I've begun the process of buying out my lease. I'm in the process of negotiating with several dealers to try and get the price down. For those who don't know NMAC changed the process a couple of years ago. It *used* to be a simple deal done directly with NMAC - you'd get a discount on your buyout price and that discount changed month to month. But *everyone* got the same discount, based on their Leaf's model year.
That is no longer the case; you have to negotiate with a dealer. The dealer is offered a discount by NMAC, some amount of money that you are never going to be told what it is! I've called every phone number I can to try and get this information but it is nailed down tight. Thanks NMAC! grrrr.
Most dealers, I have found, will express total surprise that any discount exists at all - its in their interest to pretend it doesn't exist. When I sent some reference numbers to one dealer for a 2015 leaf, a $4600 discount, he quickly agreed that was the discount I'd get too, on my 2013 leaf. I strongly suspect that there is a lot more being offered to him by NMAC. I was able to talk him down a bit further from there.
I asked the NissanEV twitter folks WTF this was about and eventually got a call from a nice person at NMAC. They confirmed this is how the process works now and they are not particularly happy about it. They agreed with me this puts all the power in the dealer's hands: the dealer is the only one who knows how much NMAC subsidy is on the table, and they know when my lease expires. They said it was better in the old days when the discount when directly to their customers;us! But I guess the dealers saw the sweet piles of money and pushed their way into the process.
UPDATE: One of the dealers I was negotiating with was kind enough to tell me what the NMAC discount was for my car, which is a 2013 S Leaf. The discounted buyout from, down from the initial $14800 is $8000, so that's a $6800 discount
. They want to charge $899 doc fee, sales tax, DMV fees, and I'm inclined to say yes just for the relief of getting it over with.
UPDATE 2: I bought the car at the price indicated - it came to just under $10K all-up. The dealership didn't try and pull any fast ones at the last minute