How our Nissan Leaf deal got better

posted by Jeff | Wednesday, August 24, 2016, 3:00 PM | comments: 0

Today is the two year anniversary of the date we became EV people, when we brought home the 2015 Nissan Leaf. As we approached the end of the lease, we weren't sure what was next, but we wanted to try to extend the lease. I felt like we had a good deal, but now it's an absurdly good deal.

Leases can be good for cash flow, especially if you don't intend to hang on to a car for a long time. I tend to look at it from the view of how much money you put into it for the time you own the car, on a monthly basis. For a lease, that's whatever you put down plus your payments. For a purchased car, whatever you put down plus your payments, then whatever you get for selling it. Of course, if it's a cash purchase, even better, though that money can work a lot harder being invested when auto loans are 0 to 2% (borrowing money right now, in many scenarios is the right thing to do). I did the math when we got the car, and it worked out to $356/month for the $5k trade, $1k down and $106 payment times 24.

One of the reasons we leased was the fact that EV's are quickly evolving, especially in terms of battery capacity. I theorized that the Leaf wouldn't be particularly valuable as Nissan itself introduced new ones with bigger batteries, to say nothing of the competitors. I was right, and Nissan doesn't seem to be in a big hurry to take them back. We got a 1-year extension on the lease, and they agreed to pick up two months of payments. So now, when you do the math, $5k trade, $1k down and 34, $106 payments over 36 months, you end up with a per month cost averaging $267. For a new car, with relatively new technology, that seems like an extraordinary deal to me.

I feel validated, like I beat the system.


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