Author Topic: Chevy Spark EV lease?  (Read 8739 times)

jeromedawg

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Chevy Spark EV lease?
« on: April 29, 2015, 07:47:59 PM »
Hey guys,

So my old Camry's AC compressor seems to be on its last legs. Was quoted $400 to fix it... and I've already had a lot of work done on this car as it is. I just had the cracked windshield replaced for $140 not too long ago along with a new radiator installed which was $200 at least...

On top of that, the AC ducts on the driver's side don't blow cool air (this is apart from the compressor issue) so it's the worst to drive when it's hot out. It's a good thing I'm only about 5 miles away from where I work - I just wish we had covered parking! Regarding this issue, my mechanic said it's going to be a PITA to fix and that not many places have the parts in stock or at all to fix it. I'm estimating it would cost at least another $400-500 to get fixed.

That said, we have a baby on the way and now I'm really starting to wonder if this Camry (93 XLE) is worth keeping around or if I should look for something else.

I know there's a current deal going on with Chevy Spark EVs where you can end up getting one anywhere from under $100/month (if you're super lucky) to anywhere from just over $100 to $160/170 per month. And with $0 to drive off. This would be for a 3 year lease and 10k mi (which I definitely would not hit even if I tried in the current situation). 
https://slickdeals.net/f/7761021-2015-chevy-spark-ev-lease-0-down-169-177-per-month-ymmv?v=1

What do you guys think? Should I go for it as something to hold us over for now? Or should I only go for it at a certain price point? I think anything under $100/mo with $0 drive off is pretty good.

Other option is to look for a cheap used car of course. Truth be told, I've *never* purchased a car my entire life so I know absolutely nothing about haggling/sales tactics/etc other than what I've heard and read. Kinda got lucky with this Camry as it was a pass-me-down, but I don't know what to do with all these issues that keep popping up. I have no idea what's next. I looked at Mint and in the past 4-5 years I've spent about $500 on repairs/maintenance alone, and I think probably around *at least* $2000 or so more in the several years before that (had to replace the catalytic converter for smog checks, change the drip pan and gaskets, shocks, new transmission, etc). It's such a PITA having to deal with it every time something goes wrong, but the AC not working fully really sucks
« Last Edit: April 29, 2015, 07:55:16 PM by jplee3 »

jeromedawg

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Re: Chevy Spark EV lease?
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2015, 08:05:42 PM »
Actually, I just re-read the thread and it looks like I can qualify for a $2500 rebate *in addition* to any place offering $0 drive off. That equates to $70 per month *back* off whatever per month price I got in on (so for the lucky few who got theirs for $90-$100, they're basically only paying $20-30/month to rent this thing!)

Syonyk

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Re: Chevy Spark EV lease?
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2015, 08:09:48 PM »
If your driving fits within the range of an EV and you can either charge at work or charge at home easily, it's pretty hard to beat the lease deals.  I know quite a few people who are leasing Leafs for less than their monthly fuel cost was before.  And while a lease is generally not a great option for a car, being able to give an early generation EV back to the dealership in a few years isn't a half bad way to go either.  They're advancing pretty rapidly, and there's a big difference between the first and second gen Leafs with regards to winter heating, for example.

jeromedawg

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Re: Chevy Spark EV lease?
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2015, 08:25:09 PM »
If your driving fits within the range of an EV and you can either charge at work or charge at home easily, it's pretty hard to beat the lease deals.  I know quite a few people who are leasing Leafs for less than their monthly fuel cost was before.  And while a lease is generally not a great option for a car, being able to give an early generation EV back to the dealership in a few years isn't a half bad way to go either.  They're advancing pretty rapidly, and there's a big difference between the first and second gen Leafs with regards to winter heating, for example.

Work is very close for both my wife and myself. She just told me there's a charging station at her work but it's almost half a mile away from her actual building haha. Charging at home wouldn't be a problem I think. My monthly fuel costs aren't very high with only a 5mi commute, and I have been trying to get into the groove of biking into work more as well (although some days/weeks it's hard if we have a lot of stuff going on after work or if relatives are in town). Isn't there like some deposit for damage that has to be put down? Or some sort of retainer where you owe for any "damage"?  I've heard horror stories of people returning a lease and getting charged a lot for "damages" when it was really unsubstantial (like small paint chips maybe). The thing I really worry about with leases is accidents and what not... also, I'm assuming the cars are under warranty during the time of the lease so in case any sort of maintenance or issues come up that need addressing, the dealer should take care of it at no additional cost?

