Smoking_Rubber wrote:The FFEs I looked at w/ leather seats MSRP is $31k. The Bolt Premium (the model OP got) lists MSRP at $44k. The Model 3 (sorry to offend, M3 was just my shorthand) starts at $35k but easily jumps to the $44k range with a couple premium options. The OP is a day 1 reservation holder and he's been promised a Model 3 between Dec and Feb if I recall correctly. So yeah, you and I don't have that option but OP could have had a Model 3 in just a couple months. IF I WERE HIM, I would have had a Model 3 for the same amount he spent on the Bolt. The leasing situation may have played a factor in his decision but it's hard to say how much.
The Bolt is $44k fully loaded. That is with all option packages available and excludes dealer installed options. Sure there are a few things I would like that the Bolt does not have, most notably adaptive cruise control, but it comes pretty well optioned out.
I weighed the possibilities and honestly, the Model 3, as desirable as it is, just does not come off as a responsible financial choice, at the moment. For one, I have no idea whether Tesla will hit that December to February delivery timeframe. Considering that at the end of September, they had only produced 260 or so cars and not the 1,500 that were promised, I am not feeling terribly optimistic.
Another factor I had to consider was that the lease on my FFE was coming to a close. Ford only offered to allow me to extend up to two months, which would only get me to the start of December. Could I have just done something in the interim? Probably, but that creates a lot of hassle and cost for me.
Third, from a financial perspective, a Model 3 optioned the way I would want it was likely going to cost $46k before taxes and would result in my wait time getting pushed back to February to April. If I took the first available, my cost is $54k before taxes. Since leasing is not available, I would be looking at a purchase, which includes the potential hassle of selling the car down the road. On a purchase, I was looking at at least $14k out of pocket for the down payment, taxes, and fees and around $850/month on a 5-year loan through Tesla's preferred lender. Sure I would get $10k on that back on rebates and tax credits, but that also requires more work on my part. The leases from third party leasing companies were not much better, with $4-5k drive-off and $750+/month before taxes.
There is simply too much uncertainty around the Model 3 and, as much as I want a Tesla, I also have to do what is responsible. My monthly payments with taxes included are less than half of of what third-party lessors wanted for the Model 3 and are almost 1/3 of what the loan payment would be and that was with no money out of pocket aside from my first month's payment. All my DMV fees, taxes, etc. were all rolled into my monthly payment. I am also going to be getting nearly $3k in my pocket from rebates through the state and my local power utility. My total cost of ownership for the next 3 years comes out to nearly $2k less than what it was on the FFE. I may not have access to Tesla's supercharger network, but for the vast majority of the driving my wife and I do, we have gotten by with readily available public charging and just using a Level 1 charger at home.
Like I said in the post, if I take out the subjective desire for a Tesla, the Bolt makes a whole heck of a lot of sense. And in three years, I can evaluate the available EV landscape and potentially get much more car for around the same money.