Electric Car Shopping in Virginia

Red 2013 Nissan Leaf This March we leased a new Nissan Leaf as Parchayi’s new car and we got a great deal on a zero down 2 year lease with a car the exact color and trim level she wanted. However getting that wasn’t easy. So here is my guide on shopping for a car, especially if you are in Virginia.


  1. Online Chat with all the dealers in your area and anywhere within a 100 mile radius and get initial offers
  2. Send the lowest offer from all of them in a second round to all the dealers asking for the offer being beaten
  3. A lot of dealers will drop out at this point but don’t worry, see step 5
  4. For dealers further away from your house ask for Home delivery (we had to ask for that because we were unsure the Leaf could make it to our house from many of the far away dealers
  5. Wait a day or two now. The managers of all the dealers will send you an email. At this point respond that their dealership wasn’t competitive with the other offers
  6. Now you’ll have price match or beat offers from everyone
  7. Send the lowest offer to everyone again to see who bites

In our case I contacted:

  • Colonial Nissan (local dealer in Charlottesville)
  • Brown’s Fairfax Nissan
  • Priority Nissan of Richmond
  • Pohanka Nissan Fredericksburg
  • Sheehy Nissan of Mechanicsville
  • Nissan of Chantilly

In the first round, to my surprise, Colonial Nissan was the lowest priced dealer. By the time the third round came along, the monthly price of the lease has dropped 90$ from where originally started and the lowest was Pohanka Nissan and they also offered free home delivery.

However, we eventually ended up buying the car form Colonial Nissan because they not only matched the lowest offer, they were the only dealer to offer to find the car with the color and trim we wanted. The had the car shipped from a dealer in Maryland. No other dealer offered anything beyond what they had on their lot.

I also looked at the Ford Focus and did the same with Ford dealers. However the Focus is not competitively priced with the Leaf. Plus our local dealer has no plans to carry the Focus Electric so it felt uncomfortable having a car that possibly couldn’t be serviced locally, especially since it is a first generation car. The Leaf is in it’s third year.

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