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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm hoping to lease a Clarity next month. I live in a non-ZEV, non-CARB state and, as such, the few dealers in my state (and the adjoining states) that have the Clarity available have 2018 old-new stock as they are not receiving the 2019.

The four closest Honda dealerships (within 90 miles of my home) say that they are "unable" to provide me with a Clarity as they are not interested in selling/leasing this vehicle (although the very closest - 2 blocks away - said they were able to service a Clarity if I found one).

Yesterday I visited a Honda dealership 120 miles away, in the next state, that had two 2018 Claritys on the lot. The Clarity in the trim and color I want was built in 11/18 and has been sitting on the lot for nearly eight months. The gauge indicated that the SOC was at two bars and the salesperson verified that it had not been charged or driven since April, 2019, when it was moved from the old dealership site to the new, current location. (the charging cable was still sealed in its original packaging).

I was told that Honda's current discount on leftover 2018 models lowered the MSRP by about $5K USD but that there were no current deals or incentives available for the Clarity. Although my credit rating is about as high as it can be (yes, bragging) and Honda Financial approved my credit to finance or lease their most expensive vehicle with $0 down this seemed to have no bearing. After an hour of watching the SM and GM on the phone with Honda, they were unable to get a lease rate for a 2018.

The best they could do was to offer me the current non-incentivised full lease rate - which amounted to dividing the purchase price of the vehicle by 36. So, at the end of such a lease one would have paid within a few thousand dollars of the purchase price. They were unable to provide an end-of-lease purchase price and their recommendation was for me to wait until next month to see if anything changes.

Has anyone here leased a Clarity in a non-ZEV, non-CARB state? Is my experience consistent with or the exception to the way this process is supposed to play-out?
 

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The financial arm of Honda (HFS) probably does not have a lease rate for a 2018 (old model that has no RV/MF) and that may be the reason for not having a lease contract thru them.

What you can do is lease thru a 3rd party bank - try your: credit union or these non captive lease companies: US Bank, Ally, Carvoy.

The biggest issue you would have is "WHO GETS the $7500 tax credit" when you lease. Remember, when you lease, you can NOT claim the $7500 federal tax credit.

Honda Financial kicked it back to me even though they could have kept it and pocketed it because when you lease a car, the leasing company owns the car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The financial arm of Honda (HFS) probably does not have a lease rate for a 2018 (old model that has no RV/MF) and that may be the reason for not having a lease contract thru them.

What you can do is lease thru a 3rd party bank - try your: credit union or these non captive lease companies: US Bank, Ally, Carvoy.

The biggest issue you would have is "WHO GETS the $7500 tax credit" when you lease. Remember, when you lease, you can NOT claim the $7500 federal tax credit.

Honda Financial kicked it back to me even though they could have kept it and pocketed it because when you lease a car, the leasing company owns the car.
Thanks, but none of those companies does business in my state, nor do banks or FCUs handle leasing - trust me, I checked. Yes, I know about the tax credit - but I don't qualify for the full amount so it's not a major concern. I know that Honda Financial will kick-back the credit in CARB and ZEV states but, so far as I've been able to determine, it the remaining 37 states...
 

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Can you afford the car? Leasing is financially the worst way to get a new car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Can you afford the car? Leasing is financially the worst way to get a new car.
I can, but plan to go all-electric in three years. The depreciation of this vehicle, I fear, will be devastating living - as I do - in a non-CARB, non-ZEV state where no more than a handful have been purchased new.
 

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Leasing for those that change out cars every 3 years is perfect to not have to deal with depreciation worries if you had purchased.

I lease all mine first for the 3 years and then if it's the car I really want to keep (low maintenance costs, low warranty issues, no serious defects), I will buy out the lease at the end. It's a great way to do a long term test drive.

Of all the cars I have leased, I kept: Honda Accord and BMW 528i. All the rest went back- the worst was the Land Rover (spent more than 6 months in the service dept).

This Clarity with a 10 year / 150K EV battery warranty I may end up keeping it at the end of the lease.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Leasing for those that change out cars every 3 years is perfect to not have to deal with depreciation worries if you had purchased.

I lease all mine first for the 3 years and then if it's the car I really want to keep (low maintenance costs, low warranty issues, no serious defects), I will buy out the lease at the end. It's a great way to do a long term test drive.

Of all the cars I have leased, I kept: Honda Accord and BMW 528i. All the rest went back- the worst was the Land Rover (spent more than 6 months in the service dept).

This Clarity with a 10 year / 150K EV battery warranty I may end up keeping it at the end of the lease.
So you see my dilemma: If Honda is no longer leasing the 2018 Clarity and will not be offering the 2019 Clarity in my state or neighboring states, then my options are limited to purchasing the vehicle.
 

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Leasing for those that change out cars every 3 years is perfect to not have to deal with depreciation worries if you had purchased.
Let me correct this from a financial standpoint:

Leasing for those that want to remain forever in debt is perfect.
 
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Let me correct this from a financial standpoint:

Leasing for those that want to remain forever in debt is perfect.

Made me laugh out loud...


Rob43
 

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Ah, the American way of life - forever in debt.

Yes, some people are happier with leasing and having new cars every few years.
I consider it a low investment extended test drive.
When the lease car is actually worth keeping, I will buy her out at the end of the lease - like my other car: BMW 528 which I am tickled it's been the best BMW ever...
 

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Re: Lease vs purchase.

Not always clear cut.
Our experience is an example
Dec 2013 - paid cash for a 1 year old Ford C-Max SEL - $22,500
Maintenance thru Oct 2018 ~$1,600 (Oil, filters, tires, liftgate strut repair)
Investment: $24,100
Cash Value Oct 2018: $8 to $10K
Depreciation + expenses = ~$15K
Leased a
Jan 2014 - leased Honda Fit EV for $258/mo with zero down
All maintenance included (they even put new tires on it when they wore out), so $0 here
Renewed lease after 3 years for $199/mo
Total spent thru Oct 2018 = $13,467

It's actually even a little better than that as the Fit EV included $0 deductible comp & collision (someone backed into it in a parking lot to the tune of ~$1,000 I would have been out of pocket). And there is at least a little $ value to not putting the entire $$ up front, but making monthly payments.

If we extrapolate a bit:
Leased our Clarity Electric in Oct 2018 for $499 down and $199/mo
If we turn it in after the 3 years, we'll be into it for $5,163 (payments less Oregon Rebate)

Fit EV + Clarity Electric for ~8 years = $18,630
Slight chance we'll have to do tires on the Clarity before lease end, but doubtful

Guesstimated value of 9 year old C-Max is $6,000 resulting in a depreciation + expenses total of ~ $18K (plus any needed repairs).

Keep in mind this is comparing buying a used car (with an original MSRP of ~$32k) to leasing new vehicles. We'll be into the used C-Max for roughly the same amount as leasing 2 new BEV's in the same time period.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
It's all rather moot: Two dealers have told me that Honda is no longer offering leasing on 2018 Clarities. So I've decided to buy - and my Credit Union has offered me a rate of 1.99% on a 48 month loan. Now to talk the dealer into a better price: When first we talked the Clarity had been on his lot for seven months - now it's been there for eight. I know that it hasn't been charged since the end of May and I've requested a Battery Capacity Test - but the service department has to contact Honda to find out how such a test is done. So we'll see what happens... Thanks for all the feedback!
 

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When I leased the Clarity, the strong lease numbers due to the low RV and low MF came out the same as if you had financed it for 0.9%.
Even after the 3 years and buying her out, the total amount paid over the course of all payments w/ interest still came out the same as financing.

This is when it makes sense to lease....
 
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