Ask the Experts: How much will a second-hand Nissan LEAF be worth? (video)

We take your questions and put them to the experts….

By Will Dron on March 24, 2011 5:02 PM

At TheChargingPoint our ultimate aim is to help people who aren’t car experts get their heads around the realities of owning an electric car. One of the things that is a pressing question for everyone right now is residual value (RV), or what an EV will be worth a few years down the line.

In an email via our web form, John Derrick from London says:

“I’m seriously considering putting myself down for a Nissan LEAF but I’m worried that it will be worth very little when I come to sell it because of the battery being old and tired. What do you think they’ll be worth in a few years?”

At Tuesday’s Fleetworld EV Showcasehttp://www.thechargingpoint.com/manufacturers/Nissan/leaf-roadtest.html there was much talk about RV – it’s a big issue for those in the fleet world, who buy in bulk and look to sell to consumers after a certain mileage. One of the speakers on the day was Martin Ward, Manufacturer Relationship Manager for CAP, a leading provider of vehicle valuation data, and we took the opportunity to put that question to him.

“[After] 18 months of studies talking to lots and lots of people [in the industry],” Martin says, “we sat down for three or four hours and just talked through the RVs, and where it [the LEAF] would sit within the rest of the sector…such as Golf Bluemotion and Toyota Prius – would it be worth more or less than other vehicles. We concluded that because of there being such low [production] numbers it would have quite a high RV.”

Those low numbers are because the first allocation of LEAFs for the UK is just 1,500 units for 2011. When TheChargingPoint spoke to Nissan on the day of the first UK customer deliveries (21 March), 500 LEAFs had been sold and there is a six-month waiting list should you order now.

When it comes to actual figures, Martin based his prices on the old LEAF retail price of £28,990 and factored in the UK Government’s Plug-in Car Grant of £5,000 – total price being £23,990. In fact, Nissan raised the cost of a new LEAF to £30,990 at the beginning of March, meaning cost to new buyers is actually £25,990.

But using the old price, Martin concluded that the trade price for a three-year-old LEAF with 30,000 miles on the clock would be £11,675. Add a grand or so to that for the private sale price, meaning you could probably sell your 2011 LEAF for upwards of £12,675 in 2014.

By way of comparison, a Toyota Prius T4 that cost £18,582 back in 2008 has a value today, given a similar mileage, of approximately £9,500 (source: AutoTrader.co.uk).

These figures are to be used purely as a guide at the moment – the market is so fluid and untested at this stage in the EV game. But given CAP’s calculations, the LEAF should compare very favourably with hybrid cars when it comes to resale.

Watch the interview with Martin below:


REVIEW: Want to know what we thought of the Nissan LEAF, voted 2011 World Car of the Year? Click here