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Nissan Leaf and EVs in General: Buying vs Leasing

As the 2018 Nissan Leaf enters the production Leaf owners discuss whether purchasing is a better idea vs leasing.

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Many Nissan Leaf owners are somewhat disappointed that the 2018 Leaf doesn't have at least 200 miles of range per charge. Those, who have leased a Nissan Leaf, say they have been hanging on to their leases in promise of that range.

"We want to own and be done with payments. We have been loyal enough," writes Jessie Lindsay in Leaf Owners Public group on Facebook. Here is what determines the residual value of Nissan Leaf.

One group member responds to what's better in terms of buying vs leasing and EV and favors the leasing. Here is why.

"At this point in the evolution of EVs, purchasing one is a bad idea. Leasing is the best way to use an EV at least until 2022 simply because the technology continues to improve and the costs continue to drop. I have had two LEAFs since 2011, both were leased, and my total out of pocket costs have been less than $5K, plus I get to drive the latest iteration of the car. EVs today are at the same point that PCs were in the 1990's, they continue to get better and cheaper, so why get stuck with car when you can get a fresh one that is better and cheaper with your total cost of ownership being the same? If you really think you need more range, then yes wait a few months, chances are that you are doing just fine with what you currently have," writes Gary Lieber in the group.

"And to your point about a 2018 LEAF that no one wants? You will be surprised when Nissan announces that they have almost all of their 2018 capacity already pre-sold," Lieber adds.

I am not sure about leasing as I have never leased a car. I remember one of our college professors warned against leasing as you always keep paying and never owning. Also you keep paying for interest. So, I always like to buy only things I can afford and purchase. Here is another opinion of why month to month leasing of Nissan Leaf is a good alternative to buying a used one.

What do you think? Should you lease or buy an electric car considering their are still somewhat in their infancy? Please let us know your opinions in the comments section below for discussion.

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Paul (not verified)    November 11, 2017 - 9:32PM

I was offered the opportunity to buy a 2015 Leaf with only 20,000 km for the same monthly payment (over 5 years) as leasing a 2017 Leaf. For me, this was a pretty straight forward decision.

Thomas (not verified)    November 11, 2017 - 10:23PM

I lease my Nissan Leaf, but that's because I know I need more range and want a better vehicle next time around. If your content with the car and plan on keeping for 6 plus years and the range (even with expected loss) is more than sufficient... It's a better financial decision to buy and run to the ground and then replace the battery if necessary.

DaveinOlyWA (not verified)    November 12, 2017 - 11:13AM

I am on my 3rd LEAF lease planning on my 4th. The reality is the tech is not mature so a purchase is a LOT of financial commitment that will be nearly valueless as new iterations of the tech emerges. I have leased 7 years for a zero down $245 a month commitment. IOW; still far from the cost of one purchase and I am not driving a 7 year old car!

Stan Morris (not verified)    November 12, 2017 - 9:20PM

I leased a Leaf in Sept 2012 for 39 months and extended the lease for one year at the end of the period. A few days after returning the Leaf, I noticed an ad on Craigslist for a 2011 Leaf with 60K miles that had a new battery. It also had the fast charge port. It was offered for $8,000. I checked the paperwork from the local dealer, verifying that it indeed had a new battery, and purchased it. That was almost one year ago. No problems, so far, and the new battery gets more range than did the 2012 Leaf. Our second car is a Suzuki SUV.

Mark (not verified)    November 27, 2017 - 4:40PM

The other thing to keep in mind is that if you lease, you are paying insurance and property tax (in most places) on a much higher value car. I just purchased a 2014 Leaf, and my insurance and taxes on a $10,000 car will be much less than on a $35,000 car.