6 Ways to Prepare for Buying an EV, According to Consumer Reports

The electric vehicle market is growing quickly as governments provide drivers with incentives to flock to the segment in order to combat climate change. That said, drivers who are looking to switch to an EV should take these six steps to prepare for their purchase.

A yellow wall with an electric charging station, which is to an EV that doesn't need a transfer case.
Charging station | Alejandro Granadillo via Getty Images

1. Do your own research first

Consumer Reports has a guide on buying EVs, and one piece of advice that it gave was for shoppers to ignore ads and to do their own research. A lot of automakers, including ones that build EVs, have deceptive marketing campaigns that may mislead drivers into thinking their EV is better than it is. As such, it’s a good idea to read reviews from car critics and owners from a variety of sources. 

It’s also a good idea to look at the range that the standard version of the EV gets. Some automakers advertise their EV’s maximum range even though consumers will have to pay extra to get access to that. And just like with regular cars, EV shoppers should plan to test drive a handful of EVs before committing to a purchase. 

2. Prioritize safety features and crash test results

One of the perks of buying an EV is that many automakers put a lot of smart safety features on their EV. These smart safety features can be effective at reducing the chances of an accident, as well as the severity of the accident.

It’s a smart idea for car shoppers to prioritize EVs that have the most smart safety features, as well as the EVs that did well in their crash tests. 

3. Avoid adding extras that the dealership tries to sell 

Some automakers are selling EVs directly to drivers, but other automakers are selling their EVs the traditional way through dealerships. Unfortunately for drivers, dealerships that sell EVs aren’t that different from dealerships that sell gas-powered cars.

This is why EV shoppers should avoid adding extras, such as VIN etching and prepaid maintenance, as it’s often unnecessary and expensive.

4. Avoid special sale events

Another dealership tactic that some EV shoppers may be subjected to are special sale events. These sale events may seem like the best time to buy a car, but it’s often not the case. That’s because these sale events are run by trained specialists whose job is to make the dealership more money by selling over-equipped cars.

 5. Be smart about financing 


Yale Study Proves EVs Are More Efficient Than Gas-Powered Cars Any Way You Slice It

Dealerships in general make a lot of money by selling cars with extras added on, but the other way that dealerships make money is through financing.

This is a very complicated topic as financing is not a terrible way to pay for an EV. That said, there are good financing deals and bad financing deals, and that’s why it’s important that drivers get the best financing deal before buying an EV. 

EV shoppers should avoid focusing on the monthly payment and look at the bigger financial picture first. This means considering the loan rate, the amount of interest that will have to be paid, how much a new EV will depreciate over a few years, and more.

Folks who are looking to trade in their gas-powered car for an EV will have to do even more research in terms of how much their old car is worth.

6. Avoid unnecessary fees that often get tacked on

Lastly, dealerships can make some extra money by tacking on fees such as pre-delivery inspection fees, delivery fees, and dealer prep fees. Consumer Reports recommended that EV shoppers should flat-out refuse to pay these fees.