BREAKING: Nissan Announces Up To $7,000 Credit For Buying Your Leased LEAF


Nissan LEAF

Nissan LEAF

Nissan LEAF

Nissan LEAF


In an effort to get LEAF lessees to outright buy the electric car at the end of the lease, Nissan is upping the ante even more – perhaps in anticipation of an expected longer range (30 kWh) 2016 Nissan LEAF changing residual values this fall?

If you recall, a few weeks back Nissan began offering 2012 and 2013 LEAF lessees a $5,000 credit towards the purchase of their leased LEAFs. Basically, Nissan Motor Acceptance Corporation (NMAC – the leasing/financing arm of Nissan) was knocking $5,000 off the buy-out price of the leased LEAF.

That $5,000 credit remains in place for some LEAF lessees, but there are even better deals offered for others.  The new program announced by NMAC breaks down as follows:

  • 2011 LEAF – $2,000 credit/discount off residual buy-out price
  • 2012 LEAF – $7,000 credit/discount off residual buy-out price for 24-month lessees or $5,000 credit/discount off residual buy-out price for 36-month lessees.
  • 2013 LEAF -$6,500 credit/discount off residual buy-out price for 24-month lessees or $5,000 credit/discount off residual buy-out price for 36-month lessees.

Like before, these deals are offered directly by NMAC, meaning there’s no need to visit a dealer to negotiate the buy out.  Simply call NMAC (Customer Service line – 1 800 456 6622 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Central Time Zone) and a representative will walk you through the process.

If you’re leasing an eligible LEAF right now, then it’s easy to figure out your buy-out price.  Look at the residual value on your lease paperwork.  Subtract the appropriate amount offered as credit by NMAC.  Add state sales tax to that amount and that’s your buy-out price.

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52 Comments on "BREAKING: Nissan Announces Up To $7,000 Credit For Buying Your Leased LEAF"

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Wouldn’t it be great if the 30 kWh pack is backward compatable? You could pick up a cheap 2nd hand leaf and upgrade it to something quite impressive. I geuss it won’t be.

Nissan is in the business of selling new cars, so retrofitting old Leafs (and usurping potential new sales) is highly unlikely.

There is no reason to think they won’t do it. They have made all of the other battery upgrades retrofittable.

Nissan *could* do it (maybe via warranty replacement or something), but I’m thinking any retrofitting of batteries will have to be done via 3rd party. People who want a bigger battery Leaf 1.0 will need to buy the upper trim 2015.

Er, 2016.

This is also under the assumption that a newer, higher capacity pack weighs about the same and is a similar size so that there aren’t any requirements for increased structural support or vehicle dynamics implications.

Of course there’s a reason Nissan won’t do it, and bro1999 already gave that reason.

If you still disagree after thinking it through, then please cite even one case where a gas guzzler manufacturer has ever made widely available to existing car owners the ability to make a significant upgrade to the car they own. (Recalls for safety problems don’t count as an “upgrade”, that’s just fixing a problem which shouldn’t have been there in the first place.)

When did we start talking about gas cars? Nissan will make the early adopters happy with just enough. And just enough is a 120 mile pack that fits in the space, for about 7800.00


GM sells “crate motors” with heathy power ratings to update your vintage car. Ford and Chrysler also.

Honda has an entire “Mugen” division offering upgrades to brakes, suspension, exhaust, engines, etc. Nissan and Toyota as well.


My guess is the 2016 year model %25 improvement will be backward compatible, but 2017 will not. 2017 is a redesign (leaf NT).

Bingo. Nissan does not want to be in the business of making, distributing, and supporting the 24 kWh packs for the next 15 or 20 years. I strongly suspect the 24 will phase out after the last 2016 S is built, and then the 30 will become the entry level pack for the 2017 S, and the SV+SL will get something much larger. I think the 30 will stick around simply because they won’t want to develop, dist., support, etc. a unique pack for just the 2016/17 model time frame.

An upgrade like that would require, at the very least, a firmware change as well as voltage compatibility. Though I believe the battery will be physically identical, we know nothing about its electrical properties.

“Like before, these deals are offered directly by NMAC, meaning there’s no need to visit a dealer to negotiate the buy out.”

