nivek
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:25 pm
Location: Central Coast, California

Is it worth buying a 2011 Leaf with low mileage?

Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:45 pm

I was just awarded a $5,000 grant for a BEV or PHEV via the clean vehicle assistance program. While 5k is huge, I really don't have much in addition to that to spend on a car. Therefore I'm looking at the cheapest possible options.

I'm fairly set on a leaf since they're some of the cheapest BEV's. I've found a 2011 Leaf with 27,000 miles for $6500. Does this seem like something that has potential? Are there any pitfalls I should be aware of with such an old leaf? I know about checking the battery capacity bars, but I've also heard they may not always be accurate. I don't have much of a daily commute and a solid 80+ miles of range would probably feel like plenty for me (assuming some loss of range from lost battery capacity).

My questions are
1) Is it even worth pursuing a 2011 Leaf at all?
2) What sorts of red flags should I be aware of? What things should I check and should I ask the dealer about? I want to be as discerning as possible. I've recently gotten really excited about EV's in general and have been doing tons of reading and researching, but my technical knowledge about cars is very limited in general.

Thanks so much

alozzy
Posts: 1203
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2017 4:25 pm
Delivery Date: 18 Jan 2017
Location: Vancouver, BC
Contact: Website

Re: Is it worth buying a 2011 Leaf with low mileage?

Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:02 pm

@nivek On a 2011 LEAF, it would be impossible to get anything close to 80 miles range. In reality, it's likely more like 50 to 60 miles at 50 mph or less and then only during mild temperatures. In winter, expect 20% less range due to the inefficient heating system on the 2011. Also, due to aero drag, higher highway speeds really kills range too.

So, consider borrowing $5000 to get yourself a newer LEAF. On a 4 year loan, a $5000 principle would work out to roughly $115 per month. Keep in mind that, if you currently spend $200 a month on gas (likely), then you can easily save $150 a month to put towards a newer LEAF as few people spend more than $50 a month on electricity to charge a LEAF. In other words, the saving will pay for the loan and you'll effectively get a free car!

Also, expect far lower monthly maintenance costs, which also saves considerable money over the long term. Having said that, some people have had expensive repair bills for LEAFs, but those are the exception rather than the norm.
Last edited by alozzy on Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Vancouver, CA owner of a 2013 Ocean Blue SV + QC, purchased 01/2017 in WA
Zencar 12/20/24/30A L1/L2 portable EVSE
1-1/4" Curt #11396 hitch
After market, DIY LED DRLs
LeafSpy Pro + Konnwei KW902 ELM327 BT OBDII dongle
Loving my first BEV :D

LeftieBiker
Posts: 9824
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 3:17 am
Delivery Date: 30 Apr 2018
Location: Upstate New York, US

Re: Is it worth buying a 2011 Leaf with low mileage?

Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:04 pm

You don't say where you are. The 2011 won't have heated seats, steering wheel, or battery warmer. It will have a lousy heating system, and a battery that degrades rapidly in all but the coldest climates. You need to consider how far you need to drive it, at most. If less than 40 miles in a mild climate, then "maybe." 80 miles??? No. Half that. I'll post a link to my 'buyers beware' guide.

http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=26662
Scarlet Ember 2018 Leaf SL W/ Pro Pilot
2009 Vectrix VX-1 W/18 Leaf modules, & 3 EZIP E-bicycles.
PLEASE don't PM me with Leaf questions. Just post in the topic that seems most appropriate.

cwerdna
Posts: 8402
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2011 4:31 pm
Delivery Date: 28 Jul 2013
Location: SF Bay Area, CA

Re: Is it worth buying a 2011 Leaf with low mileage?

Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:54 pm

Can you update your location info via your user name in the upper right > User Control Panel > Profile tab? That way, we don't need to ask in future posts/threads or do sleuthing to deduce it.

What are your daily driving needs in terms of miles? How much city vs. highway? Will you have the ability to charge at your work/destinations?

nivek wrote:I'm fairly set on a leaf since they're some of the cheapest BEV's. I've found a 2011 Leaf with 27,000 miles for $6500.


nivek wrote: Does this seem like something that has potential? Are there any pitfalls I should be aware of with such an old leaf? I know about checking the battery capacity bars, but I've also heard they may not always be accurate. I don't have much of a daily commute and a solid 80+ miles of range would probably feel like plenty for me (assuming some loss of range from lost battery capacity).

