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how to lease a tesla

How to Lease a Tesla

Are you wondering if you can lease a Tesla and how the process works?

Well, I did some extensive research and created the guide below that covers everything you need to know about Tesla leasing eligibility, terms, monthly payments, and more…

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Can I Lease a Tesla? Overview of the Tesla Leasing Program

Yes, you can lease a Tesla! Tesla offers leasing options to qualifying customers in over 40 US states.

Tesla’s leasing program allows you to drive the latest Tesla models by paying affordable monthly payments over a 2-3 year lease contract, instead of purchasing the vehicle outright. Leased Teslas have annual mileage limits and you’ll need to return the car at lease-end, but leasing opens up Tesla ownership for price-sensitive buyers.

With exponentially advancing EV technology, leasing also lets you upgrade to a newer Tesla model every few years to enjoy the latest features.

Tesla Lease Deals & Current Offers

Tesla provides updated lease specials each month. Here are some current lease deals on popular models (may vary regionally):

  • Tesla Model Y: $399/month
  • Tesla Model 3: $329/month
  • Tesla Model X: $1,249/month
  • Tesla Model S: $1,099/month

Check the official Tesla website for the latest lease rates in your state. Specials sometimes apply to specific variants like RWD Long Range or Performance versions.

Should You Buy or Lease a Tesla? Key Comparisons

Deciding between leasing and buying is an important factor when getting a Tesla. Here’s an overview of the major pros and cons of Tesla leases versus purchases:

Pros of Leasing

  • Lower monthly costs – Lease payments can be 30-50% cheaper than financing
  • Upgrade more often – Standard 2-3 year lease terms allow frequent upgrades
  • Test out EV lifestyle – Shorter leases let first-time EV users try it out before committing to 6-7 years of payments

Cons of Leasing

  • No ownership – Leased Teslas must be returned at the end of term, no purchase option
  • Mileage limits – Average 10-15k annual mileage cap, overages charged $0.25+/mile
  • Wear & tear fees – Excess damages from accidents or improper maintenance incur fees
  • Insurance requirements – Must cover full vehicle value with max $2,500 deductible

Pros of Buying

  • Build equity – Purchases eventually owned outright with resale/trade-in value
  • Customize freely – No mod limits when you own; personalized wraps, addons allowed
  • No yearly mileage constraints – Drive as much as needed with no overage fees

Cons of Buying

  • Higher monthly costs – 6-7 year loans have 30-50% higher payments
  • Longer commitment – No flexibility to swap cars; tied to one vehicle
  • Miss out on newest tech – Loan lengths exceed tech upgrade cycles

Overall, leasing better fits those wanting lower costs and flexible terms, while buying is best for high mileage drivers wanting customization/ownership.

Am I Eligible To Lease A Tesla? Requirements

Tesla has the following basic eligibility rules to qualify for their lease program:

  • Good credit – While no official minimum score, you must have a decent credit history to qualify
  • Age 18+ years – All lessees must be over 18 years old
  • Valid social security number – Required for credit checks and application
  • Qualifying states – As mentioned earlier, Tesla leasing is limited to 40+ states


  • Personal, commercial, and rideshare use leases have different rules
  • Available lease terms depend on variant – Model S/X allow up to 4 years

Use the Tesla lease calculator to estimate payments based on your credit profile before applying.

Step-By-Step Guide: How To Apply for a Tesla Car Lease

Follow these steps to lease a Tesla online after choosing your preferred model:

  1. Create Tesla Account – Go to the Tesla website and sign-up for an owner account
  2. Select “Lease” as payment method – When ordering your car, choose ‘Lease’ instead of ‘Purchase’
  3. Use lease calculator – Estimate monthly payments for different terms/mileage
  4. Start lease application – Share personal + employment details for credit check
  5. Provide valid ID – Upload driver’s license, proof of insurance etc.
  6. Get lease decision – Tesla will approve/deny based on credit history
  7. Sign e-contract – Review and e-sign your lease agreement
  8. Schedule delivery – On approval, confirm delivery center/date

Tesla will notify you via your Tesla Account once they’ve reviewed your application and made a leasing decision.