Syonyk

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Re: Chevy Spark EV lease?
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2015, 08:32:22 PM »
I really don't know much about it.  I (e)bike to work, so despite being a "perfect fit" for an EV, I don't have any interest in owning one right now.

You'll be required to have full coverage insurance on it (check the costs on that), and it will be under warranty, but I don't know how things go with nickel and diming people for damage.

If I were you, I'd probably bike to work, fix the AC on the Camry, jury rig the vent (bike shifter cable, perhaps?) and just not drive it that much.  But an awful lot of my driving is either outside the range of EVs or the payload capacity of EVs, so I'm not a good data point.

jeromedawg

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Re: Chevy Spark EV lease?
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2015, 08:47:28 PM »
I really don't know much about it.  I (e)bike to work, so despite being a "perfect fit" for an EV, I don't have any interest in owning one right now.

You'll be required to have full coverage insurance on it (check the costs on that), and it will be under warranty, but I don't know how things go with nickel and diming people for damage.

If I were you, I'd probably bike to work, fix the AC on the Camry, jury rig the vent (bike shifter cable, perhaps?) and just not drive it that much.  But an awful lot of my driving is either outside the range of EVs or the payload capacity of EVs, so I'm not a good data point.

Yea, I was just considering it because my car has been so 'problematic' - it drives very well at a little over 200k but half-working AC is no fun. Especially with envisioning driving a baby around when it could get potentially really hot.
In the meantime, biking to work is probably the way to go for me. Maybe this is nature's way of getting me back in shape...slowly hahahaha. We make a 120-140mi roundtrip journey at least once a month to visit my in-laws, so an EV would likely be out of the question for that, unless it's an overnight trip haha. And every weekend it's almost 60mi roundtrip to church. Either way, I was calculating and even with all that additional driving, I don't think we'd come close to hitting the 10k mark.


SpicyMcHaggus

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Re: Chevy Spark EV lease?
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2015, 09:54:29 PM »
Verify the rebate at the dealer.
If you spend more than the lease cost on gas per month now, it seems like i could recommend you go forward with it.

However, do not forget about biking, walking, etc.

jeromedawg

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Re: Chevy Spark EV lease?
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2015, 10:42:34 PM »
Verify the rebate at the dealer.
If you spend more than the lease cost on gas per month now, it seems like i could recommend you go forward with it.

However, do not forget about biking, walking, etc.

I probably spend up to $60~ *max* or so on gas per month. Factoring in the $500 *minimum* that I've spent on maintenance over the past 5 years, that's an additional $8-10 a month...so let's just round up to $70. So I guess I could keep driving the Camry at around $70/month but perhaps if I can get a deal on a Spark that goes under that (factoring in the $2500 rebate), I should go for it, especially if I sell the Camry... although not sure how much I could get back for it.

I still have some concerns over any sort of nickel and diming and hidden fees that could occur for servicing the vehicle or especially when the lease ends and I have to turn the car in (deposits or a damage retainer) - anyone have more insights on this? I'm even tempted to drive down to San Diego or up to LA (I'm in Orange County, CA) if it means getting a good deal.

SpicyMcHaggus

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Re: Chevy Spark EV lease?
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2015, 10:45:12 PM »
As your only vehicle, since your current car costs less and has a longer range, I would stick with it. Its value is near $0, I wouldn't plan on getting much for it at all. No point to lock in that loss before it dies of it's own Accord (pun intended).

jeromedawg

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Re: Chevy Spark EV lease?
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2015, 10:53:02 PM »
As your only vehicle, since your current car costs less and has a longer range, I would stick with it. Its value is near $0, I wouldn't plan on getting much for it at all. No point to lock in that loss before it dies of it's own Accord (pun intended).

Doh I forgot to mention that my wife drives a Rav4 as well. We probably put more gas in her car than we do in mine (since we drive it around on the wknds and she has a slightly longer commute than I do (7 miles each way). I was just thinking about this more and came to the 'revelation' that if we get a Spark, she can commute to her work (and probably charge it there) and I can just bike in to work (and take the Rav4 on days where there's something going on and I can't bike).

