2018 Nissan Leaf - Looking to Lease

  • Last Updated:
  • Jan 31st, 2018 4:45 pm
Deal Addict
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Jan 23, 2007
1020 posts
Kingston, Ontario

2018 Nissan Leaf - Looking to Lease

I have only ever once leased a car, about 20 years ago. (Yes I'm old). We want to buy a 2019 Nissan Leaf but also need to get a new vehicle within the next few months. We have a 2018 Leaf on order, but the 2019's are (rumoured) to offer better range, enough to the point the 2019 would be perfect for us as far as range goes.

So, we have a deposit on a 2018 but can change our mind. We are wondering if we should lease for a year then buy the 2019. This will give us a year of experience with the Leaf to base our buying decision on.

The problem is, I'm no longer familiar with leases. Should we simply lease through Nissan, or approach some other Leasing agencies?
8 replies
Deal Addict
Apr 5, 2016
4629 posts
You can do a 1 year lease, but monthly payments may be high since depreciation is the worse first year. Do some calculations and see if one year's lease payments are worth it, compared to say buying the car and selling it one year later. If you don't want any hassle whatsoever, I would just lease it for a year. The dealer may take advantage of this as they will be double dipping so use this as a point to give you a better deal.
Current Fido and Rogers customer.
Ex Koodo customer.
Feb 19, 2017
481 posts
I would not lease an electric vehicle for one year. For starters, I'm pretty sure you only get the full provincial incentive of $14K if the lease is at least 3 years long. Second, as bomber17 says, the depreciation on a one year lease will be huge - your monthly payments will be huge. Third, no one can be sure when the 2019 Leaf will be released/available, and maybe by then there's something about it you don't like. If you're on a short-term lease, you don't have a lot of flexibility.

If you need an economy car for a year, you could just buy an old Corolla or Civic - good on gas, reliable, and hold their resale value well. Then when your 2019 Leaf is ready you can just sell the Corolla/Civic.
Deal Fanatic
Jul 4, 2004
5717 posts
(I already replied to your message on FB if you are the same person!)

Personally, I think this would not be a good idea as it's going to cost you a fortune. First, you're only leasing for 1 year so there's huge depreciation. Second, it's an BEV which has even higher depreciation. Third, you're in Ontario so you're basically going to tack on the provincial rebate hit on the depreciation (about $12.5k after tax) even though because it's only a one year lease, you will only collect 1/3 the rebate. Fourth, you'll be returning the car when an upgraded model of the same car is available.

Also based on the message, if it is you on FB, I believe you need a high mileage lease (e.g. 40k kms / year of more). Based on that, I suspect that on a $36k Leaf S, they give you a 1 year residual of $20-22k or less (The problem is that if the rebate is still available, that $36k car after rebate, sells new for about $24k); you're pricing a 1 year older one and with a lot of mileage to boot so you might even be around $18k or less residual ...). After taxes and interest, you are probably looking at $1000-1200+ / month after the rebate ...

Also based on the FB message, I don't feel the Leaf is very suitable. Unless you have a dedicated charger at work, I think you are are doing too much mileage even for the 2018 Leaf's range. At 100+ highway kms each way, I do not think the 2018 will be able to do that (unless you drive 70km/h on the 401 (which I really don't recommend). The range is 240kms but based on my 2015, you really don't get anywhere near the range at highway speed - especially if you typically drive at 105-115+ km/h (unfortunately, until it's actually out and available for road tests, no one knows how it will do in the real world - I believe the Bolt and Tesla don't suffer that much of a hit at highway speed and the 2nd gen Leaf is more powerful than the 1st gen so it's possible the affect won't be as drastic). As with all BEVs, the real issue will be winter; on the coldest of days, in my 2015, it's not unreasonable to lose 50% or more range. I suspect that even on the highway on the coldest days, the 2018 will do 100 kms but might be about it so you need to charge the car completely during the work day and that means it needs to be an L2 and you probably need to have access to it for a good 5-6 hours (I'm not sure how long it will take to fully charge a 40kw pack). If you only have access to L1, you will not have enough time to fully charge and thus may not be able to make the return trip. There are a few L3s and a bunch of L2s along the route so you probably wouldn't be completely screwed but I wouldn't want to depend on public charging for my daily commute).

