Buying used cars is always a little bit of a risk--you can never quite be sure what condition the previous owner has left the car in.

That's where manufacturer-certified used car programs come in, and Nissan is launching just such a thing for used examples of its Leaf electric car.

While we still don't know the ins and outs of the firm's U.S. certified scheme for the Leaf, we now at least know (via Japanese site autoc-one) what Japanese customers will get--perhaps giving a clue to similar schemes elsewhere.

Certified used Leafs in Japan will conform to strict criteria to ensure they're the best quality examples available for used car buyers.

These include repairing any small scratches or interior damage, and ensuring the vehicle has had no previous recorded accident damage. Certified Leafs will also have the full 12 bars of battery capacity on the display, and have done no more than 31,000 miles in four years.

To ensure the car retains its best available battery capacity after five years and 62,000 miles, Nissan will also give owners a battery advice sheet, detailing ways to maximize capacity and keep the battery healthy.

A "maintenance pro pack" will also be available, with extra diagnostic checks to keep an eye on the battery's condition.

Other details included in the certified used program include a low finance interest rate of 3.9 percent, an "EV support program" for the life of the car, and the option to use Nissan's "Leaf to Home" ability, where the vehicle can supply power to the owner's home should an outage occur.

Some of these details may differ by the time a similar scheme is introduced to the U.S, but they should provide owners with extra peace of mind when choosing a used Leaf.

And while used car buying is still that little bit more risky than buying new, electric cars do have a slight advantage in this regard--the previous owner won't have skipped any oil changes, burned out the clutch, forgotten to top up the antifreeze...

[Hat tip: Brian Henderson]


Follow GreenCarReports on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+