Is a Used Chevrolet Volt a Good Option?

By Mike Richards Posted: 10/11/2017

The Chevrolet Volt electric car has scored higher on owner satisfaction than any other vehicle offered by GM since it began surveying buyers. In fact, those who never would have considered a Chevy have fallen in line to get their hands on the Volt. Data from GM shows that 80% of Volt trips and 2/3 of Volt miles are all covered on a battery charge from the electric grid, even when considering the low-electric range of fewer than 40 miles.

The reason this is possible is that the engine switches on when the battery is low to allow it to charge enough to continue driving. While this is a great concept, it’s been hard for GM to advertise and explain. But as it comes into the used car market, it’s become a high-quality and reliable option for many who want an electric car but also want reassurance that they can go a couple of hundred miles without having to charge up.

If you’re considering a used Volt, you’re likely interested in the first-generation model that went from 2010 until 2015. We’ll look at those models and what you gain by choosing this as your next used car purchase.


The price of the Volt is going to vary on where you buy it, as well as its age, battery condition, and model. Buying from a private owner will typically be cheaper than buying from a dealership. That said, you’ll need to canvass your area to see what the actual average pricing is, as the location can play a part in this as well.

Battery Life

Everyone knows that over time a battery degrades. It happens with phones. It happens with laptops. It also may happy with the Volt. However, it’s worth understanding that while a phone battery can be useless in as little as two years, that isn’t the case with an electric car battery.

These batteries are warranted not to fail for either eight or ten years or 100,000 or 150,000 miles. It depends on the state you are in which will apply. That said, eight years is not bad for a battery, so you have little to worry about that. Also, the potential for replacing the battery is there if it does fizzle out on you after buying a used Chevy Volt.


It’s common knowledge that used electric vehicles have higher depreciation than gasoline vehicles. There are at least two reasons for this. The first is that the Volt is a relatively new vehicle, so nobody knows how it will work when it’s a decade or more old. The second is that most Volt owners qualified for a tax credit of over $7,000. When you consider that, the numbers aren’t quite as bad.

Model Year Differences

While the first-generation ran five years, there were three different battery pack capacities in that time. The one released in 2011 was released at 16.0 kilowatt-hours, and it was used in 2012, as well. In 2013 and 2014, this moved up to a 16.5 kilowatt-hour battery, and finally to a 17.1 kWh for 2015. The oldest models were rated at 35 miles of range, while the next step up was rated at 38.

2013 Changes

There were some significant changes in 2013, which may matter to those who are set on buying a used Volt. For one, the liftgate and roof were painted the body color, rather than being black like previous years. However, other changes included a new interior color, a new silver topaz exterior color, heated seats and steering wheels, and removable rear-seat center armrest for the premium package.

In addition to that, safety packages moved to two separate levels with one package offering auto-dimming inside rear-view mirrors, rear camera, and rear park assist. Package two added lane departure warnings and front park assist forward collision alerts. Chevrolet MyLink was also introduced with touchscreen and control system.

Anyone going from a gasoline to electric vehicle is making a significant change, but the Volt makes it a little less uncertain. You should still do your research, but the Volt is a pretty reliable used car option that brings a number of features that will be appreciated by owners.