Nissan Leaf: Fast-falling values not reflected?


Asked by Jul 09, 2015 at 02:15 PM about the 2012 Nissan Leaf SV

Question type: Shopping & Pricing

Most estimates are that used Nissan Leafs are more-rapidly losing their value than the
rest of the car market --in the 4% to 6% per month for the 2012s because most EV
buyers prefer new.  I wonder if your algorithm takes that into account?  Car Gurus to
report much higher "average" prices than I ever see in actual ads, and therefore to say
that all deals are good or great. Meanwhile, on June 18th, Consumer Reports reported
"At auction, these cars are selling for $8,000 to $9,000. The numbers point to great
potential deals, yet most people apparently aren’t negotiating to get the best price.
According to [NADA info] the average price buyers paid for a 2012 Leaf at dealers is
about $17,000—way above the auction prices plus a traditional profit."  How quickly
before news like this (that auction prices have collapsed) is reflected in the market and
your estimates?

7 Answers

Rachel Panush

I think that estimate ($17k for 2012) is way above what people are paying for used Leafs. Even Carmax only charges about $10 - $13k for 2011s and 2012s. Take a look also at the Leaf listings. They purchase at auction and mark them up $650.Their 2013s are about $11 - $13k depending on mileage/battery condition. It's a great opportunity buy a used Leaf that will serve you well for at least a few years. We just got one used and love it. It's a great value and the SV or SL model has great, user- friendly telematics and extras.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

Rachel, have you noticed any battery range degradation as the miles driven on the car increases? Also, what would you say you're spending in extra electric power to charge your car and how long does it take for either a "top off" or full charge. I have thought about this a just a city car, but, I would hate to get stuck somewhere without power. We have a Toyota Prius, so, we never have to worry about that. Driving and planning your itinerary it the Leaf must be a different story. Also, how is it going uphill, I imagine this really drains the battery. Finally, do all of these including the 2012 SV have regenerative braking to recharge the battery and what can you tell me is different about the SV vs the SL. Thanks.

Rachel Panush

No obvious degradation yet (probably some has occurred, but it's still got 12 bars @ about 23,500 miles. You can install the Leaf Spy Pro app which provides specific reports on the battery capactiy. We have solar, and we charge off-peak, so we're not really paying anything for power. But if we were, at LADWP off-peak pricing, it would be .05/mile vs .25/mile for our ICE car. Uphill & hwy speeds & AC do use up power, but on the return trip, we gain miles back! As for planning, we do rough calculations and make sure to charge regularly (to 80%, at night, and let car cool off before charging). We may check to look for charging stations at a half-way piont if we are thinking of a drive over 60 - 80 miles. There are lots of charging stations around SoCal, many of them free. I'm not a Leaf expert, but I'm farily certain all model years have regen braking. The SL can or does have leather and a small solar panel on the top rear that helps trickle charge the accessories. The SV is pretty loaded, but has cloth seats and no solar panel on the roof. Look for one that had a Premium Package (Bose stereo). I also recommend diving into the forums for lots of detailed information and expert owners. Good luck! Enjoy!

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Yes, we're on LADWP. OK, so, five cents per mile, are these vehicles maintenance free outside of battery replacement, brakes, tires and other maintenance items. Sounds like a really inexpensive car to drive, is it? I've read all of these posts about "cooling down the battery ", is that really necessary? We live in a pretty hot part of LA. Plus, besides overnight, in Summer, cooling down anytime during the day is difficult. Saw one for sale under $10,000 with less than 20,000 miles. Why do they lose value so quickly, I wonder?

Rachel Panush

I'm not a technical expert so I wouldn't be the right person to answer those questions. From what I understand, EVs have few moving parts, and of course, no oil changes required! There's tire maintenance, software updates and maybe you have to do the brakes. I'd recommend downloading the Nissan Leaf User Manual PDF to look at the suggested maintenance schedule as well as battery maintenance recommendations. I'd also look at owners of 2011s to see what they've had to do (my friend with a 2011 bought tires. That's it). You will want to install a Level 2 EVSE charging station for faster charging. I think they lose value because a lot of people don't want to own a used EV. Many people lease and after 3 years they get a new one so the market gets flooded with all the lease vehicles. They are a great value, in my opinion. You get more car for your $ than a used Prius, and it's probably cheaper to own over time. I say thank you to all those people who lease and dump, because then we get to buy a great car at a low price. Definitely check out the forums. Lots of deep information there. Also check out all the other great EV-focused websites like,,, and more. Those are the best places to learn more about EVs and Nissan Leafs. Good luck!

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Thanks for your time and answers, I'll look into it.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Rachel, actually found this, see link,

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

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