Why We Decided To Buy Out Our Chevy Bolt Lease

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In 2017 Nikki begun a three-year, 15,000 mile per year lease of ‘Art3mis’, a 2017 Chevrolet Bolt LT with convenience package and DC quick charging.

Now, in May 2020, the lease is rapidly approaching its end. She’s more than 3,000 miles over her lease limit, and now working from home.

So why has she and her partner decided to buy their car rather than get another one?
Watch the video above to find out more, support us with the provided links, and let us know what you think below — but remember to keep your comments civil!

Presenter: Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield
Produced: Transport Evolved

44 Replies to “Why We Decided To Buy Out Our Chevy Bolt Lease”

  1. Noel Dillabough

    Apollo's sister and the most beautiful man in the world Orion, who she murdered by accident … *sniff*. Great deal sensible to buy out the lease and can't wait to see the long term reporting on Artemis! I probably would have bought a new one, because I"m not as financially responsible as I should be lol.

  2. Simon Michael Benz

    This was a good choice, the Bolt is the most underrated EV. Not only can you order parts for it but you can replace them yourself, the overall design of the car is relatively simple. Unlike say, a Tesla where many of the components have been over engineered, or engineered to benefit the manufacturing process but make future servicing of the vehicle expensive and difficult.

  3. David Here

    I’ve seen many 2017 bolts with 20-30k miles in great condition for $19k-20k…. we also have two bolts and the only reason we are not turning them in is due to high mileage. We had an allowance of 10k/year. But put 60k miles over three years. I highly recommend if you are near or under your mileage allowance that you should turn in your bolt then by a used one with 25k miles for $19k dollars.

  4. Shawn Vanden

    Leasing companies are even worse than finance companies … they will find ways to squeeze you for extra pounds/dollars. It's Financial Extortion scheme, approved by the laws/lawmakers.

  5. Broc Luno

    You are just like most of us. It makes no sense to buy new. It also makes no sense to "borrow" a car from Tesla. When one buys a car, it should be theirs and come with access to spares and accessories. TSLA does not fit that model, so is permanently off my radar. They may be nice cars, but they are never really "yours". Like you'all, we tinker and tweak. I might weld up a mount for this or that, beef the suspension, etc. Can only do that on a used car (out of warranty) that you own out right. Congrats on making a sensible decision 🙂

  6. skyak

    Thanks for the explanation. Sounds sensible to me. I look forward to very long term performance updates. I just saw a video about the future GM/LG battery system that can be repaired with dissimilar cells. In a few years when Orion is well past half a million miles that may be your next car.

  7. Ken Mcclow

    I'm not a big fan of leasing, but I am a big fan of buying lease returns if they are a good deal. I think right now is a great time to pick up an off lease car. Especially if you are the one who had the lease, so you already know the car.

  8. mosfet500

    We leased a 2020 after our 2017. GM and our dealer gave us a really great deal and even better since it was our second lease. We may keep the 2020 or see if the 2021 change is worth the switch. Basically we got a 2020 Premier out the door for about $12k less than the Kona or Nero. We love the Bolt, it's the perfect issue free car for us.

  9. Gadi Melamed

    Great stuff. What I really enjoy about watching your videos is that personal touch of showing and sharing your thoughts with us. Very helpful, it backs up my goal of buying out my 2017 Ford Focus EV next year when my 4-year lease is over.

  10. MQNguyen

    Personally speaking, i think $23k for residual value of a 2017 Bolt is kind-of high. There are new 2020 Bolts that are being advertised at $25-27k thanks to COVID-19.

  11. Adam Milward

    I think you have made a great decision for you and your channel. It’s a great car(jealous we can’t purchase a bolt in Australia) you are being Cleaner, greener and more sustainable by keeping one car longer rather than replacing.

  12. Erik Stephens

    Great video! We love our 2018 Bolt EV. Will likely be keeping it for a very long time. It suits my wife's needs quite well. My 2018 Volt will likely stick around for a few years before it gets sold for a full EV.

