Buy or lease 2017 Focus Electric

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New member
May 29, 2017
I will be making a decision in the next day or two about how to best acquire a new FFE. Can't decide on lease vs purchase? I have the cash for a purchase and can get up to $12,500 tax credits, so if its $28k, less $12,500, I am really paying $16,000 net. But I then have to sell it at some point in the future at the street price with a 115 mile range EV? And I understand three year old FFE's are doing for $10k.

Or lease it for $409/mo (zero down) and hand it back in after 2 years when battery technology has changed?

Anyone have thoughts?
Hello Juniper,

I leased a 2013 model for 3 years and returned to at the end of the lease because Ford was unwilling to budge on the $14000 buyback value. I have now ordered a 2017 focus electric and am going to now have the larger battery and much greater range, so leasing from this perspective really works for me.

You also have to consider if there is a problem with the vehicle during a lease, Ford is obligated by contract to provide you a substitute vehicle until yours is repaired. If you finance, a courtesy car is not guaranteed. They may very well refuse to give you a car while its repaired.

I had a battery problem with my 2013 that had the car out of commission for 2 months. I am very thankful I leased, as they provided my with a car immediately when the car went into the shop.

I'd say definitely go with the lease. As you said, there will be a range of new more capable EVs out there by 2020, and you can select the best one at that time. With your Focus, you will have no maintenance or gas bill during your lease, so divert the savings into a "my next EV 2020 downpayment" account!
btw Juniper you'll be ordering a 2018 model I believe, because the 2017s are sold out. Might be a bit of a wait getting a 2018, as I ordered my 2017 on May 5th and have to wait till October to get it.
I think what you have to look at is the total cost, and vaguely your opportunity costs - options at the same or similar price point.

A $16,000 compact car, really loaded like the FFE is, that's a darn good deal. You can't get a Focus Titanium for that little money (pretty close comparison to the equipment in the FFE). And then look at what else you could buy for $16,000 - not a lot out there that is very good.

Resale is one side of the equation - you'll take a bath in two or three years if you try to sell the car. By that time, the car will probably be worth in the $5,000 range - wouldn't surprise me in the least. But then you only spent $11,000 to own the car for that length of time. You can always sell the car at CarMax - no need to search hard for individual sales.

The car has a warranty like any other car. Purchase or lease, you'll get the same service. I've never been asked at my Ford dealer if the car was leased or purchased. Their policy, if you got the car at the dealer, they will provide you a loaner if the car has to be there more than a half day. Lease / purchase - never asked, and I've taken both leased and purchased cars to that service department.

Leasing is sweet - you drive the car, pay for it, unload it at the end of 2 or 3 years. You'll never pay the residual value they ask for, it is way too high compared to a used FFE (same car) in 2 or 3 years. So you look at this as a rental you can enjoy for two or three years and move on afterwards with nothing to show for it.

You could also look at buying a used FFE - 2012 or 2013, and save a lot of money over buying new. Granted the battery is smaller - but not that much smaller. And you don't get CCS - or faster DC charging. But you'd be looking at an $8,000 car that is likely an incredibly reliable car with low mileage. You might have to buy a set of tires, but that's all the maintenance you'll spend on the car.

There really isn't a right answer. At least not anybody here could tell you. The right answer is the choice you make. There is no wrong answer whichever way you go.

Oh - Don't forget installing a charging station at home. You'll end up spending that money. It is far too convenient to not install one, and 120V is way too slow. Nobody but an electrician can tell you how much that will cost. It can be anything from around $1,000 to $5,000. There is no such thing as average or normal price - there are far too many variables to come up with a remotely useful number.
The biggest thing is research, research, research. I took advantage of all rebates available to me, and called Ford SEVERAL times to make sure the ones I was trying to use would work together (even after the dealer told me they wouldn't).

I paid $15,389.99 (including taxes, tags and stupid dealer processing fee) for my brand new, ordered from the factory, (not sitting on the dealer's lot) 2015 FFE without leather. And that's with absolutely no state incentive. I also paid $740 for a 8 year 48,000 mile extended warranty from Ford, with zero deductible and 1st day rental coverage. I plan to keep the car until the batteries no longer function.

One option is to get an off lease car. I would recommend paying no more than $10k for a 3 year old off lease model. Then immediately getting an extended warranty for it.

Leasing a new one really depends on your situation. Here in VA, we get screwed on leases, as we have to pay the entire amount of sales tax when the car is initially leased. Thus I highly doubt I'll lease a car again.