A new '11 and '12 Leaf doesn't even have an 80 mile EPA range rating. It's 73 miles w/a new battery. Sure, one can do over a 100 miles on a charge w/a new battery by driving slowly (e.g. below 40 mph) and not using the heat and AC but forget 80 miles in mostly highway driving? Forget about it.

Before we knew of EPA range rating of the '13 Leaf, I started this poll: viewtopic.php?t=11201.

The price isn't good either, unless it has a brand new battery or one that got replaced a year or two ago.

Kolmstead tried to sell his 8 bar remaining '11 for $4500 in March 2016: viewtopic.php?f=9&t=19967&p=454921&hilit=%244500#p454921 He got no takers after months and donated it: viewtopic.php?f=30&t=8802&p=475234#p475234.

If it's an '11 with 9 bars or less, I'd say it's worth $4500 or less.

'13 Leaf SV w/premium package (owned)
'13 Leaf SV w/QC + LED & premium packages (lease over, car returned)
'06 Prius

Please don't PM me with Leaf questions. Just post in the topic that seems most appropriate.

nivek
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:25 pm
Location: Central Coast, California

Re: Is it worth buying a 2011 Leaf with low mileage?

Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:13 am

LeftieBiker wrote:You don't say where you are. The 2011 won't have heated seats, steering wheel, or battery warmer. It will have a lousy heating system, and a battery that degrades rapidly in all but the coldest climates. You need to consider how far you need to drive it, at most. If less than 40 miles in a mild climate, then "maybe." 80 miles??? No. Half that. I'll post a link to my 'buyers beware' guide.

http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=26662


Crazy, I didn't realize that 2011's didn't even get 80 miles when they were released. I'm in coastal CA so the climate is extremely mild and temperate, but 40 miles wouldn't be enough range for me. I'll definitely read your whole guide - thank you for linking it!

cwerdna wrote:Can you update your location info via your user name in the upper right > User Control Panel > Profile tab? That way, we don't need to ask in future posts/threads or do sleuthing to deduce it.

What are your daily driving needs in terms of miles? How much city vs. highway? Will you have the ability to charge at your work/destinations?

A new '11 and '12 Leaf doesn't even have an 80 mile EPA range rating. It's 73 miles w/a new battery. Sure, one can do over a 100 miles on a charge w/a new battery by driving slowly (e.g. below 40 mph) and not using the heat and AC but forget 80 miles in mostly highway driving? Forget about it.

Before we knew of EPA range rating of the '13 Leaf, I started this poll: http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.php?t=11201.

The price isn't good either, unless it has a brand new battery or one that got replaced a year or two ago.

Kolmstead tried to sell his 8 bar remaining '11 for $4500 in March 2016: http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.p ... 00#p454921 He got no takers after months and donated it: http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.p ... 34#p475234.

If it's an '11 with 9 bars or less, I'd say it's worth $4500 or less.


Done. Thanks for the suggestion. Daily driving needs are about 10-20 miles highway and 5-10 miles city in total on a heavier day of driving. Work doesn't have a charger, but some local shopping malls do. I also have an outlet on the exterior of my upstairs apartment (on the deck), and my carport is right below. Wondering if it would be able to reach. I may also be eligible to have a charging unit installed at my residence for free as part of the program if it's feasible. But I had no idea the car I was looking at was overpriced so this information is really valuable to me!


alozzy wrote:@nivek On a 2011 LEAF, it would be impossible to get anything close to 80 miles range. In reality, it's likely more like 50 to 60 miles at 50 mph or less and then only during mild temperatures. In winter, expect 20% less range due to the inefficient heating system on the 2011. Also, due to aero drag, higher highway speeds really kills range too.

So, consider borrowing $5000 to get yourself a newer LEAF. On a 4 year loan, a $5000 principle would work out to roughly $115 per month. Keep in mind that, if you currently spend $200 a month on gas (likely), then you can easily save $150 a month to put towards a newer LEAF as few people spend more than $50 a month on electricity to charge a LEAF. In other words, the saving will pay for the loan and you'll effectively get a free car!

