Elio Motors recently announced that the Elio, their $6800 3-wheeled 84 mpg autocycle, could be available for purchase as soon as first half 2016. The Elio is being marketed as a “second vehicle” for U.S. consumers, but many New Yorkers don’t own a first vehicle. Will the Elio work for our wallets? I’ll compare buying an Elio to other options for driving out of town.
Elio vs. Leasing:
The cheapest lease in Manhattan is the Fiat 500. It’s $2000 down, $99 per month over 2 years. Over 4 years, you’d pay $8750 to lease the Fiat which you would have to say “ciao” to at the end of the lease, vs. $6800 to own the Elio. The advantage goes to the Elio.
Elio vs. Renting:
Let’s say you get 2 weeks of vacation per year and during that time you rent an economy car. The car rents for $600 per week in New York City. If you rent 2 weeks per year over 5 years, you’d pay $6000 to drive 10 weeks total. Of course if you own an Elio you would have access to drive 365 days a year. Advantage Elio.
Elio vs. Car-Sharing:
Let’s say you don’t take long road-trips and you’re more of the daily getaway type. Taking out a Zipcar for 14 day trips per year (at $109 per day), over 5 years, costs $7630. It would be advantageous to purchase the Elio.
Every New Yorker likes a bargain. If you’ve ever gone to Century 21 to buy a suit, or traveled to Newark just to rent an economical car, the Elio could be for you. It will be available for purchase in time for summer 2016. Will it be accepted in the Hamptons? Only time will tell. One thing is for sure: I’ll see you in Bridgehampton in a 4-wheeled (or possibly 3-wheeled) vehicle . . .