Buyer Tips

Is Buying a Used Electric Vehicle a Good Idea?

By Mike Richards Updated: 08/23/2022 Posted: 03/04/2019

When electric cars were first introduced in the market, there was much scepticism. However, those who took a chance at buying electric cars had positive things to say about them. This encouraged more people to invest in electric cars. The response also had a positive effect on companies manufacturing these cars and today, more automobile companies are investing in the production of electric vehicle. The number of used electric cars available for sale is also increasing. Should you consider buying one? Several factors will determine if buying a used electric car is right for you.

The Locations of Charging Stations

Buying a used electric car may be a good idea for some people and not for others. Where do you live and how easy is it for you to find a place to charge your electric car? This is something that will influence your decision to buy a used electric car. If you have to cover long distances, it may not be a good idea for you to get an electric car. However, if you have a place to plug in at a convenient location, then buying an electric car is a good idea.

Your Budget

The used electric car market has grown exponentially because most people cannot afford to buy new cars. The price of electric cars drops much faster than the price of gas-powered cars. If you feel your budget is too low for a used car that uses gas, it may be a good idea for you to consider buying an electric car. Electric cars also lose a significant portion of its value when they are sold used. The depreciation rate is what has attracted many people to used electric cars.

Maintenance Cost

If you worry about the cost of running and maintaining a car, then it is a good idea to buy a used electric car. The electric car has very few moveable parts in its engine. This means that, when it comes to wear and tear, you get a bargain in electric cars. Should the time come you need to replace these parts, the cost and frequency of replacement are not as high as with gas-powered cars.

What are Your Driving Patterns?

When choosing between a used electric vehicle and a used fuel efficient gas-powered car, it is critical for you to consider where you drive. Do you primarily do short range driving within the city or do you do plenty of highway driving? If you are on the motorway a lot, are there charging stations along the routes you use? Currently, plug-in stations are concentrated in cities. This means your battery may run low when on the highway and you may not have a place to charge your car’s battery. So, if you are looking for a car to drive within a city that has plug-in stations, buying an electric car is a great idea. However, if your travels are concentrated on the highway, an electric car may not be the best choice for you.

Further Reading

Is the Electric Car You are Buying Compatible with the Charging Options Available?

It is probably a good idea for you to visit the charging points to find out the charging options available before buying a used electric car. Over the years, changes have been made to the charging leads of various models of electric car. Older electric cars come fitted with either a two or five pin charger lead. Some modern cars use seven pin chargers. If you are considering, for example, buying a used Tesla Model S, you may need to find out if the supercharger network designed by the automobile company is available where you live. If you are sure you can charge using the car charging stations in your area, then getting a used electric car is a great idea.

What is the Condition of the Battery?

When buying a used EV, the duration you can run the battery before recharging it is a significant consideration. If the used electric vehicle’s battery does not retain the charge for long, then buying that car is not a good idea. You will need to buy another battery and this will affect the final price of the car. If you have a tight budget, then you do not want to be stuck with an electric car that cannot sustain a reasonable distance before recharging.

Do You Have a Dealer You Trust?

When buying any used car, where or whom you buy it from is very important. Some dealers are known for their care in choosing what used cars to sell. There are some dealerships that have many buyers of used cars because of their credibility. If you have such a dealer who sells used electric cars, then buying a used electric car is a great idea. However, if you are worried about buying an electric car because you are not sure if the seller sells cars that are in great shape, this may not be a good idea. Of course, if you know someone you trust who is selling their car, then buying this car is an excellent idea.

toyota prius (hybrid)

Is the Car Still Under Warranty?

Electric cars come with three warranties: bumper to bumper, battery, and powertrain. The bumper to bumper warranty is the same as the one on gas-powered vehicles. The powertrain warranty covers the powertrain except for the battery. The EV battery warranty usually lasts for an extended period. Batteries in electric cars are expected to function correctly for at least eight years.  It is important to note that the battery warranty only covers defects. Any deterioration of the battery due to usage is not included. If the used electric car does not come with a warranty, especially of the battery, you may need to reconsider the purchase.

When you have been debating if it is a good idea for you to purchase a used electric car, you need to consider the situation in your area plus your limitations should you buy an electric car. If the factors surrounding the purchase and running an electric vehicle are in favor of you buying an electric car, then you should go ahead and buy one.