Also, expect far lower monthly maintenance costs, which also saves considerable money over the long term. Having said that, some people have had expensive repair bills for LEAFs, but those are the exception rather than the norm.


Great advice. You're probably right that I should find the financing for a more worthwhile, longer term purchase.

Your comments have been incredibly helpful. Much obliged

LeftieBiker
Posts: 9824
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 3:17 am
Delivery Date: 30 Apr 2018
Location: Upstate New York, US

Re: Is it worth buying a 2011 Leaf with low mileage?

Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:19 am

As Cwerdna wrote, the car could possibly have a newer battery. IF it has a warranty replacement pack, installed after 2014, then it's a different ballgame. The 2015 "Lizard" pack, installed from 2015 on as a warranty replacement, would make the car worth about what they are asking. If the pack was replaced before 2013, then it would depend on the exact type of pack used. You'll better understand once you read the guide.
Scarlet Ember 2018 Leaf SL W/ Pro Pilot
2009 Vectrix VX-1 W/18 Leaf modules, & 3 EZIP E-bicycles.
PLEASE don't PM me with Leaf questions. Just post in the topic that seems most appropriate.

HerdingElectrons
Posts: 72
Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2018 3:20 pm
Delivery Date: 17 Sep 2018
Location: Central Coast, Ca

Re: Is it worth buying a 2011 Leaf with low mileage?

Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:56 am

nivek wrote:I was just awarded a $5,000 grant for a BEV or PHEV via the clean vehicle assistance program. While 5k is huge, I really don't have much in addition to that to spend on a car. Therefore I'm looking at the cheapest possible options.

I'm fairly set on a leaf since they're some of the cheapest BEV's. I've found a 2011 Leaf with 27,000 miles for $6500. Does this seem like something that has potential? Are there any pitfalls I should be aware of with such an old leaf? I know about checking the battery capacity bars, but I've also heard they may not always be accurate. I don't have much of a daily commute and a solid 80+ miles of range would probably feel like plenty for me (assuming some loss of range from lost battery capacity).

My questions are
1) Is it even worth pursuing a 2011 Leaf at all?
2) What sorts of red flags should I be aware of? What things should I check and should I ask the dealer about? I want to be as discerning as possible. I've recently gotten really excited about EV's in general and have been doing tons of reading and researching, but my technical knowledge about cars is very limited in general.

Thanks so much


Good Morning Nivek, I also live on the Central Coast(Atascadero) & bought an 2018 back in Sep so I could provide some real world experience on everything locally if you're so inclined. I would suggest you consider a 2018 Leaf S because you have many many discounts available to you.

Until Jan2nd PG&E is giving $3000 off the price of the vehicle so you also save sales tax off that $3K. PG&E also is currently offering $500 in a direct check towards a home EVSE that increases to $800 after early Jan & you can wait to apply to get the increased amount.

The state will directly send you a check for $2500 which you could use to pay down the loan if no pre-payment penalty or use however you see fit.

If you anticipate owing $7500 or more in federal income taxes then you would also get all of those back in the form of a refund of whatever you paid in deductions over the year.

Also you should be able to negotiate more off the price of the car beyond the PG&E rebate as well at time of purchase. Let's say $1200.

Add all that up & your talking about $20,000 in potential discounts for your car. So a $30K car becomes a $10K car...albeit paying sales tax on a roughly net $26K.

Be aware that your insurance is likely to be about 25-60% higher than w/e your currently driving. That one caught me off guard a little.

Depending on how aggressively or economically I drive I have seen up to 183 miles of range in warmer weather in our county when I charge to 100%

Feel free to DM/PM me & we can talk directly.
2018 SL Pearl White, LOVE ProPilot Currently at 4.1-4.5 miles/kwh as I learn to drive pure EV & the weather gets colder.

Sept 2018: AHr= 114.52 / SOH= 99.2 / HX= 99.70% / 14 mV cell delta

2013 Prius 2, 126K & still really enjoy the car

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