BrainDonor wrote:Hello everyone. I just caught up with reading this thread since I have not been monitoring it for a few months. Yesterday was an eventful day - the LEAF turned over 40K miles and we also lost the 4th bar! For reference, the 3rd bar was lost in May at 34.5K miles. I have the LEAF Stat app and the battery health section shows a SOH of 65.25% capacity and 43.23 Ahr.
The lease expires at the end of November and we'll have about 5K in miles overage, which translates to a $750 penalty. I'm also looking at about $400 to fix a dent in the back and will need to get at least 2 new tires in the front. Then there's the $300 early termination fee. So it will probably cost us $750+$400+$250+$300=$1,700 at lease end.
I have not checked with the dealer yet to see what our options are. I'd prefer to lease a MY2015 with (much) lower monthly payments. However, due to the extra costs at the end of our lease, I'm beginning to think whether it would be worth buying the current LEAF if Nissan replaces the battery with the more heat resistant ones.
Any thoughts before I contact the dealer?
I've been looking into this. If you buy or lease another Nissan they will waive the lease termination fee and up to $500 of "excess" wear. I'm considering taking advantage of this in the hopes the $500 will cover the tires that are getting thin. Note that the lease termination fee (can't remember if it is $300 or $395) applies at the end of the lease too, it isn't an "early termination" fee. They confirmed as long as you make the remaining payments you can turn the car in early. You can get the inspection now, that will tell you how much they plan to ding you for on the condition, then have about 60 days after you return the lease or buy another one. Of course most people can't live without a car, or at least think they can't, so they will want to get the new one at the time they turn the old one in.
I think the overall best play from a financial standpoint is to buy a new Sentra in the Orlando area. That gets you out of the lease obligations and into a cheap car that you can drive as far as you want, spill coffee on the seats, drive on bald tires and bang into shopping carts to your heart's content. Payments on that would be about $380/mo for three years and you own it.
Another option is it buy another leaf. Buying a 2015 base model with the incentives looks like about $680/mo, then factor out about $200/mo for the federal tax credit, leaves you at $480/mo, similar to what we were paying, but at the end of three years you own it, rather than having to start all over again and having to put new tires on a car you are giving back to Nissan.
So buying a Sentra or buying a Leaf works out about the same for the first three years, the extra $100/mo on the Leaf is about what the Sentra would cost in gas over electric. If the new lizard battery holds enough capacity to keep doing what you need for a few years after the $100 or so monthly gas savings could move you into the win column. Costly mystery repairs on the Leaf become the wild card then.
Leasing a leaf again looks the cheapest per month thing to do in the short run. If you can negotiate the loyalty cash and VPP or whatever to cover the down payment and inception nonsense, maybe get into another one for around $200/mo, but this prolongs the indentured servitude to Nissan with everything that comes with leasing.