Several manufacturers offer rentals at 99 or 100 € per month. But behind the eye-catching price, what are the good and bad surprises? Automobile Propre tells you everything.
The government wants to set up what it calls “social leasing”: an electric car at a low price, which the most modest can obtain. The symbolic objective is to be at €100 per month.
But the presentation and entry into force of the measure are constantly postponed. The executive seems to be struggling to meet the necessary conditions with the builders. Some, however, have decided to take the lead on their side! Dacia, Fiat, MG and Renault thus offer an electric vehicle at €100 per month, namely the Spring, 500e, MG4 and Twingo.
There are of course conditions, starting with the fact that each time it is a long-term rental (LLD), over two or three years, with a down payment, even taking into account the bonus for all of €5,000 (this is surely one of the points where it gets stuck for social leasing, which should be without contribution other than the bonus). There are also disparities between the services of the vehicles.
To help you make a choice according to your priority criteria (budget, autonomy, practical aspects), Automobile-Propre compares the key points of the four models on offer.
To avoid unpleasant surprises, let’s detail the conditions hidden in these offers from the start. None is without input. Because there is the trick to arrive at a rent of 99 or 100 €: to have a first rent strongly increased! It is €7,500 for the Spring, €9,000 for the Twingo, and €9,500 for the 500e and MG4.
The opportunity for the brands lies in the purchase aids which cover all or part of this 1st increased rent. All French people have a bonus of €5,000. It is increased to €7,000 for those who have a reference tax income per unit (RFR/P) under €14,090. Added to this is the scrapping bonus. If you scrap a gasoline from before 2006 or a diesel from before 2011, you have 2,500 € (in case of RFR/P under 22,984 €).
If you combine these aids, the 1st rent can therefore be reduced to 0 €. You can even increase it by taking advantage of the super-scrap bonus of €6,000, if your RFR/P is under €6,359 (or under €14,090 if you are a “big wheeler”). But if you have a lot of aids, you might as well take the opportunity to go upmarket and aim for a more spacious model or with more autonomy).
To compare the offers here by putting on an equal footing, we will retain the bonus of € 5,000 granted to all without conditions. La Spring therefore has the 1st lowest rent with 2,500 €. But Fiat announces for its part that it extends the ecological bonus of 7,000 € to all, in other words it offers 2,000 € to those who do not have it. Which thus makes 2,500 € of 1st rent for all.
All aid for the purchase of an electric car in 2023
The conditions of time and kilometers
Surprise at MG: it is an offer for only two years. A fairly short time. It is recalled that at the end of an LLD, the vehicle must be returned. The other three models compared here have a more classic contract, with 37 months. For the mileage, we are on 10,000 km per year (so 20,000 for the MG, 30,000 for the others), a standard value.
Good point at Dacia and Renault: the offers include maintenance. Dacia thus explains that this includes “the overhaul, the replacement of filters and all the operations provided for in the maintenance program according to contractual conditions”.
Engines and performance
At this price, the Spring is equipped with its small block of 45 hp. It’s 81 hp for the Twingo and 90 hp for the Fiat. The MG stands out with a block of 125 kW, or 170 hp. This is therefore reflected in performance: it goes from 0 to 100 km/h in 7.7 seconds, when it takes 12.9 seconds on the same exercise for the Twingo and 19.1 seconds for the Spring.
Clearly, the latter is less at ease outside the city. It also suffers from road qualities weighed down by low-end Chinese tires. The other models will be more comfortable and safer.
Autonomy and charging
If the MG was able to cool down with its short contract, it largely makes up for it technically and clearly distances its rivals of the day. It has a 51 kWh battery which gives it a combined cycle WLTP range of 350 km. With 26.8 kWh, the Spring is doing well, at 230 km. On the other hand, the Twingo and the Fiat are satisfied with 190 km. That’s more than enough for the day-to-day (Dacia says its customers drive around 30 miles a day), but doesn’t make the biggest adventures any easier.
The MG will require fewer recharge stops. And it also benefits from a fast direct current recharge of 88 kW, which allows under ideal conditions to go from 10 to 80% charge in 38 minutes. The car has a 6.6 kW on-board charger.
The Fiat has an 11 kW on-board charger and offers 50 kW DC fast charging. The Dacia has a 6.6 kW single-phase on-board charger as standard. For the 30 kW fast recharge, you have to go see the finish above.
The Twingo does not have fast DC charging, but has the Chameleon charger fitted as standard, with 22 kW AC charging, which is interesting on a small battery model.
It was predictable: the Dacia does the essentials. It comes standard with electric front windows, radio, manual air conditioning, active emergency braking, speed limiter. But the Twingo does even less well, it doesn’t have air conditioning!
The Fiat is far from this stripping. It automatically offers line crossing alert, panel recognition, driver fatigue detector, auto air conditioning or 10.25-inch touch screen. The MG goes even further with the adaptive regulator, the automatic high beams or the V2L system.
The sense of welcome
With the same rent, you can have quite different vehicles. The 500 is the worst off, with only 3 doors, when the others have 5. Side trunk, the Italian is content with 185 dm3. The Twingo announces 210 liters, the Spring 290 liters and the MG4 363 liters. Nothing surprising, the MG is a compact car, 4.29 meters long, when the others are small city cars. She also has another advantage: a 5th place.
In these basic configurations, Spring and Twingo are basic, even rustic for the Romanian. The 500 and MG4 have a more polished and techno presentation, with a 7-inch screen for instrumentation and a 10.25-inch screen for infotainment.
|1st intake (1st month)*
|99 € / 36 months
|99 € / 36 months
|99 € / 23 months
|€100 / 36 months
*1st rent without taking into account purchase aid (bonus and scrapping bonus)
Clearly, the most interesting vehicle in the lot is the MG4. It is more practical, better equipped, more efficient and offers more autonomy! However, there is a catch: his contract runs for only 24 months. It’s short.
What is annoying is that the offer takes the bonus into account, as is always the case, but now the bonus is paid once (per natural person) every 36 months. The LLD therefore does not cover this period! Moreover, for the other models, also pay attention to the scrapping bonus, it is now only one per person.
The other concern in this contract period is that at the end of the LLD, you have to pay any costs for restoration. This can weigh heavily on the budget of a vehicle kept only two years.
If this two-year period does not scare you, and even if it suits you for example to make the transition between two cars, the MG 4 can be a good choice.
In the rest, the best is the Fiat 500, more refined and better equipped than the Spring and Twingo, not to mention that Fiat offers the bonus of 7,000 € for all. Its only flaw is its less practical 3-door silhouette. The Spring is suitable for those looking for the cheapest, its contribution being the lowest and its rent including maintenance.
Scrap bonus 2023: everything you need to know for cars