  13. A Alberto

    Good decision on the purchase. I've never leased a car before but I have family who do regularly today. They always have car payments which I hate with a passion. I have 2 Chevrolet Bolt EVs which I purchased for me and my wife as our daily driver cars a couple of years ago. Aside from the past Toyota cars I have owned in the past, my Bolts have been extremely reliable and perfect for daily commuting. I'm planning to keep these cars a long time and take care of them. Also, we could not care less about what other people think about us if they judge us based on the kind of cars we drive. That is just too shallow and totally not worth putting any thought into. With the cost of borrowing at an all time low, it's hard to tell who are "rich" and "well off" today because anyone can borrow money and buy more expensive vehicles. I was just out for a walk in my neighborhood this morning with the wife and dog and I saw really small homes on small lots that have 2-3 luxury German, Japanese, and even Tesla cars that barely fit in their driveway. I just laugh because I saw homes which are about 4000sq ft worth 7 figures on large lots but the driveway is filled with "regular" and mundane vehicles like Corollas and Accords. I live in a fairly large home and we are very comfortable living completely debt free. I'd suggest do not listen to fanboys and girls out there who glorify a certain car brand. The purchases you make are yours and you do not need to justify or owe an explanation to anyone about anything. Congratulations again on getting rid of the car lease and thank you for continuing to bring us great news in this channel.

  14. David Stewart

    So first: you (or anybody else) shouldn't apologize because you didn't buy a brand new electric vehicle. Honestly I figured this video was just an explainer on why you bought out your lease to your supporters just incase they were angry or voicing displeasure at your vehicle purchase during a pandemic – not displeasure that it's not a new shiny toy.
    Second: I can totally understand why you'd buy out your lease. You know exactly what was and wasn't done to the vehicle, and if it still works perfectly well for you and your needs – then what does a newer one accomplish other than more debt?

  15. fiddlesteven

    Warning long comment ahead! I took advantage of Chevy's current Bolt EV incentives and leased a 2020 Premier. Oregon's EV rebate program helped make the lease even more affordable with a $2500 down payment, and there is a $2500 charge ahead rebate coming later that will come in handy. I still have 11 months left on my 2018 Kia Soul EV plus lease. I overlap leases to take advantage of manufacturer incentives when they come available, rather than waiting and being stuck with what ever deal I can get at the last minute because I need a car. I prefer Kia due to interior build quality such as soft touch rather than hard plastic interiors. Pay attention GM! I see this over and over in Bolt reviews. I love the full glass sunroof in my 18 Soul EV. So nice to be able to open it and let the heat out, and the sun in being I have a dog. Chevy doesn't even offer a sunroof. Chevy's lack of a navigation system would have moved me toward a Nero EV had it not been for the Chevy incentives and Kia's lack of incentives. I don't like car play and it doesn't work where there is no cell service! My 2018 Kia may not have the range of the Bolt, but I still love the car more than the Bolt. I plan to buy the Kia out of the lease. It is a fantastic deal, and it will be used for local trips to keep the Bolt from having to many miles on it at the end of the lease if I don't buy it. The Bolt makes me a little car sick driving through the curves in western Oregon. The Kia does not. I'm really disappointed that Kia didn't make the 2021 Soul EV available in Oregon. It cost them my leasing a 3rd EV from them. Are you listening to your customers Kia ? Zzzz. If I can have a sunroof and a 2" receiver hitch in the Bolt, I may buy it out of the lease. Not meaning to trash the Bolt EV. There are many good points about the Bolt. No car is perfect. The Tesla doesn't even have a speedometer in front of the driver, and no knobs for the radio, or an xm radio. No hatch back. You can't buy a model 3 out of the lease which is a way many of us spread out the cost per month of a new EV over more years. A model Y is way to expensive for the average wage earner. All serious deal killers in my view. The battery in the Bolt with it's demonstrated longevity and long range is a huge plus. I would like to hear more about your Bolts towing ability. People are towing very small, light weight campers with 200 horsepower gas powered cars that don't have the torque of a Bolt EV. A Nero EV owner has been pulling a 3500# trailer with a tongue weight of around 200 pounds. He has had no issues. A 1500# or less camper with a tear drop design should be no problem for a Bolt if it is owned, not leased. What do you think?