The other big factor in all this though, as well, is that we are planning to slim down to single income shortly after the baby comes (my wife will most likely quit in the beginning of 2016) so I'm not sure how things will look at that point in terms of how much driving will be done and how much we'd be spending on gas.

Syonyk

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Re: Chevy Spark EV lease?
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2015, 10:55:03 PM »
Having another car changes my advice to "don't fix the ac, keep the Camry, bike to work."

Or ebike. Either way.

jeromedawg

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Re: Chevy Spark EV lease?
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2015, 11:22:44 PM »
Having another car changes my advice to "don't fix the ac, keep the Camry, bike to work."

Or ebike. Either way.

I kind of feel like if I don't fix the AC, I should just get rid of it. I'm not inclined to drive that thing now that the AC is busted, especially when it's in the 90s here in SoCal and there's no covered parking (the thing turns into a sauna). I guess another option is just to donate it? Either way, if I don't fix and if I don't get something else, we'll be down to one car, which I think would be a very hard transition (considering I just recently started trying to get into the biking into work groove). I guess I could just consider this "getting thrown into the deep end of the pool" too... but it's still nice to have a backup option. Especially if I have to go to any event(s) separately from my wife...

Syonyk

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Re: Chevy Spark EV lease?
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2015, 11:25:14 PM »
OK. So build or buy an electric bike. :)

jeromedawg

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Re: Chevy Spark EV lease?
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2015, 11:30:21 PM »
OK. So build or buy an electric bike. :)


LOL I've thought about that in the past... how much does it cost to do a conversion anyway? I've got a Trek 7700fx so that would be the ultimate paradox - an electric "fitness" bike hahaha.

jeromedawg

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Re: Chevy Spark EV lease?
« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2015, 12:08:05 AM »
Verify the rebate at the dealer.
If you spend more than the lease cost on gas per month now, it seems like i could recommend you go forward with it.

However, do not forget about biking, walking, etc.

BTW the $2500 rebate is a CA state rebate. And I think there's a $7500 (or up to) tax credit for EVs but that's when filing. I *think* the $2500 rebate is mailed back to you.

This is outside of the costs they factor in at the dealership for dealer/manuf rebates etc. I looked at one quote on SD and they tallied up over $7k worth of fees and charges but fully discounted all of that for the $0 down. I believe the agreed upon price was around $133/month or so.

Syonyk

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Re: Chevy Spark EV lease?
« Reply #15 on: April 30, 2015, 12:33:15 AM »
LOL I've thought about that in the past... how much does it cost to do a conversion anyway? I've got a Trek 7700fx so that would be the ultimate paradox - an electric "fitness" bike hahaha.

How much power do you want?  The easy, well integrated, somewhat expensive solution is a BionX kit.  It's a rear motor/controller/battery setup that gets laced in and works incredibly smoothly to give you a boost in pedal output.

If you want to go more DIY, you can build a more powerful system for less, but it's a bit more complicated.

How hilly is your ride?  I've got a ~$3000 build out here in Seattle, but I'm dealing with some serious hills and built it for that, plus trailer towing when our kid is old enough.  If you're mostly flat, a 250W or 350W setup will be plenty.

gooki

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Re: Chevy Spark EV lease?
« Reply #16 on: April 30, 2015, 02:03:34 AM »
$500 for a conversion kit in delivery. Www.greenbikekit.com

MayDay

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Re: Chevy Spark EV lease?
« Reply #17 on: April 30, 2015, 05:14:45 AM »
If your wife is going to stay home this doesn't apply.

But if the baby is going to daycare, you will likely be juggling drop offs and pickups, and a baby can't safely go in a bike until 9-12 months.

What will thongs look like after your wife quits? Will she want the car every day? I'd consider trying to stick it out until baby comes and everything shakes out. But if the lease deal expires soon, it certainly is cheap. Just not as cheap as being a one car family, lol.

jeromedawg

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Re: Chevy Spark EV lease?
« Reply #18 on: April 30, 2015, 08:16:50 AM »
If your wife is going to stay home this doesn't apply.

But if the baby is going to daycare, you will likely be juggling drop offs and pickups, and a baby can't safely go in a bike until 9-12 months.

