Drivers wondering if they can afford to 'go electric' with the new European Car of the Year, the Nissan LEAF, may now be wondering if they can afford not to!
Independent experts CAP have predicted the Nissan LEAF will retain 47% of its on the road price (after the £5000 government incentive) after three years and 30,000 miles - better than hybrid and diesel engined rivals.
This has resulted in the cost of ownership falling even further, with low depreciation adding to the savings made from using cheaper, cleaner electricity as a fuel. Charging the Nissan LEAF's batteries costs around £2 and the car has a range of more than 100 miles according to official figures.
In addition, electric vehicle drivers do not have to pay for a tax disc, are exempt from the London congestion charge and can park for free in some cities.
Company car drivers can save even more, as the Nissan LEAF does not attract any Benefit-In-Kind liability, potentially saving thousands every year in tax. For example, a company car driver paying 40% tax and swapping a Vauxhall Astra 2.0 CDTi SE auto for a Nissan LEAF will find an extra £301.53 in their pay packet every month - that's like being given a rise of almost £5,000 a year!
To make electric motoring affordable for private buyers the Nissan LEAF is now available on a Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) scheme, with the residual value being underwritten by Nissan.
It means buyers can be an 'electric vehicle pioneer' and pay the same in monthly finance as a conventional hybrid or diesel car - but still make those massive savings on running costs.
With a deposit of £3,850 for example, the Nissan LEAF can be had for just £397.17 per month. After three years the car can be handed back, refinanced or the customer can buy another Nissan.
Paul Willcox, managing director of Nissan Motor GB said: "Buyers can be confident that the LEAF will not lose value any faster than a conventional rival, thanks to the verdict of independent industry experts. Nissan is happy to show its confidence too and underwrite the future value using a PCP scheme. This will help drivers get behind the wheel of the new European Car of the Year 2011."
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