Lease an electric car in France for €100 a month - who can benefit?

Millions of people are expected to be able to qualify under the new scheme announced by the government

The Renault Twingo E-Tech, the Citroën ë-C3 and the Fiat 500e are all eligible for the new leasing social scheme
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Millions of people are set to qualify for a scheme to lease an electric car for €100 a month with no upfront payment.

Details of the scheme called leasing social, which was a campaign promise of President Macron, were presented by Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire on October 24.

It is expected to be introduced in 2024.

How will the system work?

People will pay €100 a month to lease an electric car. It is thought that participating (car leasing) companies will be subject to official approval.

Only approved models which cost less than €47,000, weigh under 2.7 tonnes and respect the new environmental guidelines will be eligible. At present, only three have been mentioned by Mr Le Maire:

  • Citroën ë-C3
  • Renault Twingo E-Tech
  • Fiat 500e

More models are expected to be announced at some point.

People will be able to choose between a long term lease, or location de longue durée (LLD), and a lease to buy, or location avec option d’achat (LOA).

Both leases will last three years, and people can choose which contract they want when they sign.

LOA contracts include an option to purchase the car at the end of the lease.

Under certain circumstances the contracts may be cancelled without charge during the term. These are likely to include illness, death or becoming unemployed.

The precise terms of the initiative have yet to be announced, and there is some uncertainty as to whether or not the €100 monthly lease payment will cover insurance costs although it is thought not.

The online platform for leasing social should be available in November, and the scheme is expected to begin in 2024.

How is this different from normal leasing?

It is possible currently to lease a car long term for €100 a month from various outlets, including a lease with an option to buy.

However, these leases require a significant initial payment of several thousand euros. The new initiative removes the need for the lessee to make this initial payment as this element will be subsidised by the government.

Who will qualify?

Residents of France will be able to qualify if they earn less than €20,850 net. Mr Le Maire says people will be able to apply online from November.

Can you use both the leasing social and the bonus ecologique?

Yes, if you wish to purchase the vehicle that you are leasing under an LOA contract.

The bonus ecologique does not have a maximum income threshold and is applied as follows:

  • €4,000 for vehicles sold up to €45,000
  • €2,000 for vehicles sold from €45,000 to €60,000
  • €2,000 for vehicles sold above €60,000 (and hydrogen vehicles)
  • €5,000 for a van
  • €1,000 for new hybrid vehicles sold below €50,000
  • People with revenue below €14,089 qualify for an extra €2,000. This would, for example, bring the bonus ecologique up to €7,000 for a van.

It can be used once every three years.

However, LOA contracts are not eligible to be used alongside the prime à la conversion, which helps people switch to a greener model of vehicle.

Read more:

Why electric vehicle insurance premiums are set to rise in France

How electric car grants are changing in France

New carbon scores will keep foreign electric cars out of France