Used plug-in vehicle prices dropping rapidly

Used Nissan Leafs, Chevy Volts Available For Fraction of New-Vehicle Price

This could be your lucky week. That's because you're about to be told what a great deal you can get on used plug-in vehicles just as gas prices start to surge from multiyear lows.

The combination of cheap lease deals on models such as the Nissan Leaf electric vehicle and a glut of plug-ins being returned by their lessees after three years of ownerships is driving used plug-in vehicle prices down, according to the Wall Street Journal.

All in all, about 25,000 Leafs and Chevrolet Volt extended-range plug-ins will be turned in by lessees this year and flooding the used-car market. That will likely drive down prices of those models as well as prices of plug-in hybrid versions of the Ford Focus and Toyota Prius.

Not everyone will want to wait for the used cars of course, and that's not a bad financial move. New Leaf vehicles can still be leased for as low as $199 a month and the $7,500 federal tax credit comes and goes with a new plug-in vehicle doesn't apply to those who buy EVs used.

As a result, 2012 Leaf vehicles can be had at some auctions for as little as $10,000 while Volts can be purchased for about $13,000. That's just a fraction of those models' new-car prices. By some estimates, the trade-in value of used Volts plunged 35 percent last year.

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