What will thongs look like after your wife quits? Will she want the car every day? I'd consider trying to stick it out until baby comes and everything shakes out. But if the lease deal expires soon, it certainly is cheap. Just not as cheap as being a one car family, lol.

Yea, I think we're avoiding daycare... at least, that's what we're saying now. But it'll most likely be that way for a while. I think once she quits and is at home with the baby, she may need a car "just in case" she needs to go somewhere. We really won't know until the time comes. Although, I think she will be getting some help from her parents as well as mine (in terms of one of them being around and staying here) so they would be able to drive her around or get stuff for her if she needs it. I think, since it's month-end, a lot of dealers are probably pushing to clear inventory and possibly have more incentive to offload the cars even at steeper discounts.

SpicyMcHaggus

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Re: Chevy Spark EV lease?
« Reply #19 on: April 30, 2015, 08:26:31 AM »
Sounds like you could bike to work if you wanted to. I'm in Milwaukee where it's still in the 30*s in the morning, so I have justified my car with not spending money on a bike and clothes to keep me warm and dry during the commute. You have it easier, and so if you NEED a car, and the limited range of an EV works for you, you could justify it on some sort of non-MMM level. The bottom line is it will cost more money than what you're doing now, which costs more money than using your legs to get there.

jeromedawg

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Re: Chevy Spark EV lease?
« Reply #20 on: April 30, 2015, 01:48:04 PM »
Sounds like you could bike to work if you wanted to. I'm in Milwaukee where it's still in the 30*s in the morning, so I have justified my car with not spending money on a bike and clothes to keep me warm and dry during the commute. You have it easier, and so if you NEED a car, and the limited range of an EV works for you, you could justify it on some sort of non-MMM level. The bottom line is it will cost more money than what you're doing now, which costs more money than using your legs to get there.

Yea, I can bike most of the time. There are always exceptions of course but I guess there are ways around those too (e.g. if I'm supposed to meet my wife somewhere, she'd just have to come pick me up, etc). It's not the most "convenient" thing here in SoCal but I suppose it's not always "convenient" when seeking out a more Mustachian lifestyle, especially in HCOL areas haha.

It's interesting because there are a lot of people who will disagree about which way will "cost more money" but I think those people tend to assume that repairs to a current and fully-owned car + gas will exceed that of lease costs. If I really wanted to break it down, I'd probably have to come up with an Excel sheet and do the head-to-head costs... but yea, otherwise, if I just walk/bike it will always be cheaper and more Mustachian.

jeromedawg

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Re: Chevy Spark EV lease?
« Reply #21 on: May 01, 2015, 09:59:50 AM »
Seems like only the earlybirds who got in on the deal really benefited from it. Once momentum [demand] started picking up Chevy decided to play hardball and hike up the prices substantially by an average of $40 (so a lot of places talking about $140+ out the door either with $0 drive off if you were 'lucky' or more. Since I think this would only make sense if I could get it out the door and $0 for under $100, there's definitely no way I'm gonna do it now. The dealerships are especially greedy over here - if I wanted this I should have acted sooner. What I think we would have ended up doing is to have my wife drive the EV to work and I'd bike to work every day (and occasionally just take the Rav4 if I wasn't feeling well or had other engagements, etc). And for longer trips up to her parents we'd obviously take the Rav4. I do think this could end up saving us a bit on gas & maintenance if it can be had at the right price. The other big benefit is that it's a smaller form-factor car which makes it WAY easier to get my bike out of our 2-car garage which has individual doors.

Ahh well, hopefully there are going to be more deals (and possibly better) in the future. And if so, I'll probably just donate the Camry for a tax write-off [albeit a likely small one]

Sid Hoffman

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Re: Chevy Spark EV lease?
« Reply #22 on: May 01, 2015, 03:25:44 PM »
Seems like only the earlybirds who got in on the deal really benefited from it. Once momentum [demand] started picking up Chevy decided to play hardball and hike up the prices substantially by an average of $40 (so a lot of places talking about $140+ out the door either with $0 drive off if you were 'lucky' or more.

