Circumstances have required us to become a two-car family, and I've been very keen on the Nissan Leaf for some time. It's an excellent little car. A friend had leased one, and had positive things to say about the whole leasing process, so on Saturday we leased one ourselves.
Now that we've been through the process, I'm not sure why you'd ever buy a car instead of lease.
We paid $4,628 as a "down payment" (of which we'll get a $2,500 rebate) and it's going to cost I think $257 a month. Maintenance for the 3 years is included in those monthly payments as is any damage to the vehicle at the end of the lease. After the 3 years you hand the car back or pay out the residual. We plan on handing the car back. We get 12,000 miles a year, after which it's 15 cents a mile. There's no way in the world we'll do 12,000 miles a year in it.
The last three cars I've owned I've just paid for in cash, because I generally don't like debt and like to minimise my monthly outlays, but in the case of cars, I also don't like forking out a large wad of cash for something that instantly loses value the moment it drives off the lot. I also think that given the pace of innovation in the electric vehicle space, the new hotness in three years time will be even more awesome than the Leaf is today.
It gets delivered tomorrow.