Hybrids & Electrics

What You Need to Know About Buying a Used Electric Vehicle

With more automakers directing efforts toward electric vehicles, it’s clear these energy-saving cars are here to stay. A brand-new electric vehicle is expensive, so many drivers are seeking used electric cars. Not only is a used version cheaper, but it can also save you money on service, maintenance, and gas.

Before shopping on the used market, ask yourself what you intend to do with the vehicle. Many electric cars are compact. So, if you intend to carry more passengers, you’ll need to look for a larger option like the Tesla Model X or Model S. No matter the size of the car you seek, here’s what you need to do when considering a used electric vehicle:

1. Look at the vehicle’s range

When shopping for a used electric vehicle, you must consider range. The more affordable models are often small, with a range of about 90 miles when new. Due to the degradation of a used car, its range can fall to around 60 or 70 miles. Keep your driving habits in mind when determining which range is best for you. If you mostly drive in the city, then models with a smaller range would may be just fine.

2. Check the battery

Another factor to consider when buying used is the electric car’s battery. Several factors, like weather conditions, affect an electric vehicle’s battery life. It’s crucial to have the car checked either by a specialist or a dealer. There will be degradation with a used vehicle, of course, but it’s important to understand just how much degradation there is.

3. Inspect the vehicle further

When it comes to electric cars, you won’t have a traditional engine to inspect or service. On top of that, the cars’ regenerative braking enables it to recoup energy. This means the brake life is longer. However, you still need to inspect more than just the car’s battery.

Check the condition of the tires and inspect the car’s interior. Find out if everything is in working order, including the air conditioning, gauges, infotainment systems, windows, and heat are working. Determine how responsive the steering feels and if the brakes squeak. Also, ensure that the car comes with its charge cord. This will make it possible for you to charge it via a three-prong 120-volt outlet.

Test drive the car to ensure it drives properly. Ask questions. Check on the vehicle’s safety ratings, accident history, and maintenance records. If you feel the seller is not trustworthy, remember you can walk away.

4. Buying a certified pre-owned unit

Although you will get a more affordable price when buying a used electric vehicle from a private party, buying a certified pre-owned electric vehicle from a dealer could be worth the extra cost. Purchasing a certified pre-owned electric car could give you more confidence in the car. Most certified pre-owned cars will have low mileage, be well-maintained, and may even have supplemental coverage.