This was not the case me for me. I called NMAC and confirmed that the deal was legit after seeing the first article a few weeks ago and was told that I still had to go to the dealer to process the deal which was a huge pain in the butt. They had no idea the deal existed and was on the phone with NMAC forever confirming the details and figuring out how to process the deal.

It was still worth getting $6500 off my 2013 Leaf, it’s only costing me $4,000 more dollars to keep the car beyond my lease agreement.

Yeah, I had to work through my dealer and they nipped me $600 for all the “work” they had to do!

You don’t have to work through your dealer. NMAC suggests you go through them, but the transaction can take place by mail if you wish. Just cut them a check.,!

Hoping that Chevy will do the same for the Volt.

Unlikely. The Volt has maintained its resale value much better and Chevy doesn’t have any official connection to Ally or US Bank, the financial institutions which handled the vast majority of the leasing.

The Volt residual is artificially high but US Bank will negotiate on the buy out.

I’ve never said something like this before, but there’s always the 1st time: Could you please NOT OPEN YOUR MOUTH (or comment here) if you are just making things up? I get that you are a fan of the Volt, and despite owning a Nissan LEAF, keep badmouthing it about battery capacity when you ignore the fact on battery warranty provided or even battery replacement, or even this is the case mostly for 11/12 models. (1) As a moderator on the GM-Volt fan site, there are quite a few threads on how Volt’s NOT maintaining its actual resale value, and how various forum members are advising others NOT to buy-out their Volts because the current discounts (actually, for a while now) make a new Volt cheaper than an “old” Volt. Yeah, somehow, you don’t seem to bring that up. (2) What sort of evidence do you have regarding financial institutions and GM itself. Yes, Ally Bank was spin off from GM, but unless you are an insider, please don’t make suggestion as to how leases work otherwise with Ally – or even US Bank on how GM structured the Volt leases with it. (3) There are also quite a number… Read more »

The residuals are “artificially high” because if they weren’t, the lease costs would have been much higher. TINSTAAFL.

If your residual cost is too high, then don’t buy out your lease? I know I certainly won’t be, as my residual is probably more than a brand new 2016 Volt after tax rebates.

Dr. Miguelito Loveless

Sorry to nit-pick, but it is TANSTAAFL, There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch, (courtesy of Robert Heinlein).

Not to troll, but I’m a LEAF owner, and let me address your point about the LEAF battery warranty. The battery warranty on the LEAF is absolute CRAP. Not only does it not kick in until 66.25%, but it’s only a 5 year, 60,000 mile warranty. If you drive 15,000 miles per year, the warranty is effectively a 4 year warranty. And as is the case for a MAJORITY of 2011-2012 owners, the warranty will expire just before owners will have to drop $5200 on a new pack. That’s a lot of money to spend on a 5 year old car. How many people would drop $28,000 on a new gas car that they knew would need a new transmission AND a new engine AND a new exhaust in 4 or 5 years? I recently dropped $2000 on a new transmission in my 9 year old gas car with 130,000 miles, and that was even painful. In fact, the purchase price of my used gas car 5 years ago was about the cost of a LEAF battery pack! There’s plenty to not like about the pitiful excuse for a battery that Nissan put in its early cars, and their horrible… Read more »

The Nissan Leaf has a 8yr/100K mile warranty on the battery. Pretty amazing. Not sure why you are citing less.

I think Nissan sees the writing. If that many Leaf’s come off of those Leases, it will flood the market and the price for a Used Leaf will dump down. That is not what Nissan wants.
Look at the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, you can get a 2012 for about $6-$8K, they were originally $30k New. Why buy a New one (they dropped the price) for $24k when you can get one that is only 3 years old for $7k ?? It’s still the Same car, same battery… same for Nissan

Not quite the same, b/c Nissan will soon offer better Leafs making a new purchase/lease worthwhile.

But yes, the idea is to mitigate the fall in used Leaf prices by dampening the supply stream. If you’re Nissan, you don’t want to reach a situation where dealers are just handing them off to people or refusing to even bring them onto their lots.

Does anyone know if you have to be near the end of your lease to take advantage of this? I have a 2013 with about 21 months left on a 36-month lease. Would I be able to convert it to a traditional car loan?

