I've been digesting this site almost non-stop as I get ever-closer to my first EV purchase. Actually, my first car purchase in a loooong time-- I've had my current car (99' Honda Civic) since I was 16.
I live in Los Angeles. My commute is about 6 miles RT 4 days a week, and 30 miles RT 1 day a week. Then a couple of days a week, add in another 10 miles (estimating on the high side, here) for errands and the like.
I'll be parking the car in an outdoor (but covered) carport; I live on the first floor in a small buidling so I am planning to charge Level 1 through my bedroom window using a 20ft extension cord. No charging at work. My husband and I will still have either the Civic or our CR-V until we replace one of those as well (with another ICE).
I've been looking at different Leafs on AutoTrader, CarMax, etc. The 2011s I saw were around $6-7K, 9 bars, 40K miles, not including TTL and dealer fees. That'd put it at about $10K minimum and I would have to take out a loan and do monthly payments. And then last night I saw a private party seller on Craigslist.
It's a 2011 SL, 62K miles, with 8 bars. He's the second owner, bought in 2013 from the original owner, clean title. (Don't have VIN yet so I am not sure if the car has always been in SoCal.) Minor cosmetic dings (not an issue for me). He's asking $3900, with KBB valuing at a little over $4400. Says he put on new tires, too.
1) I'm asking for the VIN to run a CarFax, and from what I've been reading, I could possibly use the VIN to see if it's eligible for the elusive battery-replacement coupon. (Which seems like a longshot right?)
2) He says I can take it to a mechanic for a once over if I want, though there's not much to analyze. (This is my first EV and I asked that question out of habit with ICE; is it worth paying a mechanic?)
3) If I can get it down to $3500 (maybe wishful thinking)... and assuming I'll fork over $6K for a battery replacement in a year-ish, is $9500 for this not a good idea? With $3500, I could pay outright and not need to take a loan, etc. Though I would need to for the battery, depending on how much I save before it gets replaced.
My budget was 9-10K, though the less I have to pay per month, the better.
So basically-- terrible idea? Great idea? Meh idea? I am so out of the car buying realm, I feel very overwhelmed. And then I think, screw it, I'll just lease a new car, but... there's something extremely appealing about not having monthly payments as I am a non-profit employee.
Thank you for any thoughts, advice, suggestions!