Let’s say you have an older paid for car getting around 30 mpg(average) and are spending $350 per month on gas for commuting. This is a pretty easy amount for a lot of people. 30 miles to and from work, plus errands, kids soccer games, weekends, etc. Also don’t forget your older car is going to require maintenance and likely some repairs during the next few years. Let’s add in another $75 for oil changes, repairs, etc. Something most people don’t calculate is down time for oil changes, repairs, etc. We won’t do that here, but it’s a something to consider. How much is your time worth? Anyway let’s be on conservative side and say driving your car minus, taxes, etc is around $400.00 per month.
A brand new Nissan Leaf lease is currently around $200.00 with $3000.00 down and another $1500.00 for a charging station and setup(you can do this yourself pretty easily for less). Electricity costs vary, but in California it’s around $40.00 for the same commute or less depending if you use time-of-use metering or not. Other states electricity rates are much less. Add in about $120 per month for the down payment and charging station install and you roughly get $340.00 per month for everything including electricity. There is no real maintenance to speak of for a Leaf other than a once a year check up if you choose to do it. Honestly we have found just by going and getting the free “updates” is good enough since they check the batteries then too. Tires, wind shield fluid and wiper blades are all we have done on our Nissan Leaf in nearly 1 1/2 years.
So even with a paid for car you still can save about $60 per month by leasing a new Nissan Leaf.
If you have a new car you are using for your commute and are making monthly payments, your savings are even larger. Even if you turn in the car early and take a negative equity hit you’ll gain all the savings in not paying for gas on top of your current payment.