Questions About Buying a Used Electric Nissan Leaf

8 Июн 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Questions About Buying a Used Electric Nissan Leaf отключены
Nissan LEAF Electric Cars

Do They Make Sense Financially? New vs. Used? What About Used Hybrids?

There’s a debate raging over whether to buy a used electric caar or a new one. On the one side of the argument are government incentives and on the other is rapidly decreasing residual values. What makes more sense for you?

For this example we’re going to look at a used electric Nissan Leaf. It’s a good, engaging car to drive and it’s gasoline free. That’s especially welcome as gas prices rise and if you happen to own solar panels because you’re, in effect, generating your own fuel for your vehicle.

Another reason to look at a used electric Nissan Leaf is it is the world’s best selling electric vehicle. according to the Japanese automaker. More than 25,000 have been sold in the U.S. (and an additional 10,000 in Europe).

The first Nissan Leaf came out in 2011, which means they are going to start showing up in dealers’ used electric car lots in increasing numbers. Of course, that’s a relative term because only 25,000 have been sold. That’s a relative eye dropper’s worth in an ocean of used cars.

Kelley Blue Book reports in its Used-Car Market Analysis for May 2013 that (o)n average, used electric vehicles are retaining nearly 55 percent of their original Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP), while their hybrid counterparts perform significantly better by holding on to a retained value average of 74.3 percent.

That’s a good argument for buying a used electric car. A 55% drop after one year is fairly significant. A Nissan Leaf costing $38,000 in 2012 would be worth approximately $20,900 in 2013.

That would seem to be a good deal for a used car buyer because it’s such a big drop.

However, and isn’t there always a however, that 55% residual value doesn’t reflect the sharp drop in new Nissan Leafs for example. A 2013 model can be bought for $28,800 (before an $850 delivery charge). That means a base model could be bought for less than $16,000 in 2014 if you could find one.

Also, that $29,650 price tag (before local and state taxes of course) doesn’t reflect the $7500 tax credit you’re going to receive for buying a new Nissan Leaf. That means you’re to ultimately pay $22,150 for a new Leaf vs. $20,900 for a used 2012 Nissan Leaf. That $1250 price difference is going to be a strong consideration.


The U.S. Dept. of Energy reports that are available for electric cars purchased in or after 2010. The federal government says they may be eligible for a federal income tax credit of up to $7,500. The credit amount will vary based on the capacity of the battery used to fuel the vehicle. (But don’t worry — the Nissan Leaf qualifies.)

Nissan LEAF Electric Cars

Of course, there is an alternative to used electric cars to consider: the hybrid. According to kbb.com, The hybrid market will continue to outperform the electric vehicle segment for quite some time, as the infrastructure for electric vehicles remains in its early stages and consumers still need to grow accustomed to the idea of a purely electric vehicle. Unless a consumer’s commute is short and consistent, the jump from a combustion vehicle to a fully electric vehicle is not an easy choice for drivers, especially in cases where the model is priced higher than the hybrid counterparts.

By the way, About.com has an excellent vehicle on purchasing a used hybrid that should be a must before considering one.

The site continues, It is important to note that while the electric vehicle segment maintains the lowest retained value, these vehicles often have a much higher MSRP than their gas-powered competitors. With an average retained value of nearly 55 percent, this actually brings the value of electric vehicles within a comparable price range to their gas-powered counterparts from a dollar perspective, said Alec Gutierrez, senior market analyst, Automotive Insights, Kelley Blue Book.

Electric vehicles often have federal and state tax incentives to aid in the purchase of the vehicle when new; however, these incentives do not exist on the used-car side.

So, what’s right for you? A new Nissan Leaf or a used Nissan Leaf? Crunch the numbers and see what suits you best.

However, keep in mind that the tax credits are a big factor in favor of the new Nissan Leaf.

Nissan LEAF Electric Cars
Nissan LEAF Electric Cars

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