Does Buying A Used Electric Vehicle Make Sense?

If you were thinking of buying an electric vehicle but are on a tight budget, you may have thought about buying one used.

But you should know that there are stark differences between used electric vehicles and traditional ones, and you can’t shop for a used EV like you would other vehicles.

Electric cars have their specificities, and you have to understand them before you start looking for one.

In this article, we’re going to look at the pros and cons of buying a used EV, some tips on how to buy one, and some possible alternatives you could consider.

The Benefits of Buying a Used EV

The biggest benefit of buying a used EV is of course the price. The price of a brand-new EV hovers around the £44,000 mark, and you could make some savings by picking up a vehicle on the aftermarket.

You should also know that electric vehicles depreciate much faster than other vehicles for a whole host of reasons, so you could be surprised by some of the deals you find.

One more thing you should know about electric vehicles is that they will often have warranties that are way longer than what you’d find on your average fuel-powered vehicles.

It’s not uncommon to see EVs with warranties of up to 8 years, so you could get a used EV, drive it for a few years, and sell it while it’s still under warranty.

And, if you were wondering about tax benefits, know that most of them apply to used vehicles as well. You also won’t have to pay any road tax.

The Drawbacks of Buying a Used EV

One thing you need to understand about electric vehicles is how important innovation is in this sector and how fast changes are made to electric vehicles.

An EV from five years ago will not have the same performance or have the same range as a new one.

And the difference between models, even year after year, can be stunning. This is something you’ll have to consider when looking at used EV models.

Also, remember how we said that electric vehicles tend to depreciate faster?

Well, that’s because there’s less demand for used electric vehicles than regular ones.

You might be disappointed by the offers you get when you decide to sell your electric car and how long it could take you.

And things are even worse if the vehicle was already old when you bought it. If a vehicle can be outdated after a year, imagine after eight?

This means that you’ll have to be very strategic with your timing and consider how old your vehicle will be when you decide to sell it.

Another very important thing you have to know is that the battery is the single most expensive component of an EV, and there is the chance that the battery goes out while you own it or that the range is so diminished that you have no choice but to replace it.

You might lose any savings you may have made by buying a new one. That’s another thing you’ll have to plan for.

Now that we know a bit more about the benefits and disadvantages of used EVs, let’s take a look at a few things you should look for when buying one.

Tips for Buying a Used Electric Vehicle

Most of the things you do when you buy a used fuel-powered vehicle you’ll have to do when picking up a used EV.

Take a good look at the car’s service history and see if there were any recalls on the vehicle.

You also need to check the state of the brakes and the body and see if there is any significant sign of wear.

You also must be very careful with what model and brand of vehicle you pick.

As you may or may not know, there are much fewer people who can service these types of vehicles, and things become even more complicated when it’s an older one.

We suggest that you build a list of potential vehicles you were thinking of buying and call a few service centres around your area to see if they can fix them.

Of course, you’ll need to look at things like the range on the vehicle and the warranty.

But you should also check if the vehicle comes with the battery pack.

Some companies like Renault, for instance, will routinely sell their cars without batteries to cut costs and put a lease on the battery.

So, specify if the battery pack is included or you may have to pay a monthly fee on the battery.

Be very careful with electric car warranties too, as they are not quite the same as with ordinary petrol and diesel vehicles.

A lot of people don’t know this, but it’s not uncommon for electric vehicles to have one warranty on the car itself and another one for the battery.

Check what kind of warranty there’s on the vehicle and for how long each component is covered.

When you take the car on a test drive, pay very close attention to sounds.

Also, make sure that you get the car on a motorway to see how it reacts at high speeds.

Electric vehicles tend to be heavier than regular vehicles, and they put a lot of stress on the suspension, so listen if you hear any clunks or weird sounds when you’re on the road. 

It would also be a good idea to bring a torch with you so you can perform a nice summary inspection.

And, if you don’t know how to perform one, try to find someone you know who does, as they’ll be able to look at things like the state of the brakes and suspension, direction, cracked springs, and leaking dampers, among others.

Have You Thought About Getting a Lease?

If you are not sure about your budget, how about going for a lease instead of buying the car?

With a lease, you will have a much smaller monthly bill compared to financing and you’ll get all the benefits of driving an EV.

You’ll also have the chance to drive a brand-new vehicle for a fraction of the price. 

This means that you’ll get all the features like extended range, better driving experience, and better/more security features for a much lower price.

Not to mention that you won’t have to worry about unloading the vehicle when you want to get a new one.

If you want to know more about electric vehicle leases and want to know if they’re the right choice for you, ElectriX has lots of information and guides on vehicle leases and can even help you find one.

They also have a few articles on charging electric cars and a questionnaire that will tell you if an electric car would be a good choice for you in the first place.

Used electric vehicles can be a good option for a certain class of drivers, but they do have some limitations.

You have to know the drawbacks before you start looking at vehicles and consider all of your options before you make your final decision.

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