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No doubt, Tesla has become a highly successful car brand with a growing roster of fans. The company recently introduced a new, guaranteed "buy back" program that offers to buy back a Model S between 36 – 39 months at a guaranteed residual.

On the surface this is positioned as a lease program. But it's really not a lease because you have to finance and pay taxes on the full vehicle.

Why can't you just lease a Tesla? Government regulations mean the $7,500 Plug-In Electric Drive Vehicle Credit is only available when you lease an electric vehicle through a local dealership. Tesla has a direct sales model and does not sell through dealers, essentially preventing them from offering a standard lease program.

"A standard lease program would benefit customers and help Tesla grow its brand further and compete against other luxury makers that are now focusing on EV technology," said Scot Hall, Executive Vice President of Swapalease.com. "Look at the success luxury brands such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz have had as a result of their lease programs, which see between 50% - 70% lease rates for higher-end models. These lease programs have played a large part in the growth these brands have enjoyed over the years, particularly as they introduce EV models to compete against Tesla."

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Comment by David Blassingame on May 19, 2014 at 12:51pm

Tesla is one of the best car I've ever driven.  I believe the reason Tesla can't provide a leasing program is two fold.  They have not found a lender that will take the risk because the company might not survive thus  negatively affecting the resale of it's vehicles and the lack of necessary infrastructure and ability to refuel their vehicles quickly.  Both appear difficult to overcome at this time.

Comment by Kimberley Coffey on May 19, 2014 at 12:18pm

i would love to own an S model Tesla!  One Day... one day

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