Yes, you buy out the lease. A Nissan dealership or financial institution can arrange a loan if needed.

I misread your comment. No, you can buy it out at any time.

The last deal, $6500, was for you. They know the 2013’s are not out of lease yet. That is a lease buyout deal.


There may be clause there on additional fees when buying out your vehicle in advance.


I’ve got a 39-month lease on a 2012 SV, so I get $5000 off. That brings the buyout price down to around $11,000 total. I can get a 2012 SL with QC used, with fewer miles, for less than $10,000 resale. If I can capture one at auction, it will be even cheaper.

Sorry Nissan, the discounts don’t go far enough.

Your comment makes sense, but I think there is an additional adjustment to make.

What is the value to you of a car (and battery) you have known since new vs buying a different, unknown vehicle?

It’s easy to guess the battery condition based on location of the original owner. I drove several hundred miles to buy my used Leaf and the battery is exactly what I expected it to be.

Doug, you missed or avoided my question.

If you buy a used EV, there is some risk involved that the battery is not as expected. I was trying to quantify the size of that risk.

The fact that you took a risk and it worked out for you is great, but it does not imply there is no risk.

Not only that regarding the battery.

Vehicle condition, and whether there was/were any accident prior (CarFax can only report an issue if it was going through an “official” channel, e.g. insurance claim).

Flooded vehicle – not all States have the same consumer protection regarding flooded vehicles, e.g. someone can bring an out of state flooded vehicle for sale in to another state without reporting the flooding issue. OTOH, the battery can survive in a flood (as reported after the Japanese earthquake/tsunami in 2011).

Another case is that one can’t actually buy a vehicle from a reputable auction; it is only for the dealers. Not saying that all auctions are like this, but for the prices that you are seeing (or being reported), it’s likely that these are auctions NOT for just anyone.

I was about to go that route. I currently have a 2012 SL, residual was $19.9k. Buying it out would have been $14.9k. A used SL was selling for $10.5k. I was lucky enough to be able to try it for 1 day, drive to work with my normal commute and unfortunately while it shows 12 capacity bars, I was only able to get 58 miles on a full charge. My round trip commute is 60 miles. I returned the car with no penalty and still driving my original Nissan Leaf till the lease is up. Might inquire about an extension. Hopefully a larger capacity Leaf would come out by then.

I leased my 2012 at the end of 2012, when the deals were terrific in part because the residuals were so high – almost $22k in my case. So $7k off gets me only to $15k – still way over the market price.

If anyone wanted to actually ‘own’ a 3+ year old Leaf, their best option is to wait until the 2016 is launched with longer range, which will instantly depreciate their current model by thousands more. Or better yet, just wait until the next gen is launched and in a year or two and save thousands more.

It’s either wait and save thousands, or buy now and be guaranteed to lose thousands.

The rapid depreciation of new technology(which is what an EV is) is why cell phone leases require the full purchase of the device during the lease, because after 24 or 36 months, it’s deprecated so much it costs more to sell it than most are willing to pay.

Always wait for the next generation of the technology to launch before thinking of buying the current generation technology to benefit the most from the natural depreciation.

wow….checking use car inventories, 2011/2012 Leaf models, S, SL or SV race from $8k to $9k. And this is before the launch of the 2016 model ‘update’ with longer range.

My guess is that once the 2016 with longer range is launched, used prices will drop another 2k or more.

Compare this with used 2012 Focus Electric models that $13k and $14k.

Actually, it sorts of make sense.

FFE had a much higher MSRP until last year. They were selling @ $40K.

FFE supplies are much lower than the LEAFs, since much lower numbers of FFE (new) were sold, and they were sold at a later date than the LEAF.

In used car market, MSRP & supplies are in direct proportion to auction price too.

Bear in mind, it “may” also be the case in auction. But the reality is that you also have to see how in demand the vehicles will be when sold as used, because, used vehicles can actually be going back to auction too.

