if they qualify for the extra $2000 for low-income households.

        1. KC says:

          I did this “deal”. The $0 down is actually the $2500 plus tax, title/documentation fees. So it’s $3300 down. Then there’s the lease damage insurance – basically if there’s a thread torn in a seat or a single door dink, or any wear on the tires, you are responsible. I paid around $1000 for full coverage including new tires. The $49 (in Los Angeles anyway) is subject to 9.5% sales tax. Here’s the math: $3300 down (includes first month’s payment), approx. $1000 damage insurance, $53.66/month x 35 months is $1878.10 = $6178. Get your $2500 back from the state and you’re at $3678 for 3 years in a new car.

  12. Manny says:

    I am driving a $69 Fiat lease right now. I got it the day after Black Friday , on Black Friday it was $49 :(.

    Part of the deal is that they take $2500 from you up front, which you get back with California rebate.

    1. Brett says:

      Thanks for the info. That sounds reasonable. $69’s still pretty good. Do you like the car still?

  13. dg says:

    There was a $39 deal there for awhile too.

    That “no money down” is actually:
    $1000 lease conquest rebate
    $1500 dealer walkoffs
    $2500 CA rebate capture

    So it really is $1500 – $2500 up front (after CA rebate) depending on if you qualify for the lease conquest rebate.

    We got the $69 deal over a year ago. Love the car. It’s the only car I drive right now.

    Really only available in CA due to CA emissions. All the other FCA cars subsidized this one.

    You can also get good lease deals on the Mercedes EV mini SUV ($150) and the i3 ($120) in SoCal.

    There are 500e cars all over the place now. I easily see 5+ on my drive in to work.

    So it

  14. ssl92677 says:

    uh, the ad says: “Expires 2/28”

  15. ssl92677 says:

    Fiat website: http://www.fiatusa.com/en/500e/ now shows

    Lease a 2016 FIAT® 500e
    $149/month for
    36 Months
    $1,999 due at signing. No security deposit required

  16. Eduardo Pelegri-Llopart says:

    There are a few used 500e that have been imported by individuals to Europe. Check the Google group if you want to talk with the involved folks.

    The 500e is a super-fun car. Yes, it is a compliance car, but the fundamentals are all very solid, Bosch. I wish it had DC charging, but it came out in 2013, and standards were still pretty fluid then.

    The car is quite solid by now. My only cost at this point is tires. It runs in small rims and the torque and weight eats the tires.

  17. No Sun Beach says:

    What’s the point of the back seats in the 500e? Ram should look at this platform and consider rebooting the Dodge A100 pickup as an EV trucklet. Push the cab to the front and upright with a wide bench seat for 3 adults and the bed as far back as possible.

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