In the next two months the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt will officially go on sale, both with $7,500 in federal tax credits that have been heavily advertised and marketed to potential buyers. However, that $7,500 isn’t going to be easy to come by for all buyers. That’s why leasing one of these two cars may be the more accessible option.
If you’re thinking about buying, here’s what you have to keep in mind: To take the full $7,500 tax credit, you must have a tax liability of at least $7,500. For a single person, the minimum gross income needed to reach the $7,500 liability level is $54,680, according to Bob Meighan, VP of TurboTax, the tax software company owned by Intuit.
While that may sound like a lot, the salary is just about right for Leaf and Volt shoppers, according to Credit.com, which says that an individual shouldn’t spend more than 15% of his or her pay (after payroll deductions) on a car payment.
While the Volt’s $40,280 and Leaf’s $32,780 asking prices are significantly higher than the roughly $28,000 average asking price of today’s new cars, leasing may be one way for folks who make less money to go electric.