  16. Brock Neverman

    Just so I am not confused, essential you paid $10k for the 3 years for the lease, then paid $23k to buy it out, so approx $33k total? Right now I can get a new 2020 Bolt LT for $27k , larger battery and 0 miles on the clock. I get a 3 year old car is $4k less than a new one, also ignoring the $2500 rebate from Oregon. So for $1,500 more you could have gotten a new car? Am I missing something? Confused?

  17. Paul Trickett

    Interesting to note that despite the fact you are fully committed to EV's they are still too expensive for you to buy new , there is a huge market for a cheap EV, just need a manufacturer to fill this gap.

  18. Soordhin

    I would argue it is the perfect time to get a new car. Since so many lost their jobs dealers sit on cars they can't sell, so there is every chance to get huge discounts on them. No idea about the US, in europe there are talks to remove VAT from EVs which would instantly lower the price on average by 20%, and of course there might be additional government incentives to increase spending.

  19. Stefan Weilhartner

    i think one of the most important things to look at is the market value. BEV do not lose that much value. so, it could be worth more than the buy out price.
    a tesla, while being a good product then has similarities to apple products. you pay full price and are allowed to use it on their terms but you don't really own it 100%

  20. Alan Easthope

    Two years ago, for the first time in my life, I bought a brand new Ioniq. Before that I had always looked at cars 2-3 years old. March this year, I traded it in for Kona The Barbarian. It's only because I recently came into some money that I have been able to do this. I considered leasing but you are limited to what you can do with the car and you never own the asset unless you pay for it at the end, in which case you may as well have bought it on finance in the first place. Everyone's circumstances are different. By the way, did you get your squeeky suspension sorted out before you bought it? I hope you don't get problems with it in the future.

  21. B Y

    I recently purchased a 2020 Bolt. Several things claimed here do not match my experience. Cost of driving is not low on trips. I just made a multi-state trip charging at EA for most stops. The cost was as high as $17 for a charge for less than 200 miles. My old Prius (purchased more than a decade ago) would have gone more that twice that distance on that dollar amount of gas. That does not factor in all costs, but cost to fuel on trips is much higher than a car that was much better in comfort, quality and size.

    About $23k does not sound like a good value to me. My Bolt was a little under $28k for everything paid to the dealer (I will pay sales tax at the DMV). I would never consider a 50k mile Bolt that had been wrecked a good deal for only $5k off a new one. I even struggle with the Bolt being a good deal at $28k new. There are many problems with quality and design. Comfort is turning out to be a major problem. I'm well above average on height, but headroom is not the problem. The seats are very poorly designed, and after the long trip it now takes only about 10 minutes and my left hip is in pain. I may need to replace the seats, but if I don't drive this car much since I will be working from home for the foreseeable future, I might just keep it for a year or 2 and move on to a better car.

  22. ram64man

    It would be interesting in 10 years time if you could test the 40kw leaf again over a week or month to see if the pack and more importantly wiring is still good or like your Toyota has unknown gremlins

  23. kens97sto171

    I think you made a great choice Nikki, You gave some great reasons for keeping the Bolt EV.
    It's really unfortunate the bolt EV doesn't get more positive praise. Chevy got a lot right with this car. And some things wrong like supposedly uncomfortable seats. And slower charging but at the time 2017 it was totally an acceptable rate of charge.
    I think the best thing is you're going to have a long time to make videos and show a vehicle that isn't as common. as a YouTuber the problem with Tesla is everyone has a Tesla. And quite frankly the content is a bit redundant at this point.
    There are far fewer people on YouTube with EVs made by other automakers.
    Looking forward to the future content.
    I think the longevity of the battery packs is going to be something that 5 or 10 years from now the Chevy bolt is going to stand out as being a good used vehicle.

  24. MortenB0

    Buy the car you know is a good car really make sense. I was in the market for a used EV myself but ended up with a new MG ZS EV instead to about 26.400 USD registered on the street, just slightly more than a 2 year old EV like KIA Soul and less than a used BMW i3. That gave me a new car warranty and easier to loan money for it.

  25. VolvoCars

    I'm having the same thoughts regarding my leased Ioniq Electric 28, I don't see a big enough reason to change car yet. I will probably keep it for another 2-3 years or so.

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