Saturday, February 10, 2018

LEAF Leases; What Will You Pay?

I actually did this back in November and have decided to revisit this simply because a few things have changed and we know a LOT more about Nissan pricing and its not quite as favorable as I thought it would be so...

As we all know, the Model 3 has had a tough launch.  Looks like the $36,200 version with the full tax credit is not going to happen.  Despite what appears will be a successful ploy by Tesla to get an additional 3 months of full federal tax credit for its customers, the estimated timeline for the long awaited basic model has been pushed back several times.   Anything can happen and I expect when it does, it will surprise us all, but it is possible that few if any will even qualify for the half credit.

The Chevy Bolt is getting a pretty hefty price cut if you are willing to search for a 2017. One recently got $5800 off his but it was also a model without QC; a tough sell.   As always, incentives vary a TON by location and a quick perusal which included a good 10 mins of back and forth on the phone with one guy before he would give up anything still has promising results of $3000-$4000 off.  Not bad but without getting much of the federal tax credit, its a tough TCO justification. My tax liability for 2017 was $3000...

So we come to the LEAF.  As mentioned, the incentives will not be huge but with my 2016 gone, I have zero bargaining position and the month of gassing (Its only been a month??!!) has literally chased out all my common sense and penny pinching ways!

So if we go to the Nissan site, they do have the basic lease terms. Unfortunately getting "my" lease terms are not available but we can make a pretty close guess with the basic info the lease disclaimer gives us.

Excludes taxes, title, and license. $3,979 initial payment required at consummation. (Includes $3,670 consumer down payment, $309 first month payment.) (INCLUDES $7,500 manufacturer's rebate applied to $309/Month lease. Offer valid only when financed through Nissan Motor Acceptance Corporation.) Subject to residency restrictions. 2018 LEAF SV Lease model 17118 subject to availability to well-qualified lessees through Nissan Motor Acceptance Corporation. $33,375 MSRP incl. destination charge. Net capitalized cost of $21,386 includes a $595 non-refundable acquisition fee. Dealer contribution may affect actual price set by dealer. Monthly payments total $11,124 At lease end, purchase for $10,680, plus purchase option fee up to $300 (except KS & WI), plus tax, or pay excess wear & use plus $0.15 per mile for mileage over 12,000 miles per year. Lessee is responsible for maintenance and repairs. A disposition fee is due at termination of lease term. No security deposit required. Must take delivery from new dealer stock. See participating dealer for details. Offer ends 03/05/2018.

Now this is 12,000 miles and without the tech ($2200) or the Weather ($900) package. But using the above, we can guesstimate the MF using the standard formula. Simple math shows a finance charge of $596

MF = lease charge / (capitalize cost + residual) * lease term in months
Where lease charge = sum of all a lessee’s monthly finance fees over the entire term of the leasecapitalized cost = also known as lease price, is the agreed price for a leased vehicleresidual value = value of car at the end of the leaselease term = the length of time a car is leased in months 
Plugging in the numbers we get  MF = $596 / ($21386 + $10,680) * 36 months = .000518 or 1.24% interest.  Just talked to my dealer and my MF is .00036 or .86% 

So now, lets plug in "my" LEAF, an SV with tech and weather; $36,475.  Take off the basics and we are down to price of  $24205 that includes nothing but $1000 loyalty, $7500 credit and $3670 down payment.  So we still need to guess a bit so we will use $350 a month payments since I will also be doing 15,000 miles a year so we get

.000518  =   X / (24205 + 10680) * 36.  so divide by X, yada yada, we get estimated $650 in rent charge so we put in our estimated $350 payments or 12,600 plus the $650 rent charge to get 13,250 which brings us real close to the residual. In reality due to the greater mileage, the residual will be likely a bit lower so I would change to $360ish payments and I think I am in the ball park.

DISCLAIMERS Although this is the "worst case" scenario for me, its probably better than what some will see. WA State waives sale tax on the transaction so I don't have to worry about that. That is roughly a $2500 discount which covers all but residual.  These terms apply to "well qualified" customers but only requires a relatively low credit score of 740+

**EDIT**  FEB 17, 2018
Speculation is OVER!  Below are my actual lease terms.  Obviously not matching my prediction above because I ended up taking an S with QC and Weather instead of an SV with Tech and Weather but everything else is pretty spot on so I came pretty close with my predictions!

Lease Terms

15,000 annual miles
Zero down payment
MF .00036 (.854% interest rate)
Rent Charge ($504.45)
35 payments;  $382.94 or  $13,402.90
Residual ; $9,655.55
TCO;  $23,058.45
29.8 cents per mile

As always this is subject to change and lease terms get updated monthly. They don't always change every month but the possibility remains nevertheless.  

S;  $9275  ($7500 fed credit plus $1725 factory incentive)
SV; $7500
SL; $7900

Due to still low volumes and what I expect will be high demand (I predicted that the 2018 would break previous annual sales record despite the specter of the 60 kwh pack coming out late this year and I am sticking to it!)


  1. Line 47 of your tax return is $3,000?
    You have a sharper pencil than I do.

    1. LOL! Nope, all has to do with having a low paying job!

  2. might soon be time for the next episode of "Go Call Ray"? :-)
    425 444-cars Good Luck Dave. Careful with money down on a lease. we are all rooting for you and the new Leaf. Thank you for all you share

    1. Money down is likely a requirement and I am confident the risk is minimal. Did you see my prelim blog about my insurance payoff on my 2016 along with satisfying NMAC. Now THAT is a risk I am willing to take!

      Besides with the fading WA State tax exemption, I think it better to move as much into the tax free side of the lease