Yeah I saw the same thing while watching other forums.  One guy jumped all over it the day after Chevy announced the incentives and got one for $151/month including tax.  He said he paid $1000 down, but I believe the official deal at the time was $0 down, so it sounded like that was dealership doc fees and registration that you have to pay on any new car anyway.  Still, if you say that $1000 of the state $2500 incentive goes towards that, that still leaves $1500, which is equivalent to $41.66/month, making his monthly payment essentially $109/month.  That was a sweetheart deal and obviously it was extremely popular as I think it barely lasted over a week before Chevy was raising prices.

jeromedawg

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Re: Chevy Spark EV lease?
« Reply #23 on: May 01, 2015, 04:03:24 PM »
Seems like only the earlybirds who got in on the deal really benefited from it. Once momentum [demand] started picking up Chevy decided to play hardball and hike up the prices substantially by an average of $40 (so a lot of places talking about $140+ out the door either with $0 drive off if you were 'lucky' or more.

Yeah I saw the same thing while watching other forums.  One guy jumped all over it the day after Chevy announced the incentives and got one for $151/month including tax.  He said he paid $1000 down, but I believe the official deal at the time was $0 down, so it sounded like that was dealership doc fees and registration that you have to pay on any new car anyway.  Still, if you say that $1000 of the state $2500 incentive goes towards that, that still leaves $1500, which is equivalent to $41.66/month, making his monthly payment essentially $109/month.  That was a sweetheart deal and obviously it was extremely popular as I think it barely lasted over a week before Chevy was raising prices.

$151/month actually isn't even good especially with $1000 down. That's on the high-end of the spectrum! I think some dealers got a little bit panicked when, at first, cars weren't just "flying" off the lot. So probably a way for them to get *some* traction and word-of-mouth was to lower the price by a substantial amount per any lowball offers so that those people who just got the crazy hot deal would tell their friends and ultimately draw more people into the dealership (hence the crazy deals you've heard of that are along the lines of $93/month and $0 drive-off and I think you still qualify for the $2500 state credit regardless). That's insane because $2500 over a 3yr period breaks down to about $70/mo ($69.44/mo to be exact). Which means that you could be driving this thing around for $23/mo for the next 3 years. Of course, factoring in insurance bumps that up but it's still probably worth it anyway.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2015, 04:05:34 PM by jplee3 »

Jeremy E.

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Re: Chevy Spark EV lease?
« Reply #24 on: May 01, 2015, 04:41:54 PM »
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/08/20/three-fuel-saving-hacks-for-long-roadtrips/
Rather than fix your air conditioner, try a Honey-Badger-Style Air Conditioning as described in this post.
If you can't handle this, try watching youtube videos that teach you how to maintain your car on your own.
If you can't handle this either, sell your 93 camry(not to a dealership) then buy a newer corolla(not from a dealership), maybe around a 2000-2005, with around 100,000 miles or less, for a reasonable price, $3k-4k? Once it's paid off you will have a good good car with no monthly costs.

jeromedawg

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Re: Chevy Spark EV lease?
« Reply #25 on: May 01, 2015, 06:53:51 PM »
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/08/20/three-fuel-saving-hacks-for-long-roadtrips/
Rather than fix your air conditioner, try a Honey-Badger-Style Air Conditioning as described in this post.
If you can't handle this, try watching youtube videos that teach you how to maintain your car on your own.
If you can't handle this either, sell your 93 camry(not to a dealership) then buy a newer corolla(not from a dealership), maybe around a 2000-2005, with around 100,000 miles or less, for a reasonable price, $3k-4k? Once it's paid off you will have a good good car with no monthly costs.

LOL that's an awesome hack... I may try it the next time I'm driving it around. Except, I wouldn't be able to leave the water bottle in the car I presume, otherwise the water would also be hot when sprayed and that probably wouldn't be fun. Also, I think this is a great hack if I'm solo-driving. Probably not so great for the wife, or baby hahahaha. I'm seriously thinking about selling it now but we'll see... something used and with better mileage would be great. Of course, if I can find a deal on an EV lease that comes out to around $20-30 a month or so (factoring in the state rebate), I might do that too.

Sid Hoffman

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Re: Chevy Spark EV lease?
« Reply #26 on: May 01, 2015, 10:14:48 PM »
Yeah driving a car with bad A/C is no fun.  Mine is completely inop and we just had our first 100*F (38C) day here today.  Thankfully I work from home, but I still need to drive my son around a bit.  I'm not sure I can get through an entire summer with no A/C.  It's only May 1st and I'm already feeling like I am done with this business of no A/C.