VW Golf 1.6 FSI SE - Electric car lease vs Used Car - mrb1970

Hi, I've been back and forth to this site over the years and now for my first question.

I don't like spending a lot on cars if I can help it! This is my situation:-

  • Commute 3 or 4 days a week, 60 miles each way (120 mile round trip)
  • Approximately 52 miles of the 60 is on dual carriageways/motorways.
  • With other little trips say a maximum of 25,000 mile per annum for the commuting car
  • I currently use a 2004 VW Golf 1.6 FSI SE Hatchback to commute (does around 40- 42 mpg)
  • We have a 2008 Skoda Octavia 1.9 TDi Elegance Estate for family trips so no requirement for another big family car
  • The VW golf has done approx 85000 miles.
  • If I had an electric car I could charge it at work for free.
  • I'm middle-aged! - So car insurance costs shouldn't be a significant issue.

I've always bought second hand cars (petrol & diesel) but now I'm wondering if I should do a lease of some sort for an electric car to save on fuels costs However, I've done the sums and I don't think I can find a deal that makes it more cost effective for me.

I'd appreciate other peoples more knowledgeable expertise before I totally discount this as an option as I'm happy to stay with the cars I've got unless anybody can recommend this or another way for me to save on costs.


VW Golf 1.6 FSI SE - Electric car lease vs Used Car - SLO76
A few moments spent looking at leasing rates on the Renault Zoe answers this easy enough. With your high annual mileage and the crippling depreciation electric cars suffer from the monthly rates are eye watering at the best part of £500pcm.

The approximate £3,600 a year in fuel your Golf uses is cheap by comparison and it’s now suffering zero depreciation. I’d either keep it or buy a nearly new Toyota Yaris 1.33 which will do 60mpg no bother and will offer 4-5yrs at 25k p/a and still be sellable at the end of it.

We looked at the Zoe a while back as I too hate pouring fuel in cars but a test drive proved that the range was nowhere near what they advertise and unless that parking space and charger at work is cast iron guaranteed I wouldn’t risk an 120 mile commute.

Edited by SLO76 on 21/06/2019 at 17:16

VW Golf 1.6 FSI SE - Electric car lease vs Used Car - mrb1970

Thanks for your reply - the other consideration is the maintenance but again my current costs aren't too bad, and I'm glad you've come to the same conclusion. The charging point is guaranteed at work but it still doesn't seem to be viable - which I find frustrating!

VW Golf 1.6 FSI SE - Electric car lease vs Used Car - SLO76
The killers for electric only cars just now are the lifespan of the battery pack and the massive cost of replacing it. It causes devastating depreciation and high leasing costs. If you want one then buying used and renting the battery is an option but the used market is utterly confused in how to value cars where you don’t actually own the power pack and again your high mileage would drive up the cost of leasing the batteries.

Until the cost of replacement battery packs plummets to say £1,500 or the cost of a clutch and flywheel in most modern diesels then they’ll remain a costly option for most.

This is where I’d be for a commuter today. Excellent on fuel and utterly dependable plus it’s already had the big initial hit on depreciation. At an estimate 60mpg it should save £1200 a year on fuel over the Golf and it’s only £30 to tax. But with 25k a year going onto it that £8k value will drop rapidly while the Golf is next to worthless already.

I’d keep the Golf until it becomes unreliable then buy a Yaris or a Mazda 2 1.5 Skyactiv.

Auto Trader:


Edited by SLO76 on 21/06/2019 at 19:29

VW Golf 1.6 FSI SE - Electric car lease vs Used Car - Terry W

There is some good sense there:

  • 25000 mile pa is going to drop the value of any new/newish car very quickly
  • VW costs £3600 pa in fuel cost. + any repairs and depreciation - say £500-1500 pa
  • EV is £6000 pa.
  • Buying a newer car to replace the VW is likely to increase depreciation countering any fuel saving

So if you are bothered about a newer probably smaller car (3 or 4 years old?) then there is little cost penalty. However in 4 years time it will be an 8 year old small car with 100k on the clock and almost worthless.

EV is still expensive due to battery pack and possible degradation or replacement - makes no financial sense right now.

So if it were my problem I would keep the VW until it starts to get costly and unreliable - possibly 1-4 years. The cost of EV is likely to fall in the coming years as battery life/replacement costs improve. I would simply keep it as an option under review - when the balance works that is the time to change.

VW Golf 1.6 FSI SE - Electric car lease vs Used Car - mrb1970

Thank you for the messages, I'll stick with what I've got for now and then look at your suggested options when my car is becoming too expensive to maintain.

And hopefully the electric car market will become more viable in the future!


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