if a dealer is offering a 'sale price' on a specific car, in this case, something like $17K, shouldn't the lease payments be based on that price, and not on MSRP or invoice?
I live in Minnesota and saw extremely low quotes from dealers in northern IL. Found later that they were quoting the IL state tax credit (which I would not be eligible for) in their quoted prices. In short, the quoted price would NOT be the price that *I* could expect to pay.
In some cases there are lease offers that would not be available if your purchase directly, other cases there are cash back offers if you finance through Nissan, various combinations.
I was told in some cases that the price quoted was basically assuming all discounts applied to your situation.
Some leases deduct the $7,500 federal tax credit from the lease amount. This would be an excellent approach for someone that cannot directly use the full federal tax credit. Is the leasing company eligible for the state tax incentives in IL? If so, they will probably deduct those from the lease amount as well.
With my dealer, they quoted both a financed purchase price, and a lease price (with cost to buyout at the end of the lease). It seemed in every case there was about $3000 of cost in the lease that did not exist when purchased. I plan to keep the car a very long time, so I went the purchase route. 1.90% for 5 years. Once I get my tax refund next year, I will be able to make more than a year of payments with the federal tax credit (or invest it in solar panels, and get a rebate from local utility and a 30% federal tax credit).
I look at it this way, to grant a lease, they are willing to take the car back at the end and sell it on the used market. They aren't sure what they'll be able to get for it so they build that uncertainty into the lease costs where you can't easily see it. I could buy outright, take the risk myself, and keep the car as long as I want. So, over a long period of time, I'd expect purchase will always beat lease. But if your planning horizon does not extend that far, then the ease of returning it at the end of the lease certainly has some merits too. For business to deduct 100% of lease payment and not do depreciation etc. handy too.
2015 S, SE Minnesota, nearest QC, 250mi.