You’ve read all the tech details of the second-generation Nissan Leaf, which was officially launched in Malaysia earlier today, so if you’re considering the all-electric hatchback, you’re already aware that Edaran Tan Chong Motor (ETCM) is offering two ways in which you can get one.

The first is the conventional route, in which the car can be purchased, and there’s the alternative path, in which you can lease the Leaf via a car subscription plan. The question is, does the leasing plan make better financial sense, or should you opt for the traditional manner of going via the hire purchase channel?

From a cost point of view, the conventional method of buying a car is straightforward and transparent – the fully-imported CBU Leaf is priced at RM188,888, on-the-road without insurance. As indicated in our launch report, the Leaf gets complete import tax exemption, and is only faced with 10% excise tax and SST.

The Leaf comes with a three-year/100,000 km warranty and three-year/60,000 km free service maintenance, while the vehicle’s lithium-ion battery gets an eight-year/160,000 km warranty for peace of mind ownership.

As for the car subscription plan, this is pretty much a “pay and use” format, but unlike a traditional hire purchase scheme, you’re merely renting the car for the duration and don’t end up owning it at the end of the cycle. For this, it’ll cost you RM3,500 a month to lease the EV, set on a three-year leasing contract. The monthly rate is the same for an individual or a company choosing to subcribe to the Leaf.

As such, the monthly leasing rate adds up to RM42,000 a year, or RM126,000 for the tenure of the 36-month contract, which makes the option a more cost effective one when viewed in direct fashion. Of course, there’s no vehicle to offset funding for a new one, and you’ll have to start over again at the end of the three years.

You can choose to buy the car at the then current market value based on negotiations made, and ETCM will help you to apply for a hire purchase scheme if you choose to do so. Or, you could opt to subscribe for another new Leaf – according to the company, there will likely be other EVs and new subscription options by that time.

Do note that there’s a mileage cap with the subscription plan, with use being limited to 100,000 km of travel over the three-year contract period – there’s no specific mileage you’re allowed to use in a year, just that the total over 36 months can’t exceed the stipulated cap. Apparently, there’s a charge if you exceed 100,000 km of use, but the company hasn’t detailed how much that will be.

A point to note is that the leasing plan has some other costs involved. A two-month security deposit is needed, as is a one-month advance payment, which means you’ll have to come up with RM10,500 to get the lease going. The deposit is refundable, so that doesn’t figure as additional cost in the final analysis.

Also, the lessee will have to pay for the yearly road tax and insurance for the duration of the contract, much like a conventional HP plan. We were told by ETCM that the road tax for the Leaf is RM187 a year (there was no specific mention of this in our launch report, the pricing merely indicating OTR), and the insurance – which will have to go through ETCM – for the Leaf in the first year will cost above RM5,000. Again, while this is extra cost to note at point of entry for leasing, you’d also have to do the same for the HP route.

Elsewhere, while the car comes with the aforementioned three-year/60,000 km free service maintenance, customers will have to pay for wear and tear replacement items such as tyres, wipers and brake pads, if these are needed over the period.

As mentioned in the launch report, the Leaf comes with a single-phase 6.6 kW AC home wallbox charger as standard, and this applies to both purchase and leasing, with installation being free in either case. The process will require a technician to inspect the wiring on location to ensure suitability, and in the case of leasing, one should bear in mind that the wallbox will be removed once the contract is over and the lessee chooses not to extend with another EV subscription plan.

It was announced that Leaf adoption will also come with an owners privilege programme thrown in at no extra cost, in which there is 23 days of complimentary usage a year of the X-Trail, Serena and Navara for other travelling needs, during the first three years of ownership.

The company says that the courtesy programme is also included for the leasing plan, also for the same period. All that’s needed to secure the use of a complimentary vehicle is two weeks advance notice, which can be done online or by calling the customer service centre.

So, which sounds like the more appealing route, and not just from a cost viewpoint – conventional hire purchase, or the subscription plan? Share your views in the comments section.