  • Processing times range from instant approvals to 1-2 business days on average.
  • Declined applicants also get contacted to discuss other options.

That covers the end-to-end process for leasing a Tesla online. Let’s look at what happens after you get approved and take delivery.

Tesla Car Lease Terms, Conditions & Restrictions

It’s important to read and understand the fine print before signing a Tesla lease contract. Key terms and limitations include:

Lease Lengths

  • Terms between 24 to 36 months
  • Max 4 year leases on Model S/X

Mileage Limits

  • Annual caps between 10,000 to 15,000 miles
  • Overage charges of $0.25+ per excess mile


  • No purchase option for Model 3/Y
  • Return, upgrade or extend lease possible

Insurance Requirements

  • Must cover vehicle’s full value
  • Max $2,500 deductible

Use Restrictions

  • No rideshare or commercial use
  • Modifications need Tesla approval

Check your state laws too – some places limit lease fees and insurance clauses.

How Much Does It Cost To Lease A Tesla? Breakdown Of Monthly Payments

The exact Tesla lease monthly payments depend on your specific terms, but here’s a cost breakdown with estimated averages:

Tesla Lease Fees

FeeAverage Cost
Down Payment$4,500
Acquisition Fee$695
Monthly Lease Payments$300-$500
Insurance Premiums$150-$250/month

Important notes:

  • Monthly payments don’t include taxes or other state fees
  • Insurance costs depend heavily on age, location, driving history
  • Range is for base Model 3 SR+ to decked out Model X Plaid

In addition, exceeding annual mileage allotments or returning vehicles with excess wear-and-tear also incur extra charges.

Now let’s look at what happens as your Tesla lease expires.

End-of-Lease Options: Purchase, Return or Extend Tesla Lease

As your Tesla lease nears its scheduled maturity between 2-4 years, you have three main options:

  1. Upgrade To Newer Model – Trade-in to lease another, upgraded Tesla
  2. Return Vehicle – Send back after scheduled inspection
  3. Extend Lease – Keep driving another 6-12 months

Purchasing your leased Tesla is also possible with Model S/X but isn’t available for Model 3s and Ys.

Make sure you factor in these end-terms during your leasing decision too. Model Y lessees can’t buy their car but may prefer leasing again to get the latest hardware/software upgrades.

Frequently Asked Questions About Tesla Leases

When should I start the Tesla lease application?

Apply as soon as you confirm the Tesla model you want. Get pre-approved before even test driving cars. Finalize financial details 1-2 weeks before your delivery date.

Can someone else co-sign my Tesla lease?

Yes, Tesla allows co-applicants on their lease contracts. The co-signer must also submit their personal/financial information for assessment.

How do I transfer or end my existing Tesla lease early?

You’ll have to pay transfer fees and buyout costs, but early lease transfers are possible in most states. Use your Tesla Account or contact Tesla Support to initiate early termination.

What inspection criteria does Tesla use for returned leased vehicles?

That covers the most important questions about leasing Tesla electric cars. The convenient online process makes leasing only a few clicks away if you qualify. Just be sure to weigh the pros and cons versus buying before signing your contract!

Legal Disclaimer: Tesla frequently changes its lease program terms, approved states, and special pricing. The lease deals, interest rates, fees, and monthly payments listed in this article are meant as estimations and examples only based on current 2024 rates. Actual offers will vary by individual factors like credit score, location, and selected vehicle configuration. Interested lessees should always check Tesla’s official website and lease calculator for the most up-to-date pricing details for their situation before signing any lease agreement.

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Picture of Steve Momot - Author

Steve Momot - Author

Steve, a seasoned expert in the automotive industry, formerly held a car dealer license in Florida. With extensive experience spanning across car trading and mechanical work, he founded Autohitch. His mission? To guide both buyers and sellers through the intricate maze of car purchasing, ensuring a seamless and informed experience. Outside of the automotive world, Steve has a passion for fishing and capturing the beauty of nature through photography.


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