Word has gotten around that some dealers were leasing Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrids out the door for about the same as a Cruze, due to a dealer incentive scheme. However, the cheap Chevy Volt lease loophole is closed, as the incentive has lapsed and some other circumstances.
Cheap Chevy Volt lease would take sting out of green premium
The hitch in buying cars where fuel efficiency a selling point, is that the efficiency premium, or the amount one pays above what they could get a cheaper model for, is so high that it doesn’t justify the costs.
For instance, one will likely never save enough gas in the Toyota Highlander Hybrid to justify the $10,000 premium. Granted, it isn’t as if the regular Highlander is all that bad; it’s a Toyota, after all, so given the magic Toyota reliability, the owner will be able to give a Jeep owner a ride when their Grand Cherokee breaks down, which it will.
Another such car is the Chevy Volt, the plug-in hybrid. Granted, the buyer immediately gets $7,500 back from Uncle Sam after buying one, but that leaves the MSRP at a healthy $33,500, which is BMW money and one big auto finance loan for most people. A cheap Chevy Volt, even a Chevy Volt lease, could justify it.
The lease of your worries
However, according to Forbes, a scattered lucky few were able to score a cheap Chevy Volt lease thanks to a dealer incentive program. Chevrolet, or rather General Motors, offers a cash incentive to dealers for certain models if they meet sales goals. Often, dealers will pass the savings on to customers to sell more of them, getting them other incentives.
For the Volt, dealers were offered a $500 bonus for meeting sales targets and $2,500 if they tripled them. Only 15 percent, 400 dealerships, met the goals and 2.5 percent tripled the goal. The sales goal included leases, which for the Volt costs $279 per month and $2,419 due at signing for a down payment.
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A few lucky people, and it isn’t known how many, got a cheap Chevy Volt lease, as a number of lucky folks put one in their driveway for $159 per month, with $0 down. A Chevy Cruze costs $149 per month to lease, and costs more than $10,000 less, after the tax incentive.
Not that likely to repeat
The “cheap Chevy Volt lease” situation might repeat itself, but there are a few hurdles in the way. For one, GM idled production, partially to make the new Impala and partially because they aren’t selling too many. The General may hold off on making more until supplies start to dwindle. Some may have noticed that Volt sales have doubled since last year, so it is growing on people. It might sell too well and the incentive has also lapsed.
For two, the next generation might be a bit more attractive. The 2014 model is getting a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, though possibly as an option which will cost more than the base 1.6-liter naturally-aspirated plant, according to AutoGuide. According to Businessweek, a new battery pack is also in the works for the car that could triple the range, if not more, within the next few years. A Volt with a 100-mile-plus electric range is actually practical for most people, which could justify the green premium.