Not surprised – a used 2012 FFE is a better value than a used 2012 LEAF. The FFE had TMS for the battery while the 2011/12 LEAF batteries just flat-out degraded – and much faster in the heat. A 2012 LEAF probably has QC (most 2012s were SLs) but the FFE will have the 6.6 kW/h charger that wasn’t available on the LEAF until 2013. Add to that the fact that the 2012 LEAF had a ton of irritating features that were fixed in 2013, and as long as you confirm that the FFE didn’t have the shut-down problem it’s a better used car. What does surprise me is that 2013 LEAFs are also losing value almost as fast as 2012s. Now, *there* is your bargain – a used 2013. Because Nissan had to be so hush-hush about the battery change in 2013 (if it turns out Nissan knew about the battery problems in 2011 and 2012 in advance they might be liable to replace the battery in every one) most used EV buyers aren’t aware of the dramatic difference in 2013 LEAF battery life and range. Then add in all of improved features in 2013 – each small by… Read more »

I doubt it. I suspect we’ll see a surge in the market when the new Volt and new Leaf hit the market. The increased interest may drive sales of the used Leafs.

I will be calling NMAC to try to verify my eligibility for the $6,500 offer (I’ve yet to receive any notification from them about any of the buyout offers), but if I can get it, it would leave me with a price of roughly $12,500 for my 2013 S with very low mileage and in excellent condition, including the battery.

One calculation that I find interesting is how long you would have to keep such a car before you reach the “roll it off a cliff” point compared to a lease. A new, two-year lease on an S, amortizing the up-front money, works out to about $3,600/year (12*$200 + half of $2,500 up front). That means if I buy my Leaf and keep it only 3.5 years, the price becomes less than leasing a new one for that same amount of time. If I then trade it in on a new Leaf and get “almost nothing” for it, I don’t care. And I would almost certainly keep the car at least 4 or 5 more years.

Sorry Nissan, it’s not enough. We love our 2013 Leaf, but we’re still returning it when the lease is up in a year. We’re down one capacity bar after 26 months and about 15K miles (early 2013 model, pre-lizard battery). And we want something with more range and are willing to wait for it.

Nissan would have to throw in a new 24- or 30 kWh battery, in addition to the $5k discount, to have me even consider buying out the lease on my 12 Leaf.

I suspect the deals will get sweeter as the year continues.

Seems a reasonable deal… especially if you wait till next year to get the 30kW battery… assuming it is really the plan… and that it is backwards compatible. My guess is that it will be more backwards comp with 2013-15 as the 2011- required an adapter and Nissan was revving the os of the car as they went… I would only put a new battery into a car with DCQC also as that future proofs it somewhat. My current 2015 battery has somewhat more usable or capacity than my 13 came with… so even this years battery might be worthwhile for an older car with not too many miles.
Glad Nissan is trying to keep the used ones on the lots. If they really wanna be clever next year… give the dealers a free reconditioned battery to drop into any buyback car they get to keep them viable and on the road… creating the used market and making the cars more visible in the world. Mindshare.

I started a used car business selling only used LEAFs. I can always offer a better deal than a lease buyout.

That is enough $$$ for a new brand battery replacement from Nissan.

So, Nissan is basically saying that it basically is throwing a brand new battery cost to keep the original lease owners to keep the car. If this still doesn’t work, then it would mean that people really don’t want the shorter range BEV while the longer range ones are on the horizon…

Once my lease runs out on my 2015 SV (in spring 2018), maybe NMAC will just give it to me 🙂

Wow. That’s way out there.

My 2015 S lease ends in July 2016. I pay $260/month with 0 down.

Buyout price is $14,500. If I can get $6,500 off, I’m definitely buying it.

You do have to go to a dealership. NMAC will not take care of the deal over the phone or online. There are “handling fees” and NMAC/ dealers want you to use their lenders. (You don’t have to!)
NMAC claimed you had to see a dealer because the odometer needs to be verified to release the title to another party. Valid point, but handling fees haven’t been verified yet.

I just bought my 2013 Leaf at the end of the 24 month lease. Nissan told me I had to buy it through the original dealer, not through Nissan as the article suggests. Also the lease document had a $300 “Purchase Option Fee” in addition to the residual value. The dealer wanted to add other fees of his own, but after an hour of negotiating, they mostly went away (other than some $ for new tabs). So purchase price was = residual value +300 minus 6500 plus WA state sales tax on the total.