In the next few months, a wave of off-lease Nissan LEAFs will wash over Nissan dealers from coast to coast. While that’s good news for those of us obsessed with electric vehicles looking for a good deal, Nissan would much prefer that those leaseholders opt to buy out their LEAF from the lease instead. In an effort to encourage that, it started by offering a $5,000 buyout credit, but it is upping that credit to $7,000, reports InsideEVs.
Since this credit is available directly from Nissan, LEAF leaseholders can just dial up the Nissan Motor Acceptance Corporation (Nissan’s finance arm) to get the credit, should their lease be almost up. While each lease is different, this buyout could take 50% or more off the cost of taking home your LEAF, instead of turning it back into the dealership. Many used LEAFs with less than 36,000 miles on them are selling for between $10,000 and $12,000, so the credit should bring the buyout price at or below that same level.
Unfortunately, LEAF resale prices seem to be steadily falling even further, and it is actually losing its value faster than any other new car. Not only are a bunch of them coming off lease, but rumor has it a much-improved 105-mile LEAF could be in the worlds for the 2016 model year, not to say anything of a second-generation follow-up that could be good for 150 miles or more per charge. There’s also a brand new Chevy Volt to contend with, and a greater variety of EVs to choose from compared to just three years ago. Most LEAF lessees probably won’t be going back to combustion cars, which is good for the air, but not so good for Nissan if they aren’t buying another LEAF.
Can cash on the hood convince LEAF leaseholders to stay on with their first-gen electric cars a little longer? Or is the allure of other, newer electric vehicles too strong?