Cars Tech

Fiat 500e: Can You Really Drive A Brand New Car For A Total Cost Of $120 A Month? Yes, You Can

Anyway, the total out-the-door price, including taxes, drive-off fees, registration and all 36 months of payments, was $6,214, and that didn’t include the $2,500 state rebate I qualified for (check just arrived), bringing my actual total to $4,714, including the carpool lane sticker. Divide by 36 and you get $130.94 a month. Roll in insurance at $60 a month and electricity charges at $30 a month and the 500e is costing me about $220 a month. Total. All in.

Now consider my my wife was spending a consistent $125 a month on gas for her old Chevy Malibu. That’s still her backup vehicle for long-distance travel, but her gas bill has dropped to less than $25 a month because the Fiat 500e serves over 90 percent of her needs. Of course the Malibu is fully paid off (I got that car back in 2005 for $11,000, when it was one year old with 20,000 miles on the odometer, but that’s another story…).

Anyway, that’s how you get to a true, final new car cost of less than $120 a month. ALL IN. Remember, there’s essentially no maintenance required on an electric car, and the 500e has full warranty coverage for 3 years and 36,000 miles.

I still don’t like the idea of spending $4,320 (total) and giving a car back, but that’s pretty cheap money for 3 years of personal transportation. So far we’re happy with the car. The Fiat 500e is actually quite fun to drive. It benefits from the low center of gravity and low-end torque all electric cars offer. It’s even roomy enough for my wife and two kids.

The 84-mile range is almost never a factor for daily uses. We’re just using the portable wall charger, which is fully covering our charging needs, so there’s no 240-volt installation costs associated with it. It’s rare for my wife to use more than 30 percent of the 24 kWh battery’s capacity, meaning it’s fully charged every morning from our standard 110-volt wall outlet.

And I have to admit, hearing Fiat Chrysler’s CEO Sergio Marchionne say I hope you don’t buy it because every time I sell one it costs me $14,000,” back in 2014 always tugged at me. A brand new Fiat 500e for the cost of most people’s cell phone bill? It’s not everyday you get to buy something and come out better than the company that made it.