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Considering the rising cost of gas nowadays, it’s no wonder that many drivers are looking to buy an electric vehicle. Believe it or not, if you’re on a budget, you can still find a cheap EV for under $10,000. However, there are a few caveats that come with the bargain-basement price point. Here is what you can expect when shopping for a used electric vehicle priced under $10,000.

An electric car priced under $10,000 could have under 100 miles of range

A first-generation Nissan Leaf
A first-generation Nissan Leaf | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

The first thing you can expect when shopping for an electric car priced under $10,000 is that it will likely have a short electric range. How short? Under 100 miles of range – more specifically, around 80 miles. That means that you would likely be using this second-hand EV as a second car for daily errand duties around town. Also, it means that you can rule any Tesla models out of the running.

A nationwide search on Autotrader with this price parameter yields a lot of first-generation Nissan Leaf, Mitsubishi i-MiEV, and Smart ForTwo EV examples. Out of those three models, we would suggest leaning toward the Nissan Leaf as it’s able to get up to 80 miles of range. However, MotorTrend notes that it could get up to around 100 miles of range in real-world driving.

The other two models – the Mitsubishi and Smart – are rated to get around 55 to 60 miles on a full charge. It’s important to note that any EVs range can vary depending on where and how you drive. So, the more range the better.

You can expect to find EVs with high mileage at this price point

Mitsubishi iMIEV is displayed at the 88th Geneva International Motor Show.
Mitsubishi MiEV is displayed at the 88th Geneva International Motor Show. | Robert Hradil/Getty Images)

Another caveat to shopping for an EV in the sub-$10,000 range is that many of the cars we found were on the upper end of the mileage scale. There were many Nissan Leafs with around 60,000 to 80,000 ticks on the odometer, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. However, keep in mind that many of these EVs, no matter the brand, will be out of warranty. That means that you may have to account for some repairs down the road.

You may need to travel outside of your local region to get what you want

A row of Smart ForTwo EVs.
A row of Smart ForTwo EVs. | Franziska Krug/Getty Images for Daimler AG

Lastly, if you’re looking to buy an electric vehicle for under $10,000, then you may need to travel outside of your local region to find one. Out Autotrader search revealed 118 different listings from all over the country. But depending on where you live, you might need to figure out shipping costs if you find one that you like in a different state.

After all, with less than 100 miles of range, driving one of these cars home could be out of the question. It’s possible, but it won’t be worth the time and effort.

Ultimately, it’s possible to find an electric vehicle priced under $10,000 even in today’s market. However, you may need to make some sacrifices in terms of range, mileage, and shopping radius.


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