A red Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model 3 Makes History as Top Leased EV in the US, Signaling a Shift in Consumer Preferences

Tesla Model 3 has reached a significant milestone in the American EV market, establishing itself among the top 10 leased vehicles. This achievement carries profound implications for the electric vehicle (EV) industry, underlining the Model 3’s increasing appeal to American consumers.

Leasing Triumph

During the second quarter of this year, the Model 3 experienced a remarkable surge in popularity, reaching the seventh spot on the list of leased cars. According to a comprehensive report by Experian, the Model 3 now commands an impressive 1.79 percent share of all new vehicle leases. This success is all the more remarkable when considering that a staggering one in every four new Tesla Model 3s—equating to a total of 42,000 vehicles—found its way onto American roads through leasing. This figure represents a substantial 14 percent increase from the previous year when only 16 percent of Model 3s were leased. These insights were shared by Melinda Zabritski, Experian’s senior director of automotive financial solutions.

The Model 3’s leasing triumph in the second quarter also saw it outperform the overall leasing rate, which stood at 21.2 percent. This achievement underscores the undeniable appeal the Model 3 holds among car enthusiasts in the United States.

Changing Trends

Traditionally, the top 10 leased vehicles list has been dominated by high-volume, gas-powered models. For example, the Ford F-150, Honda CR-V, and Nissan Rogue have been topping the leasing charts. This dominance is rooted in familiarity and the long-standing reputation of these vehicles. However, a significant shift has occurred, with the Tesla Model 3 now emerging as a formidable contender in this league. It reflects a growing awareness and acceptance of electric vehicles as practical and desirable choices. The Model 3’s appeal lies not only in its environmental benefits but also in its advanced technology, cutting-edge design, and the prestige associated with the Tesla brand. Although its combined retail sales and lease volume of 42,000 units place it slightly behind its gas-guzzling counterparts, it’s noteworthy that the Honda CR-V leads the pack with 88,600 units, followed by the Ford F-150 at 71,000 units, and the Nissan Rogue at 45,800 units.

Tax Credit Boom

One of the driving forces behind the surge in EV leasing activity is the availability of federal tax credits for leased vehicles, a development facilitated by an Inflation Reduction Act loophole. The Tesla Model 3 stands out in this regard, being one of the select EV models eligible for the buyer’s tax credit. This means that those who choose to purchase the Model 3 outright can enjoy the full benefits of a $7,500 tax credit, a factor that has likely contributed to the car’s growing popularity in leasing circles.

Consumer Appeal

Melinda Zabritski, while shedding light on the Model 3’s appeal to lease buyers, points to price reductions and Tesla’s dominance in the U.S. EV market as primary drivers. She emphasizes that in a rapidly evolving EV landscape with many new models entering the market, leasing provides a practical way to have a vehicle for a short duration, effectively sidestepping any long-term ownership concerns that consumers might have.

It’s important to note that the Tesla Model 3’s leasing rate slightly surpasses the overall leasing rate, which currently stands at 21.3 percent. However, it’s worth acknowledging that fewer Americans are opting for vehicle leases today compared to 2018 and 2019 when the overall leasing rate comfortably exceeded 30 percent.


In summary, the Tesla Model 3’s remarkable achievement in becoming one of the top 10 leased vehicles in the United States signifies a significant shift in consumer preferences towards electric mobility. With the availability of tax incentives and Tesla’s savvy pricing strategies, the Model 3 is poised to maintain its impressive leasing momentum as the EV landscape continues to evolve.