Although I'm a Leaf owner, if you are set on a BEV, I think you are probably better off with a Bolt or used Tesla (unless you have a dedicated charging station at work - in which case, it would likely work but I'd want to see how the new Leaf does at higher speed first). If you aren't totally set on BEV, you might be better off with a plug-in hybrid (e.g. if you can recharge fully at work), a Volt would do most of your commute but you would have to crunch numbers to compare cost with Prius or diesel car (since you are all highway, you might do very well although I really haven't followed what's happening since "Dieselgate" and if that's had any effect)

--- update ---

Just to add a bit of information, according to this link ... dy-75-mph/, the Bolt, which has a reputation of having pretty minimal loss at higher speeds, has a range of 190 miles (306 kms) at 75 mph (120 km/h) which is good but still about a 20% loss of it's EPA range of 238 miles (383 kms).

Applying the same ratio to the 2018 Leaf would give you a range of 192 kms which is NOT sufficient for your round trip commute (and that's under the best conditions with 0 degradation).

I hadn't mentioned degradation but I think many 1st gen Leaf owners are saying 2-3% per year ... You aren't keeping it particularly long but even a 1% degradation after 6 months could be pretty significant since you are so close. (Also I suspect that the degradation is not linear and you lose more in the 1st year than you do subsequently so you might see 2% degradation in the first 6 months ...)
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jan 23, 2007
1020 posts
Kingston, Ontario
Yes, that's me on FB!

Thanks everyone, it seems a bad idea for us to lease. We will go ahead with the 2018 purchase but will add a 2019 if we are otherwise happy with everything. We will either sell the 2018 when/if we buy a 2019 or keep the 2018 it for me to use. We have an ICE that is horribly disgusting on fuel use (2012 Chev Cargo Express 2500 3/4 tonne) that he can use if absolutely necessary, and I'll keep the Leaf for in town use... although that would end up costing us a huge amount of money if he needs to drive back and forth daily driving the piggy ICE for a year.

The range, at least in winter, could very well be an issue, but he has access to a L2 charger at his workplace that is dedicated, not open to the public, and free to use, so that should give him more than enough range even with winter conditions.

Degradation may be an issue, but time will tell. We are willing to risk both having him charge it at work every day if need be, and the degradation which will occur to any EV regardless I'm assuming. We don't want to miss out on the $14K incentive; my strong suspicion is this won't be in place for too many more years... if any.

We will be getting ride of our 2012 F150 Platinum ecoboost for the 2018 Leaf. Imagine the fuel savings!!!!!
Sr. Member
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Apr 3, 2006
760 posts
Like a few people have mentioned if you only lease for one year you will only get 1/3 of the full electric vehicle rebate in Ontario.

A better option might be to just do one year lease takeover of any other car while you wait. You can use autotrader or Kijiji for this as long as you do a search for the words “lease takeover”

I’m in a similar boat where I would rather buy/lease a 2019 Nissan Leaf or a Tesla Model 3 but really don’t want to wait over a year for a new car. I’m guessing either of those won’t be available until at least next spring/summer.
Deal Fanatic
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Jan 17, 2002
7324 posts
I thought the comically bad residual value on the Leaf made leasing a bad idea.
Deal Expert
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Apr 21, 2004
54082 posts
$259/month with $3+k down in the US if I recall correctly on insideevs :(
Deal Addict
Jan 8, 2007
2642 posts
frogger wrote: I thought the comically bad residual value on the Leaf made leasing a bad idea.
Reason residuals are so bad for most EVs is the risk of them being fairly obsolete in a few years with the pace of advancement in the field. Think of it as cell phone tech kind of.

Outright owning/financing in this case is just as risky in my opinion.