What To Check Before Buying A Used Nissan Leaf (Nissan Leaf Inspection)

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Last Updated on November 12, 2023 by Rose Morah

If you are planning to buy a used Nissan Leaf, this article will take you through what you need to know before you make the purchase. 

This is what we are going to discuss:

  • What to check before buying a used Nissan Leaf.
  • Whether you really should buy a used Nissan Leaf.

The good thing about Nissan Leaf, and generally most EVs, is that you don’t need to take it to the mechanic for a pre-purchase inspection. 

You can easily do it yourself because these cars are not as complicated as the Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) cars.

Related: What To Know Before Buying a Nissan Leaf (Is It Worth It?)

What to check before buying a used Nissan Leaf

  1. What is the remaining battery life of the Nissan Leaf?

Checking this is important because as the battery capacity’s life degrades, it also affects the range of the vehicle.

This means that, if the battery life remaining seems to have massively decreased, you will not be able to drive the car for a certain/reasonable distance on a full charge.

Additionally, it will cost you more money to replace the battery.

Nissan Leaf battery degradation

Note that, if you are buying a used 2016 or newer Nissan Leaf, it may still have the 8-year warranty. 

However, you need to be careful and not make assumptions because some of the older Nissan Leafs had a 5-year warranty, which means that they might be out of warranty by now.

I would recommend that you don’t buy a used Nissan Leaf that has less than 10 bars unless you believe it will fulfill your needs (or unless you cover fewer daily miles)

NOTE: The bars are usually 12 in total for the 1st generation Nissan Leaf.

There is an accurate way to check the remaining battery life on a Nissan Leaf, which I have covered in this article: How to check Nissan Leaf battery health.

See also: How To Use Leaf Spy Lite and Pro on Nissan Leaf (Complete Guide).

Do not make the mistake of buying a used Nissan Leaf if you have not seen how much battery life it is remaining with. This is important!

I’ve heard many stories of buyers who after purchasing a used Nissan Leaf didn’t successfully make it back home because the battery had excessively degraded. 

  1. Does the car charge when plugged in?

There are some people who after buying a used Nissan Leaf reported that it did not charge when plugged in.

Although this may be on a very rare occasion, it wouldn’t hurt to confirm that the used car does not have any charging issues when plugged in.

  1. Are there any issues when driving the car?

Doing a test drive is an important part of the pre-purchase inspection.

Driving the car before you buy helps you make a more informed decision.

The following are a few of the things to look out for when test driving the Nissan Leaf;

  • Pay attention to any noise coming from the suspension.
  • Pay attention to other funny noises while you drive. 
  • Check if the brakes are working perfectly.

Although the brakes usually don’t wear out often, because they rarely get used, it’s important to always check how they are working before buying the EV.

Don’t forget to ask questions, such as, how long has the car been sitting there or when was the last time it was driven. 

  1. Remember, the seller is not your friend

This may seem obvious but it is one thing that most buyers fail to acknowledge and hence end up making wrong decisions. 

Most salespeople/dealers have great persuasive techniques. It is easy to buy a car without doing a proper inspection but end up regretting afterward.

See also:

Hyundai Kona Electric Pros and Cons (According to Owners).

Ford Mustang Mach-E Pros and Cons.

Should you buy a used Nissan Leaf?

Yes, Nissan Leaf is a great EV, especially if you are looking for a cheap electric car. 

However, the following are some reasons why a used Nissan Leaf may not be a great option:

  1. If you cannot charge it at home

If you cannot charge your Nissan Leaf at home, buying a Nissan Leaf would probably not be the best idea.

This is because you will get more range when home charging, especially overnight.

Therefore, you should reconsider buying an older Nissan Leaf if you know you will be unable to charge at home because they have a very low range.

Related: Nissan Leaf Charging Guide (Best Charging Tips and Tricks).

You may like these 5 Nissan Leaf Tips For New Owners.

  1. If you live in very cold regions

If you happen to live in very cold parts of the world or places that have long cold weather throughout the year, buying a used Nissan Leaf may not be a good idea.

This is because most EVs lose range during winter or cold seasons, including the Nissan Leaf.

Additionally, since the old Nissan Leafs have a low range, their range will worsen during the cold seasons.

This will make it almost impossible to use your Nissan Leaf unless you are doing very short trips. 

See also: Best Nissan Leaf Model Year (And the Years To Avoid).

  1. If you live in very hot regions

If you live in places that experience very hot temperatures throughout the year, you probably should also rethink the idea of owning a used Nissan Leaf.

Nissan Leaf does not have a battery cooling feature. This means that when it gets too hot, it will be impossible to charge the car more than a few times a day.

Additionally, too much heat leads to fast battery degradation.

However, if you normally charge overnight and do short commutes, buying the car would make sense.

  1. If you are buying the car for road trips

If you are buying a used Nissan Leaf with a short-range, it will only be good for short trips and would be the worst car to take on a long road trip.

However, if you’re buying a used long-range Nissan Leaf, going on long road trips will be possible with proper route planning.

I hope you’ll find it easier to make the right decision when buying a used Nissan Leaf after following our recommendations.